I already know what you’re expecting, but allow me to dispel your fears: I’m not here to bash my ex. A break up is hard. There’s no two ways about it. When you think you’re going to spend the rest of your life with someone and then things don’t work out, it’s not easy.

No matter what happened between us, I still have so much respect and love in my heart for him. Partially because the relationship taught me a lot, but even more so because of everything our break up taught me.

1. I learned that my mom is always right.

The line “my momma don’t like you, and she likes everyone” is all too applicable here. My mom loved my ex, until she saw some character traits in him she didn’t love so much. I ignored her warnings, but after the break up I realized how much heartache I would’ve saved myself if I had just listened to her 6 months before and ended it. Long story short, momma really does know best.

2. It helped me find my voice.

After a year and a half of being with someone, my opinions because more of a “we” and less of a “me.” Being single again, I’ve learned how to be a “me” and instead of referring to another person’s opinion on uncomfortable or sticky situations, I know how to handle them with at least a little more poise.

3. I realized what I deserve in a future relationship.

Every relationship teaches you something valuable. My past break up taught me that you never have to settle. This break up taught me that I deserve to be a priority in someone’s life. Not only that, but that I’m better than someone who leaves. I deserve someone who will pursue my heart for the entirety of our relationship, even when it’s hard.

4. I learned how to put myself and my family first.

I started working out regularly, doing my bible study, and spending time with people who see value in me. I’ve never spent more time with my parents at the dinner table or with my cousins hunting Pokemon than I did after my break up. Let me tell you, I wouldn’t trade a single one of those precious seconds for anything in the world.

5. It taught me to be okay with silence.

Anyone who knows me knows I hate being alone, and I love to talk, so silence is often the enemy. My break up made me value being alone. It made me thankful for silent moments where I could reflect on how beautiful life is.

6. I learned to trust God has a plan that is greater.

Trusting God isn’t always easy, and it’s sometimes hard to see the good through so much bad. But, God was faithful to me through my break up. He brought the right scripture, songs, and people at the perfect moment to keep me going. For that, I am thankful.

7. My phone is no longer my most important accessory.

Any millennial knows that if you’re in a relationship your phone stays attached to you at all times in case your significant other needs to get ahold of you. Now, instead of constantly worrying about if he’s texting me, I can take time to actually live in the moment, and enjoy the people around me.

8. I get to focus on my goals.

Instead of having to wonder how my choices and goals will affect another person, I can unapologetically chase my dreams. Don’t get me wrong, at the time I was more than happy to be a “we,” but being able to pursue what sets my soul on fire without feeling like I’m hindering someone else definitely has it’s perks.

9. I took chances.

Anyone who has been through a break up will tell you that you have to focus your time and energy on things other than mourning the loss, and that’s what I did. I signed up for 21 credit hours, went on tours of law schools, and applied to join the FFL team. The break up made me adventurous. It made me brave. It made me bold. It made me believe in myself.

10. I learned how to see both sides, and make a change.

When someone breaks your heart, it’s so easy to try to hate them. Instead, I stood in his place and saw the relationship from his perspective. I saw what I did wrong, how I let him down, where I could improve for the future. Instead of being bitter, I wanted to get better, for myself and for the next person I would love.

11. I understand the importance of forgiveness.

Forgiving someone who promised you forever and walked out isn’t easy, but it’s crucial. Anger is like swallowing poison and expecting it to kill the other person. So, I had to forgive. I had to see his side, and be willing to say “it’s not easy, but I forgive you.” I also had to ask for forgiveness in the places I had let him down. It took a healthy dose of humility to say “I was wrong” but forgiving and asking for forgiveness is so important for healing.

12. I learned that a lost love doesn’t mean your time was wasted.

After a year and a half some people might be tempted to say that I wasted my time with my ex. I disagree. I gained memories that will last me a lifetime. I learned so much about myself, and about another person that I will treasure forever. I learned how to love someone through good times and bad. I became a better version of myself.

13. Most importantly, my break up taught me that love is worth fighting for.

It might not always be easy, but when you love someone, waking up every single day and picking them is worth it. Even if one day they wake up and don’t pick you, it’s still worth it. Learning to love someone completely is worth it. Love is worth it. It’s worth it because “the greatest of these is love” and “we love because He first loved us”.

Some people let break ups make them bitter, I choose to let mine make me better, and I hope you will too. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t easy, but loving and losing helps you grow. It helps you see the world and yourself in new ways. It makes you appreciate what you had and what you have. Most luckily, love and loss gives you the opportunity to love again: the most beautiful (and important) thing you can do.

Corrie L
FFL Cabinet Member
Corrie is a Cabinet Member at FFL. She is passionate about coffee, Jesus, and lipstick, and never wears white after Labor Day. If she isn't busy talking about law school or FFL, you can find her studying constitutional law or reviewing a contract. Her plan A is Super Mom turned Supreme Court Justice, and she hopes to one day be just like Sandra Day O"Connor.

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