“To love, and to be hurt often, and to love again — this is the brave and happy life” J. E. Buckrose
28th April 2014, Maldives
I wake up in the morning, and everything is in place. The world is moving like how it’s supposed to and I move along to it as well. I feel okay today. Unsurprisingly there is a void looming in my heart. Silent; it has no voice, almost weightless yet ironically heavy at the same time. Time passes and the world continues to move. I occasionally think aloud on how silly I was, to cry back then like it was the end of the world. But no, the world is still moving. And I too was moving along with it. I throw my head back and laugh and then I feel it. The lump at the back of my throat. Almost immediately I could imagine, a huge tangled dirty ball lodged right there. Still there. Uncertainty, fear, sadness, anger, disappointment. Hurt.
Throughout my journey of healing and learning from hurt and betrayal, I constantly wrote to myself. It was not an easy process, writing down exactly how you feel, because how does one explain the feeling of betrayal in words? While I was healing, I observed and listened to how people perceive and deal with hurt. I was blessed to meet people who were placed in my way to help me, to guide me through my darkest moments in life. I learnt much about betrayal and how to grow while dealing with it . Let my story be for now; But I am ready to share a letter I wrote to myself.
This is a letter of reminder, a letter of courage and a letter that pushes me to not allow whatever that has happened define who I am.
This is a letter for you beautiful souls who are fighting your battles hard. We will pull through. I promise.
5 things for me to note when learning to fall in love again.
For when that huge tangled dirty ball gets stuck at the back of your throat. Remember this dear heart.
1. Trust me
Love and trust go together. Neither can stand on its own. In order for you to learn how to love another, you first need to learn how to trust. And trust is not seeking another person you can give your trust to. But you. Trust you. Learn to listen to your inner voice. Once you start to learn to listen to your intuition, you have no reason to doubt it.
2. I am worth it
There is no point in beating yourself to what has already happened. Rediscover the things you love and dislike. Know what makes you feel loved and set your standards clearly. Recognize that you are spectacular. For every single day, take active steps to be the best version of you. If you can’t smile, make someone smile through simple gestures. Taking active steps and adding small doses of positivity into your daily life even if you are not at the immediate receiving end will make you realize that you are capable and worthy and you can make a difference.
3. I’m going to have bad days and it’s perfectly okay
The road to healing is never smooth sailing. In fact it is going to be a steep learning curve, if not a rollercoaster ride. Some days you’ll feel like you are not progressing at all. Some days you regress and go back to square one. And it is okay. You are enough. You are doing the best you can. Forgiving does not equate to forgetting. But remembering does not have to include negative feelings. We are all work in progress. One step at a time.
4. Listen and appreciate constructive criticism with an open heart
Quit drowning in self pity on what has happened. While it is natural for humans who go through hurt and betrayal to be defensive, it is not going to help in healing you. Listen to all criticisms and silence with a pinch of salt. If your loved ones turn silent when you start your stories of what you went through, you know that you are not helping yourself. Learn to listen when people criticize you even if it is not what you want to hear. Reevaluate the criticisms and realize that you are not perfect.
5. Love is a responsibility, not an entitlement
Understand that love is sincere hard work and effort. Everybody has a right to love and be loved but nobody is entitled to love. That includes saying, ” I’ve love you all my heart, how can you do this to me?” You’ve loved with all your heart – it is their loss not yours. Once you start remembering that, you appreciate that you’ve done your best, and that nothing has been taken away from you. You have gained and learnt the real meaning of loving someone.
Feeling hurt is something we naturally avoid given any circumstance. I too, was afraid of being hurt. But I have learnt that getting hurt is an essential life experience that is required to make you whole. I believe now that being hurt and feeling hurt does not take a part of you away, instead it further refines who you are as person.
I am healing and I am learning to fall in love again. I am a work in progress.
Whether it’s losing someone you love or loved or learning to love the same person who broke you. Your partner, spouse or family. I hope this letter gives us courage to continue in our journey in being the best version of ourselves.
If this post inspires you, share it with the people you love or those who need it most. Share your stories of strength on Instagram and hashtag us #wanderingwonderers or @ashaadn and @thetudungtraveller
Love and Courage,