I remarked the other day to some of my friends that we had to take a moment and toast all the men who had walked into our lives, walked all over us, trampled upon our hearts and then walked out on us.
I said each one of them had forced us to seek solace in our work, in the dreams we pursued and in the aspirations that we once might have chosen to forfeit.
If you’ve ever had someone rip out your heart, tear out your guts, shred your confidence and make you feel like you were walking around with excrement stuffed in your bra – then you are a good candidate for dream chasing.
Dream chasers are people whose dreams are better than the reality of their lives.
The harder your life is, the more susceptible you are to being a dreamer – fantasizing about how your life could be different and what you could do to make it so.
And sometimes we have idyllic childhoods, perfect family backgrounds and wonderful educational opportunities but then we end up falling in love with the wrong person.
And the wrong person is not necessarily some heartless devil but sometimes it is someone who is too selfish to give you up even when they know they cannot reciprocate the love you feel for them.
Someone once said that we are never as defenceless against suffering as when we love.
When you love someone you can’t defend yourself from them – you are entirely at their mercy. The tragedy is that too many people have little mercy to spare.
Show some mercy.
We often can’t help who we love and oftentimes it is hard to even explain why we love that particular person when there are perhaps other ‘better’ candidates who want to avail themselves to us.
The most fragile person is a person who’s in love and the strongest person alive is the person who’s loved – who holds in their palm the precious heart of another.
And the most dangerous person in the world is the one who knows they are loved but doesn’t give a damn about it.
When we love we are defenceless against suffering at the hands of the person upon whom we have bestowed our affections.
And one of the coping mechanisms of broken-hearted people, is to redirect their focus to other things that they have some semblance of control over – things they can exert their will upon.
Confronted with the merciless pain inflicted by someone that doesn’t love you anymore or that never loved you at all and finding yourself incapable of extricating your heart from them – you pour yourself into something else that can distract you.
And for some of the women I know, and myself as well – career and school and our talents and our ambitions and our dreams have afforded us the opportunity to rise again and move past the hurts we’ve suffered.
Career advancement, academic triumph, opportunities to travel and exploit our potential and talents may not undo the damage caused but they have inevitably made the pain count for something.
If indeed we had to suffer, then at least the product of that suffering should become something that will matter to us long after our wounds have healed.
So I said to some of my friends – as they celebrated the attainment of new milestones in their careers, in their academic pursuits and in opportunities to travel and explore the world – let’s pause and drink to the men whose cruelties pushed us to our limits, forced us out of our comfort zones and brought us face to face with our own raw potential.
Let’s say an ode to those who broke us because in picking up the pieces – we were able to build something meaningful out of the emotional devastation of loving the wrong person at the wrong time for the wrong reasons.