How to turn your breakup into a breakthrough: what I learnt from my pain

Earlier this year, I felt like I had finally got everything that I had always wanted. I had found my dream guy, fallen madly in love, and we were making a beautiful home together. Then, before I even knew what was happening, it was all gone.

But you know what? This new life that I’m creating is far better than the one I left behind.

Before, I was living a lie. Now, I’m living my truth.

And I owe every good thing that is happening to me to the pain of my breakup. 

Pain is a signal. Physical pain alerts us to the fact that that something is wrong with our bodies so we can act accordingly. When we hurt ourselves, we don’t ignore it. We don’t run a marathon with a broken leg. We go to the doctor, we rest, and we do what is needed to heal ourselves.

But what about when it’s our hearts or minds that are broken?

Emotional pain is just as much of a signal that something is wrong inside us as physical pain is. It’s there to show us that something needs to change. And if we take the time to really tune in, we can find out what we so deeply need from ourselves.

Ask yourself: if your tears and anxieties had words, what would they be trying to tell you?

For me, my pain was a signal that my soul had been neglected. It forced me to take a long, hard look at myself and the choices that I'd made. During my darkest hours, I felt like my life was ending. But when I started to really pay attention to the lessons, I realised that my life was only just beginning. The wisdom that I gained from my breakup was so powerful that it gave me an entirely new perspective. Here's what I learnt...

Always stay true to yourself. You should never have to pretend to be someone you're not, hide your true feelings, or sacrifice your values just to keep the other person happy. Not only is it exhausting, but you won't be able to keep it up forever. And once you've shown that you tolerate certain behaviour, you can't go back. You have set a precedent that can't be undone.

I spent so long bending over backwards to accommodate my ex's needs that I sacrificed my own and completely lost myself in the process. I became a depressed, needy shell of a person, exhausted and consumed by trying to hold my relationship together. And when the mask eventually fell off, it was too late. If I had really loved myself and stayed true to my values instead of tip-toeing around for fear of being rejected, I would've saved myself a whole lot of heartache.

No matter how hard you try, you can't make a relationship work if you're not with the right person. So don't be afraid of setting boundaries. The right person will love you for who you really are.

Know that you are already complete. Your partner isn’t there to fill a void in your life or fix your problems for you. A relationship should be a bonus in your life, not a necessity. So instead of relying on someone else for your happiness, work on your relationship with yourself, and you'll find that everything you're looking for is already right there inside of you. Never allow your identity and self-worth to become so enmeshed in your relationship that you forget who you are as an individual. You don't need another person's validation to know that you are enough.

When you give too much weight to your external circumstances you're setting yourself up for a lifetime of pain. But if you focus on building a home inside yourself instead of within someone or something else, you won't be left feeling homeless or unanchored when your circumstances inevitably change.

"The root of suffering is attachment." - Buddha

Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Never allow yourself to be so blinded by infatuation that you forget to listen to your gut. Go in to every new relationship with open eyes, pay attention to the red flags, and remember that if you find something you don’t like, it’s probably not going to change. If you can’t accept all of someone, you shouldn’t be with them.

We're all guilty of putting our partners on a pedestal and making excuses for their behaviour. I convinced myself that I could live with my ex's faults even though they were at total odds with my needs and values. I was living in denial, ignorant of my gut-churning anxiety and the many nights I spent sleepless and in turmoil. Now, I can see that this was my body's way of warning me that something was very, very wrong. If only I had listened.

Pleasure doesn't equal happiness. Just because something feels good doesn't mean that it's good for us. Pleasure and lust are fleeting and unsustainable. And, if we spend our lives seeking them out and constantly chasing the next high, we'll only be left feeling empty. Too often we get so caught up in the chemical rush of desire that we mistake it for real love and happiness. But real love is rooted in a deep emotional connection and real happiness doesn't depend on external factors. It comes from within and can be cultivated no matter what our circumstances as we learn to make peace with the present.

Surrender. It's hard to accept that something you invested so much time, emotion and energy into is now gone. But nothing is forever. And, if you let it, this experience will change your life for the better. Just because one chapter of your story is over doesn't mean your life is over. This might not have been part of your plan, but the universe doesn't care about plans.

"It's never the changes we want that change everything." - Junot Diaz

It took me a long time to make peace with the fact that my relationship was over. But it wasn't until I really let go that I started to heal. I'm now grateful that my ex was strong enough to exit a relationship that was no longer serving either of us - because I wasn't. So if someone walks away from you, let them go. If you waste your time holding on to someone who has shown you that they don't want to be with you, you're denying yourself the opportunity to meet someone who does.

It's only natural that you want someone to blame for what happened to you. You probably find yourself blaming your ex, then blaming your yourself, then blaming your ex again. But everything that happened, happened. And obsessing over who's fault it was won't change that. Life is too short to dwell on things that we have no control over and regret is toxic and only keeps us stuck in the past. So forgive your ex and, most importantly, forgive yourself.

"You will find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy." - JoyBell C.

Sending you all so much love x 


  1. Thank you. It feels like u were me.
    Word per word.
    Thank you.

    1. You're welcome! I'm glad you could relate <3