So, a funny thing happened on the way to happily ever after…
In the last few weeks I’ve had more than one friend suffer a broken relationship and the broken heart that accompanies that loss. As I try to do the best I can to be there for them, I feel helpless because nothing I can say changes the fact that it hurts. It doesn’t matter that we are grown women, not the giddy, romantic schoolgirls that we used to be. It hurts just as bad but in a deeper way. You see, a woman bounces back a lot slower from heartache than a girl does.
Oh, we get it of course. We see clearly that the man who just bulldozed our heart doesn’t deserve us. It’s just that it’s hard not to let your heart give up. A full grown woman can get tired of the risks love brings if she’s not careful. When a woman is let down or betrayed by the man she loves, it can go one of two ways: she can heal and be a stronger, wiser woman or she can become scarred emotionally and close herself off to love. Trust me; the second path is much easier to end up on than the first, I know that firsthand.
After all, our first instinct when we feel betrayed or used is to question and castigate ourselves. How could I have been so blind? How could I have been so stupid? Why am I letting him do this to me? Those are the thoughts of a woman who feels she’s been played or isn’t loved in return.
But I say no one is ever foolish to have loved. Loving is the wisest and bravest act a person can ever do. Giving your heart, your trust and your time to a man isn’t a mistake. A bad ending doesn’t erase the good that existed. We allow men into our hearts because (for a myriad of different reasons) we need that particular man at that precise moment. The tricky part is learning the true lesson that your soul is trying to teach you.
My friends are amazing, beautiful, loving women. They have been good, supportive partners to the men in their lives. Allow me one little sisterhood moment please…the only fools here are the men who didn’t know how to value real love. I feel sorry for them. The day will come when they realize that the grass wasn’t greener on the other side and that everyone has bad breath in the morning. But it will be too late because they were foolish boys instead of full grown men. They weren’t men enough to end things with honesty and respect. One day, they’ll see the women they lost pass them on a street on the arm of man who understands how to love and they will feel regret. All I can hope is that they become wiser, better people and (dare I hope?) full grown men.
But back to the recordings we carry in our heads. No, loving is never a mistake. The mistake comes only when we don’t listen to our inner voice. Our inner voice is that pesky little sneak that makes us feel nervous and uncomfortable when deep down we know we are being lied to. It’s that nasty little twist in our guts when we know that the man standing before us is not giving us what we deserve. We all have it, we all hear it and sadly, we all often ignore it because we don’t want to be alone or feel as though we have failed. We shut that sucker up because we don’t trust ourselves and the universe to find that which our heart truly deserves.
So I’d like to give my beloved friends some new questions to ask themselves to replace those self-loathing, unfair questions going through their minds today. I’d like them to ask themselves, “What would I want my daughter to learn at this moment if this were happening to her? What would I tell my best friend if she were the one nursing a broken heart? What better life does God have ready for me now?”
Even if they don’t have the answers right now, if they start to ask themselves these questions I know that healing instead of scarring will begin.
So I salute all the wonderful women out there who are brave enough to love. The love you give and have given has made the world better whether you see it or not. Your love is the force of creation and it is sacred. Don’t withhold it just because someone wasn’t strong enough to hold it in his heart.