Thought Catalog Agency

When You’re Ready: How To Find Beauty In Heartbreak

If you felt called to read this article, you are likely in that liminal space between your heartbreak and your healing and are searching for a sign or message that can get you over to the other side. The side where you are at peace with the way a chapter between you and a former lover ended or at peace with what the future holds despite them not being in it. 

As I experience my own ups and downs within my love life, I came to this awful realization recently—that we all play different roles in the game of love at different stages of our lives. One day, we’re the ones breaking someone else’s heart. Another day, our own hearts are broken by the hands of another. One day, we’re not sure about someone, allowing the person across from us to experience their own form of ‘unrequited love.’ Then a few years later, we’re standing across from a close friend of ours, where the comfort level is high and the laughs are effortless, where we think to ourselves, “I’m in love with my best friend,” and then it hits us that they’d never see us like that. And there it is, we’re now firsthand experiencing unrequited love and wondering why it’s as painful as it is and how someone could ever put us through that. We wouldn’t wish it upon anybody, yet we likely activated that feeling in someone else in the past unintentionally. There are moments we unknowingly say things we don’t mean to the people who matter the most to us, and there are moments where we are listening to the words of others and feeling broken by what we’re taking in. 

The moral of that story is this: love, lust, and heartbreak are universal experiences. We all go through it in our own unique and bespoke ways. We all feel in ways that are equally powerful yet absolutely incomparable. We all get our hearts broken and we simultaneously break the hearts of others. That is the truth—and there is no point in wishing away any of the pain and desperation, because by doing so, you’re denying yourself from experiencing the full spectrum of human emotions and sentiments. Love and affection wouldn’t hold as much weight without the heartbreak or lack of attraction to compare it with.

It might sound silly to find beauty in heartbreak—how can such a gut-wrenching, excruciating, traumatic, and tragic emotion whose end is at an unknown time period that we have no control over be beautiful? The pit in your stomach and the heaviness of your heart wouldn’t fall into the spectrum of ‘beautiful’ things in your rational mind. Compared to all of the other things in your life you’d find beautiful, heartbreak is likely not even on the spectrum. But in order to heal and experience peace, we must shift our mindsets. 

Heartbreak is the result of something greater. One day the pain will dissipate, the thought of them will no longer be at the forefront of your mind, and your happiness will be self-made. But the heartbreak you’re feeling and will continue to feel now is proof. It is proof that you allowed yourself to feel the most powerful sensation humanly possible. It is proof that you opened your secret garden and let someone in. That you can be selfless. That you have so much love within you itching to be released. That for the first time (or even if it’s the fifth time), you saw someone for who they are, overlooked their below par traits, admired their entire being, and felt a connection that felt supernatural. So, what does heartbreak teach us and what about it makes it beautiful?

1. It is evidence that you were able to feel a connection as strongly as you did. How rare is it that you met someone where the physical, emotional, and mental chemistry were of equal balance? Not everyone experiences a connection to this depth in their lifetime, so consider yourself one of the lucky ones. Even if it ended, this person allowed you to feel feelings you’ve never felt, hear things you’ve never heard, and see things you’ve never seen. This person opened your mind and heart, and although they might’ve left it open and walked away, you now have the opportunity to explore these untapped territories within and around you. 

2. Heartbreak is a byproduct of similar tropes—a person wouldn’t commit, you wanted different things, they weren’t ready, the timing was just off, the love wasn’t strong enough, it was one-sided or there were too many external forces that overpowered the strength of your relationship. Whatever the case is, you must remember this simple truth—if it’s not this, there will be something better. If you were able to feel this deeply for someone who wasn’t right for you, just imagine how much MORE you can and will feel towards the right person. The conversations will be more electrifying, the physical attachment will be more intense, the emotional bond will be deeper. And it doesn’t end there—if the wrong person only felt a threshold for you that wasn’t meeting your needs yet you still accepted, just imagine the love you will receive from the right person—the person who has no doubts, no confusion, and no fear. It might sound overwhelming, but just imagine what that could feel like.

3. Heartbreak is a mixture of grief, nostalgia and healing. The thing about the grieving period is that you’re not only grieving the person you are no longer with, but you’re also grieving the previous version of you who existed in that relationship. You’re different now than you were back then. Both the grieving and healing phases (both sprinkled with nostalgia), are equally as transformative. You’re shedding layers of yourself that no longer align, and you’re meeting new parts of yourself simultaneously. You’re letting go of a version of you who settled, who accepted the bare minimum, who didn’t follow their hearts, who acted in ways that felt misaligned. But you’re also rebuilding yourself, too. By finding what really lights you up, what self-love means to you, what goals you want to accomplish, what type of person you want to be and what makes you who you are. Reconnecting with the part of you that you might’ve lost. Tapping into things that make you feel alive outside of that person. And so heartbreak is a beautiful experience because it allows us to take a step back, remove what isn’t serving us, rebuild with what is, and move forward towards becoming the most authentic version of ourselves. 

Love and heartbreak are one of the biggest challenges we all face during our lives. Who you choose as your life partner is the biggest decision you will ever make, and meeting the love of your life will be your biggest blessing, but the moments leading up to connecting with your person can be lonely, confusing, and heartbreaking. But that’s the price we pay. 

When you love someone more than you ever thought was possible, trust me when I say it’s a good thing. Even if you’ve parted, loving someone is never a waste. You will always hold a special place in their heart, and they will always hold a special place in yours. You both changed one another, and even if there was hurt or pain involved, being able to love and be loved is always worth it.