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My Healthiest Decision

November 9, 2010

You still have your engagement ring. It’s tucked away safe, in the box it was purchased in, hidden in case anyone dares break into your apartment on a treasure hunt for valuables.

It’s kind of funny thinking that the piece of jewelry which gauged commitment in the relationship that was over long ago would still be considered a valuable.  That part of your life is over, of course.  But the journey you’ve taken since the break-up is beyond valuable.

You were a different person then. 

All people seem to be aware of this truth – that broken relationships lead to a place of growth, down a weaving path of finding your new self.  Even though you know this, looking back on decisions you made back then leave you with a stunned taste in your mouth – a bitterness that runs deeps from your tongue to your soul.  Words you said, things you believed, emotions you felt almost always seem a world away from the place you find yourself in now. 

When you look back at the time you spent with the ring sparkling proudly on your left hand, you see now that it wasn’t screaming “I’m in love” as much as it was whispering, secretly ashamed, “I am wanted. For whatever reason. And that is enough for me.”  In hindsight, you see that was wrong; that it wasn’t enough.

You remember the conversations you had with him that led to your saying it was all okay.  You always said it was okay.  Even when it wasn’t okay. You apologized for actions that were his, not yours.  You let yourself believe that as long as you took the blame, as long as you complied with whatever was going on, that he wouldn’t leave, that you would be safe, that you wouldn’t be alone, and that it would be enough for you. 

You were wrong then. 

You were wrong when you believed that if you didn’t try everything you could to make it work, there would never be anyone for you. 

You were wrong when you thought that he was made for you and that this was all a test, something to get through to prove you should be together. 

You were wrong when you thought that he was better than you – more worthy than you, more attractive than you, more desirable than you by friends and people you ministered with, more of everything that you could ever be to the point that you felt that because he was settling on you, you could never let go. 

You were wrong to not see your own worth, disguising the fact that staying with him was draining the very best parts of you into a pool of nothingness, leaving your encouragement, your kindness, your optimism, your creativity, your desire, and your drive left only to evaporate.

You were wrong when you believed that he valued you enough to be faithful, to be honest, and to be true.

Letting the memories flood to your mind, recalling the lies, and the falseness.  The days that you defended him, his actions, and his lack of respect for you, even for months after he said it was over.  It’s different now, you tell yourself.  It’s different because he doesn’t have that control.  It’s different because you aren’t allowing him that control.  You make decisions for yourself and stand tall in those decisions, even when they are mistakes, and even when they are not popular.

You live your life for you, and not as an extension of him. It’s a new feeling to do so, because for so long, you weren’t known as you, you were known as his.  His partner, his girlfriend, his fiancé, his soon-to-be-wife.  So long, in fact, that even after you removed the ring and sent the dress away, you allowed yourself to be known as his ex. Now you know the truth; you are so much more than his ex.

You know your life is yours to be lived.  Left hand empty, ring in the box. 
You know you’ve found joy in your decision to not be friends, your step in refusing him access.  Guarding your heart, for it’s the wellspring of life.  This was perhaps the healthiest decision you made all year.  Healthier than vegetables, weight loss, running, or getting 8 hours of sleep. 

You know you’ll never stop caring for him.  It’s your nature. Never again, however, will you put caring for yourself on the back burner.  Never again will you disregard your worth.  Never again will you stand for that mistreatment to the point that you believe it to be treatment. 

 You are selfish in the most beautiful way.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. November 9, 2010 6:54 pm


    • November 10, 2010 8:54 am

      Side note: I noticed here you still have your ring. I know this is a very personal topic, but have you thought about selling it?
      I just did that this summer, and it was both the greatest and worst feeling I had felt in some time. It was freeing, the last remnant was finally gone, but at the same time…*shudder*

      Once again, from one person who has been there to another: *HUG*

  2. November 9, 2010 7:15 pm

    Being selfish to be you isn’t selfish at all. It is healthy!!!

  3. November 9, 2010 7:28 pm

    I don’t think you’re selfish, you’ve got it together in the most unapologetic way. Good for you!
    I’ve been there. I’ve lost someone I thought I was going to marry. I felt sadder than I had ever felt before, deeper than I thought I had in me.
    But, I got through it. And you will too. I mean, you did too 🙂
    I ❤ you.

  4. November 9, 2010 7:31 pm

    Is is it selfish if you deserve all of this self-love, self-respect, and self-worth? I think not :).

    You truly are an incredible person and an inspiration to women everywhere. I hope you know that. Sending thoughts and love your way!

  5. November 9, 2010 7:55 pm

    Oh geez….I just wrote a little novella comment but then it didn’t go through. Booo…..I can’t even remember everything that I wrote now… 😦

    Heather, I am so proud of you. I feel confident by ending your engagement and enduring the heartache that came with that, you have saved yourself a lifetime of much more heartache. Even though I haven’t known you this whole time, I am so proud of the healthy decisions that you have made in your life – even when they were hard. While you are being refined physically I am sure that you are also being refined emotionally, spiritually and mentally. I wish continued good things for you, my friend.

  6. November 9, 2010 8:09 pm

    Wow, thanks for sharing that Heather. That’s so tough to go through! Glad you are where you are at this point in your life. Love your blog 🙂

  7. November 9, 2010 8:42 pm

    What a powerful and honest post. It takes guts to be so open and so many women have gone through the same web of emotions. But it’s true, you need to be the best for yourself. Love starts there!!

  8. November 9, 2010 8:43 pm


    Thank you so much for sharing.

  9. November 9, 2010 9:22 pm

    This is a beautiful and powerful post. I admire where you are in your life and I know that I can definitely learn from what you have written.

  10. November 9, 2010 9:59 pm

    Beautiful post, Heather. Absolutely amazing.

  11. Corey - The Runner's Cookie permalink
    November 10, 2010 7:51 am

    So beautifully written – I think the journey you’ve taken is remarkable and you should be proud for knowing what you deserve and being true to who you are.
    I so enjoy reading your writing and your stories – it reminds me I’m not alone in still figuring things out and making mistakes and learning from them.

  12. November 10, 2010 9:29 am

    Simply amazing. Thank you for sharing this.

  13. lowandbhold permalink
    November 10, 2010 10:43 am

    Oh wow. It’s like you were writing my words along with your own. So beautiful. I still have my ring too and I feel so many similar things about my situation. Thank you for this.

  14. Nichole permalink
    November 10, 2010 2:19 pm

    Thank you. I needed to read these words today. I can face being alone.

  15. November 10, 2010 7:10 pm

    v. v. healthy decision.

    love you!

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