In the wake of my first dramatic breakup (seventh grade), my mother pulled me into a hug and said, “There are plenty more fish in the sea.” A token mother response (that I promptly disregarded) I now know the importance of that phrase.
When you’re in the thick of your pain, your loss, or your heartache, you convince yourself that you’re the only person in the world who feels the way you do. Try as others might to bring you back to yourself, you entangle yourself in lies, tie your stomach in knots. There’s no one who will love you like that person did, no one who will take the place of the loved one you lost, no redemption for the tragic event that changed everything.
Whether you’re twelve, or seventy-five, you get lost in your pain and make a home there.
But just as my mother reminded me when I was young about the potential I had to find real love, so are there countless opportunities for your life to turn around. It’s hard to see the positive when you’re buried; it’s hard to believe that the tides will shift in your favor. But they will.
There are far better things in this life than you realize, or see in front of you right now. Sometimes you just have to trust and let go.
It’s easy to look back and laugh at my seventh grade self, tears running down my cheeks over a boy who would never amount to anything more than a young and silly crush. It’s easy to smile at the mistakes you had when you were younger, to know, with the passing of time, that you’ll easily pull through.
When you’re in the heart of the pain, though, it’s like you’re drowning. You can’t see the surface because you’re being held down by grief, by doubt, by fear.
I wish there was an easy way to remind ourselves that life is more than the times that try to break us, more than the days we almost quit. There will be an infinite number of difficult moments in this life, but matched with joys that take our breath away in just how beautiful they are.
I wish we could show one another, somehow, that it gets better. That when we say ‘you’ll be okay’ to someone it doesn’t sound like a dismissal of their pain, but a promise of hope.
I wish, when I look at my friend, I could tell her that she is more than a body—worth more than the nights she gives herself away to arms that will never love her. Or that when I look at the man standing next to me on the subway train juggling two twin infants, I could tell him that he’s doing a great job. There are countless people in an infinite number of situations that I just want to grab and hug right now—everything will be okay, everything will turn around.
Each of us has a little bit of brokenness within our souls, but we’re fighting, we’re surviving, we’re getting through.
There are better moments to come on the other side of your pain. Healing in places you won’t expect, and strength already written into the marrow of your bones. At the end of the day, there are both lessons and blessings. And for the ones forging through heartbreak—there are plenty more fish in the sea.
Featured Image Credit: Luve Christian