I would like to think that I have grown a lot, as a person, a friend, a lover and a loved one. Just looking back at the last ten years of my life has made me realise how I have expanded in my journey of personal growth – be it in tolerance, struggle, patience and acceptance. I do believe I am in a better place and as you get older, the feeling is almost necessary as it is wonderful.
There is this quote by my favourite Turkish writer Elif Shafak who said “Every true love and friendship is a story of unexpected transformation. If we are the same person before and after we loved, that means we haven’t loved enough.”
It makes a lot of sense and when I first read it three years ago I was quite struck by the words. I even took some time to process it.
In the journey of self discovery, there is a lot of pain to be felt, and sometimes the pain is self-inflicted. For some of us, the pain is through heartbreak. Heartbreak of a relationship, heartbreak through a loss of a friendship. Even the heartbreak from a death; those who have lost a loved one know the pain is incomparable.
But this pain, I understand, comes from a good place. It came from a place of intense emotion of love or deep concern for a person. When you care for someone, you genuinely shower them with kindness and want to experience a certain happiness together with them. Sometimes you lose them, and your world shatters. But regardless, if you find yourself in a different place after, you know you have transformed. And it’s that transformation that makes the journey worth it. The wisdom forms the process.
When I think back on all the times my heart broke, be it through a failed relationship or loss of a friendship or even just a heartbreak from the complications of this worldly life, I knew there was a reason for all of it. Whatever it was, none of them were true for me.
Through the love and sorrows of this world, I felt my heart open. I felt it expand. And the more it opened, the more goodness came out of it.
As my heart opened, I found myself in the company of people who inspired me to be better, who treated me well and who gave me love worth loving back for. I felt a transformation inside me. I knew this love was true and suddenly I felt immense gratitude.