Ever had a soul-wrenching breakup? I have (and I mean serious heartbreak, not the one in those hollywood movies). You know those break-ups that make you think life is truly over. Rather than bore you with the “nollywood-type” sordid detail (that is for another day *wink*), I will share with you what I took away. Here are the life-long lessons which I would never change.
#LESSON 1: THERE IS LIFE OUTSIDE LOVE
Not to deny the importance of love but if you think that love is all there is to life, then you are mistaken. Live your life consciously and don’t forget what makes you i.e. your family, friends, work, hobbies and so on whilst on the pursuit of love. I repeat: There is more to life than just your love life.
#LESSON 2: I CAN BE HAPPY ALONE
It was only through picking up the pieces of my life after hitting rock bottom that I realized this one important fact that has so far shaped my relationships. Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Nothing can bring you happiness but yourself”. One should not base one’s happiness on the presence of another soul. Life has taught me that people are not only unpredictable but also complicated and as such one should be careful on how reliant one is on them. I find solitude in a higher power (So far so good :))
#LESSON 3: SOME PEOPLE CAN NEVER CHANGE
I have learnt that it is not my goal to change anyone or to go into a relationship hoping that they will someday change. I have learnt acceptance and the peace that it can bring to me. I have learnt to have a REAL conversation with myself to truly understand what I can withstand and what I can’t. Just because someone refuses/can’t change doesn’t mean they are bad people either, it may just mean we are not compatible and guess what?? THAT IS OK.
#LESSON 4: YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU THINK
Life certainly teaches us lessons we don’t remember signing up for. Sometimes we believe that we can never live life without our partner. Truth is we learn how flexible, tolerant and resilient we are with every blow that life dishes us. I use this truth in my everyday life, from my career to my relationships. Knowing how tough I am, makes me feel resilient to what trials life throws my way #WhatDoesntBreakYouMakesYou….
#LESSON 5: NO SHAME IN FAILING
Gosh this is an important one. Failing is a GREAT thing. Failing means we tried. It gives us a story to tell, a story to actually learn from. Failing means we explored an experience which didn’t end perfectly but guess what? it probably taught us a million lessons, lessons we couldn’t have bought with all the money in the world if we tried.
#LESSON 6: A RELATIONSHIP IS A TWO-WAY STREET
Truth is no one likes to feel cheated in life. Whether it is at home or at work or in our relationships, we all like to feel like everyone contributed. Relationships are a two-way street. If all you do is take, soon they will stop giving. You were warned!! Whoever said nothing is free knew exactly what they were talking about.
#LESSON 7: LOVE IS NOT ENOUGH
When it comes to love, there’s more than just looking deeply into each other’s eyes and saying, “I love you.” #ThatS***FadesOffVeryQuickly. Your partner should be passionate, reliable, trustworthy, etc. But when those qualities are not present, that is when love may not be enough. What are the ACTUAL needs of your partner? (Please ask your partner) And are you actioning these needs or are all they hear are words??
#LESSON 8: CONTENTMENT IS NOT NECESSARILY HAPPINESS
When I say contentment here, I refer to when one has made peace with or accepted one’s situation. Being ok with one’s situation because one feels they can not do better or because they believe they don’t have the energy to start something new is not happiness. Know the difference and please #DontSettleForContentment unless it’s exactly what you want.
#LESSON 9: TO THINE OWN SELF BE TRUE
In hindsight, I could see that the warning signs of my relationship woes. Only experiencing them first hand equipped me to spot them in the future and know when to call it quits. So be honest with yourself, weigh your pros and cons because loving someone and loving the idea of being with someone are actually two different things.
Are you going through a bad break up? Denial will only deny you the freedom you need to move on. Reflect on the relationship (like I did) understanding the pros and cons and decide confidently on how to proceed.
What are the lessons you have learned from your past failed relationships? My mother always says that experience is not always a good thing, if you can easily learn from the mistakes of others so please share your lessons with us and save us the pain.