It’s funny how some of life’s most devastating moments can lead you to the greatest awakenings. Some of my best personal awakenings have been after break ups. It took a few tries to fully wake up, but once I did, it changed my whole perspective on love.
I’ve seen it time and time again–women completely losing themselves and their identity in a relationship. You conform to meet the needs of your partner, often sacrificing your own happiness. Eventually, the relationship ends, and you find yourself looking for someone to ease the pain without fully healing, thereby repeating the cycle. I know this cycle well; I’ve totally been that girl.
After the last break up, I was somewhat broken, unrecognizable. In my experience, I’ve had to step away from my relationships, or future relationships for that matter, to create a new story. Who was I? What did I want for myself?
Not to give them too much credit, but I have to thank the ones who put me through all those hurtful relationship experiences. It gave me a new insight and essentially made me stronger. I was able to look at those moments and grow from them, flourishing into the best version of myself. I discovered what I would tolerate, what I deserved, and the definition of a meaningful relationship. I was able to find myself again.
I realized healthy relationships thrive off trust and security, security in yourself and your partner. The best way to feel secure in a relationship is to truly know yourself and your worth–because you deserve the best out of life and love. Therefore, if you find yourself at the end of a romantic chapter, breathe. This is your moment to find clarity, your moment to get reacquainted with your needs. This is the time to find yourself. Here’s how:
Own Your Story
Whatever has happened in your past, good or bad, own it. Every experience has shaped who you are; however, it doesn’t have to define you. Look at a failed relationship in a new light, not as a failure but as a learning experience. It’s important to acknowledge who you were in that relationship as well. Were you your own person? Did you trust and respect your partner? Did they fully get to know the real you? Our past is often messy, but it’s important to look at those moments, so we don’t keep recreating the same story. The moment I began to confront my truth and my past failures I felt relieved. I could then start finally rebuilding and creating a story I was proud of, instead of reliving the same emotional and broken love saga.
Once you own your story, it’s time to accept it. With acceptance comes healing. Accept your flaws, your quirks, your body, and your soul. Just because someone in the past didn’t accept your whole self does not mean someone in the future will not absolutely adore every ounce of you. There is nothing more liberating and empowering than self-love. Since I have started practicing self-love, I feel as if I have made smarter dating choices. I now have a deep connection with myself and know my true worth, never settling for someone who doesn’t appreciate or accept all of me.
Why are we so quick to abandon our needs? A lot of times in relationships, we become disconnected from our own feelings and desires. We are so concerned with making the other person that happy that we forget about our own happiness. The best way to cultivate a meaningful relationship with yourself and others is to take care of yourself–mind, body, and soul. In past relationships, I kind of lost myself, developing unhealthy habits and failing to take responsibility for my happiness. I depended on others to take care of me. However, we need to take control of our own needs and happiness.
This is your time to focus solely on you! Embrace the present and this time you have with yourself. Your newfound independence is the perfect opportunity to do things you have always wanted to do and to regain freedom. When I took a dating hiatus, I took it as the chance to find myself by traveling the world and pushing myself out of my comfort zone. Through this, I discovered new passions, new friends, and got in touch with my soul–and because of that, the one who has me now gets the real me: the woman who isn’t afraid to speak up, who is strong in her convictions, who isn’t scared to express herself, and who is in control of her happiness. I learned that “doing you” and knowing yourself is beneficial to not only yourself but also future relationships. So go on and be fierce, explore the depths of your soul, and trust the fact that being alone is totally okay.
Have you ever taken a break from love to get reacquainted with yourself?
Also by Jess: Yoga for Self-Love and Empowerment
Related: Millennial Wife Confesses: The Surprising Strategy That Saved My Marriage
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