Day 22: Taufan
In our efforts to heal we eventually come to a point where we become reckless in order to give our heart any sort of peace, excitement, or any other feeling other then pain and emptiness that it is scarred with. In doing so, we go down a dark path. I’ve seen people do this many times, and create a chain of broken people. It may or may not work but I promised myself that it isn’t the path to healing that I want to take. If there is one thing heartbreak has taught me, it is that no one deserves it.
In her book, What We Burried Caitlyn Siehl wrote “Do not fall in love with people like me… I will destroy you in the most beautiful way possible. And when I leave you will finally understand, why storms are named after people.” I’ve been through a storm, and I know how it feels to be destroyed by one. To further clarify what Caitlyn meant, I’d like to add that there are two types of people you should be careful with. Firstly, there are the kinds of people who are broken. Second, you should watch out for the kinds of people who do not stand up for themselves. I’ve had the unfortunate experience with both.
When I was in my early twenties, I fell in love with a tough cookie. That’s what she called herself. She loved to fight, she always stood up for herself, she was beautiful and independent, she was self-assured and never seeked validation. She was a thrill to be with. Later I found out that she was heartbroken, and me with my superhero complex thought I could fix her. I thought I could make her forget her past, and that I could take away her sorrows. I tried, and I failed. In doing so I learned that you cannot fix people, they need to fix themselves. They need to love themselves, and do exactly what I was trying to do; to acknowledge the pain and let the pain take its course. Healing takes time, and you are allowed to take all the time you need.
Don’t let anyone in to your life especially if you’re not ready for them. People are not band-aids that you stick to your wounds, and then discard them. Don’t take yourself for a band-aid either, you’ll be setting yourself up for heartbreak. I’ve met heartbroken people string along people who are genuinely in love with them, and take them for granted the same way they were taken for granted. They seek the kind of validation from them that they failed to receive in their past. The only difference is that when someone genuinely does love you, they give you all the attention that you need without expecting it in return. You begin to feel entitled as if you deserve it, and you become exactly the kind of person who broke your heart in the first place. It is very easy to become addicted to that kind of attention, we all want to feel important. But it’s important to remember, you’ve been through the kind of pain that you’re leading someone else towards. It heals, being loved and perhaps it’s empowering not loving them back. But that is not the path to healing that you want to be on. That is not the kind of person you want to become.
So when you find someone who is broken, let them know you’ll wait for them. Perhaps at that time, all they need is a friend. Don’t give them more than they need, because they’re not ready for it. You are not a rebound.
It is equally as important to watch out for someone who cannot stand up for him or herself and take his or her own decisions. One of the most important things in life is to know what you want, and if you don’t, don’t let anyone else decide for you either. It’s okay to be confused, but one day you’ll realize what you want and who you want in your life and you need to be able to stand up for yourself.
The reality is, we do not chose to fall in love. Love happens. You can try your best not to let anyone in to your life, and you try your hardest to fight the feelings away and not acknowledge them. But when you let someone in to your life, and you let yourself go, its wrong to let someone else decide whom you’ll be with for the rest of your life. I come from a Pakistani family, and I’m Muslim as well. I know how culture works, and I know what my religion allows. Culture creates barriers for people who are in love. Culture will not allow one ethnicity to be able to marry another, culture will not allow one skin tone to marry another, culture will not allow you to chose whom you want to be with. Religion on the other hand defines the guidelines to who you can marry, and how. Religion allows you to chose whom you want to be with, and it does not differ between ethnicity, language and skin tone. Often, culture presides when it shouldn’t. Respecting the will of your parents is a beautiful thing, but when it conflicts with the will of God, then you need to stand up for yourself.
I loved someone who couldn’t take her own decision, who couldn’t stand up for herself, who couldn’t fight for us. What good is a war of two when you fight it alone? I lost. I am often offered words of consolation such as, “if she wanted it badly enough, she would have fought for it.” That isn’t always true. Someone who can’t stand up for themselves is not someone you can ever expect to fight alongside you. It is that expectation that will destroy you. Look out for these sings because often these storms come with warnings.