In the 13th century, the Persian poet Rumi wrote that “The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
More than 800 years later, it continues to remind us why a broken heart can be a stepping stone toward a love that makes us feel whole and bright and hopeful.
This isn’t to say that love can’t hurt. Love can be extremely painful. Few things feel worse than giving your whole heart to someone, only to find that that person can’t give you even part of his.
We become so lost in love that we ignore the warning signs of disaster, only to be shattered into countless pieces when it all falls apart.
This happens to the best of us. For the sake of love, we make the mistake of choosing a person who isn’t a good fit for us.
We do it because we have so much to give, but we haven’t learned the lessons that will make us ready for that forever person.
The most valuable lessons are almost always the most painful, and the lessons we learn from love gone wrong can be the most painful of all.
So maybe those mistakes we make aren’t really mistakes. Maybe they are the only way we can learn how we love, why we hurt, and who is good or bad for us.
If that really is how it works, then maybe that mistake – that difficulty letting go, that seemingly irrational desire to stay in a toxic relationship – isn’t a mistake at all. It’s the natural course of things.
It’s the way we know something is good because we’ve seen it go bad. We’ve been through the process of trying our hardest to make a wrong thing right, so we know the difference when it’s really right.
Of course, knowing all of this doesn’t make it easy. Healing is a long process that takes all of the energy and determination that we can muster.
It’s a decision that we make over and over again to let go and let what doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger.
And it does make us stronger. It takes a lot of strength to understand that we can love someone but still get up and leave, because we are destined for something better.
And it takes courage to choose to heal because that truly right person deserves us at our best.
It’s a long road, but at the end of it is a real love that is relaxed, reassuring, and drama-free. It shows us why we went through all of those difficult time and loved all of those wrong people.
All of that, as painful as it was at the time, made up the path we had to tread. It led us to that deep love that does the opposite of causing pain – it brings out the best in us.