If you feel as though you cannot move on from the past, as though everything good is behind you, and as though you cannot understand why you lost what you did, there’s one reason, and one reason only.

Good relationships don’t end in the first place.

Read that again, and then a thousand more times.

I don’t care how absolutely perfect for one another you were. I don’t care how many promises were given, how many intimate secrets shared, how much time you spent together, how much you trusted that person.

If your relationship was everything you think it was, it wouldn’t have ended in the first place.

People do not walk away from good relationships.

They walk away when something is not quite right. They walk away when they sense that they are mismatched. They walk away when the negative starts to overpower the positive. They walk away when something else seems as though it would serve them better.

I know this is hard to read, but it’s harder not to.

In the wake of loss, our minds play a dirty little trick on us in that they completely block out all of the bad parts of the relationship so that we have no hesitation in wanting it back. In that moment, our bodies and hearts are just yearning for that comfort, that safety, that certainty and that intimacy.

What we are forgetting is all the late-night fights.

What we are forgetting is all those moments we sat back and thought: “Is this really it for me?”

What we are forgetting is that deep, little voice inside you that kept telling you that this wasn’t it, no matter how hard you tried to ignore it.

When we lose a relationship, it isn’t because the “best thing that ever happened to us” is being taken from us. It’s because it wasn’t the best thing that ever happened to us, even if we can’t see it that way just yet.

And if it really was? Well, then it will return.

But that’s not the point here.

The point is that romanticizing the past is not helping you, not in the least. The point is that you are just as much mourning the loss of a person as you are the loss of security. You have to let go of the idea you had about what your future would be. You have to embrace uncertainty. You have to learn to metabolize intense discomfort, learn to steady yourself after heartbreak.

These are big, monumental feats.

They require grit, grace, and a lot of perseverance.

And for most of us, it seems much more preferable to not do them at all.

Except we have to — this is often how we become who we were meant to be. Not when we spend time in the aftermath of a breakup just scheming on how we could piece it all back together, but imagining what opportunity we may have been given now that we have our lives back, we have our futures back, we were given a second chance.

What you lose is not a loss.

It is the world reminding you that there is something else out there, even if you can’t see it yet.

It is your life reminding you that sometimes, what is “taken” from us is really what we need to be removed. Sometimes, what breaks our hearts actually clears our paths.

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