I’ve wasted so much time feeling bitter, confused, and gloomy already in my life when things don’t go my way. And I’ll admit, when my boyfriend of almost two years suddenly broke up with me a week and a half ago, my initial reaction was panic, breathlessness, and then sore, sore bitterness. I kept reciting the mantra: “how dare you how dare you how dare you how dare you”.
But enough of that. I see it EVERYWHERE– self-help books, all over Instagram, on Oprah, plastered on motivational materials in every direction, and chanted repeatedly in yoga classes– the key to happiness is gratitude. As soon as the panic and raw pain subsided, I woke up the next morning after the break up and thought, “Something has to change”. This time I will not simply endure this abandonment and disappointment. THIS heartbreak I will rise up stronger, braver, and maybe even happier. I will learn and I will grow.
With that to say, I’m not an expert at relationships or how to recover from a failed one, but, I know I need to attack this grieving process from a different angle. I simply refuse to clock anymore hours crying, analyzing, or replaying past conversations. I’m going to approach this rejection from a place of gratitude instead of a place of anger.
Here is my first attempt at gracefully letting go…
To my ex-boyfriend (the boy I thought I wanted to marry),
Thank you for saving me potential years of waiting for an answer that I was unlikely to ever receive. Thank you for teaching me the lesson that I should never have to convince someone to love me. Thank you for revealing to me that I should not expect to be the exception to the rule; if someone confesses, “I have commitment issues” or “I wish we would have met in five years when I was more ready”– next time, I will listen to them and instead of waiting to see if they will change, I will take my love somewhere else. Thank you for introducing me to a lovely, warm, and compassionate family. They were not meant to be mine, but I thoroughly enjoyed every minute I spent pretending that they could be. Thank you for giving our relationship as much of a chance as you were capable of. Thank you for respecting my desire to cease communication and for not attempting to contact me. Of course I have no way of knowing this, but I will thank you for painting me in a positive light to your friends and family post-break up because I knew you to be a decent person who doesn’t succumb to fickle gossip. Thank you for the abruptness– it forced me into action and to be ready NOW. With such fierce urgency, there was no room to doubt my own strength. Thank you for making the decision for me. If it were up to me, I would have stuck it out and tried harder and harder to make it work. If we would have done that, I would not have been given this precious opportunity to grasp freedom and personal growth as I have never experienced before. A sincere thank you for exiting stage right while I was having a panic attack in our last moments together. And thank you, thank you for not coming back. I prayed you would, but if you didn’t drive past me sitting outside on the lawn, I might have convinced you to stay and if I did that, I might still be sitting alone in that suffocating over-the-garage bedroom, waiting until you came home. Honestly, as I live and breath– I thank you, Austin. Thank you for letting me go. In the midst of this heartbreak, I have gained invaluable friendships and restored a deeper relationship with my family and my spirituality– all of which would not have been possible if I was still living my life in service to you. I will never speak to you again, but in exchange I now admire myself more than I ever thought I could.
To my future husband,
Thank you for seeing me– the whole me. The good, the great, the bold, the meek, the sad, and the ugly, the light and the darkness. Thank you for opening up to me and and allowing me to see the whole you in return. Thank you for choosing me everyday. Thank you for committing to me and our life together without a shadow of a doubt. Thank you for siting with me through the panic attacks and reminding me that I am stronger than a feeling and that I was made it out of all of my worst days. Thank you for taking a passionate interest in my creative spirit. Thank you for going on adventures. Thank you for being the adventure. Thank you for understanding that quality time is my love language and taking joy in tending to it to the best of your ability. Thank you for inviting me to do the same for you. Thank you for respecting my body and my boundaries. Thank you for taking care of yourself and giving me the space and respect to take care of myself. Thank you for doing your inner work and being in continual pursuit of a higher purpose. Thank you for lighting up with hope when you envision your life alongside me. Thank you for understanding that we don’t belong to each other, but that we are here for each other. Thank you for loving me. Really loving me as I have never known before. I am going to prepare myself for you so when you enter my life, I will know and I will be ready.