The Art of Healing a Heart

My dear reader, Happiness is meant to be experienced; sadness is meant to be written, and read. Maybe it's my inner Russian cynic or hopeless romantic, but I find it dauntingly difficult to write when I'm happy. There is something about defining happy feelings into words, that seems like defying happiness in itself. In most cases, I would reserve writing to my moments of despair. Filling up notebooks with my fears, sharing my sorrows on Instagram stories, or scrabbling my sadness on the notes app; misery truly loves (written) company. The sole fact of knowing I could express my emotions on (digital) paper made me feel like they were valid, and that my experiences were valid too. Or even more so, that me, existing as an emotive human being in this often inherently inexplicable world, was valid. However, when life would hit me so hard, my heart would feel like it was bleeding out, and the tears would start rolling down my cheeks while I type away on this keyboard, my writing would become truly transformative. A form of therapy, where I was both the patient and the therapist. The storyteller and the listener. The writer, and the audience. And in those moments, my writing would be more interesting to read for you, my dearest reader, if I can say so myself. So when life would knock me down, I found solace in being able to translate my emotions into meaningful phrases, others can relate to or learn from. That is why I am here today, on this blog I haven't posted on in a long time. To find some solace, after life has torn out my heart.

"As the narrator of my own story, I can now say that in retrospect, this would have been the moment to part ways. It's a peculiar feeling, looking back at your life and realizing that your love life was a war zone filled with red flags, yet you were too blinded by his empty promises, meaningless words, and manipulative behavior to notice."

I knew from the start that 2021 would not be an easy year for me. After finding love in the city that is known for being impossible to find love in, I thought I had a part of my life figured out. It felt as if I checked off a major task on my never-ending to-do list. And boy, do I love to-do lists. However, finding love does not mean that it is the love you want, the love you deserve, or even more importantly, the love you need. When I would dream about what kind of relationship I wanted, I would imagine a couple that worked together as a team. Lifting each other up, pushing each other further, and helping achieve each other's dreams and aspirations; that was the type of love I wanted in life. However, I never thought that realizing this dream would mean I had to accept a long-distance, military relationship in order to be the supportive partner I ought to be. I did not want that life for me, but I also knew I was in love. And love would always win in the end, right?

As the narrator of my own story, I can now say that in retrospect, this would have been the moment to part ways. It's a peculiar feeling, looking back at your life and realizing that your love life was a war zone filled with red flags, yet you were too blinded by his empty promises, meaningless words, and manipulative behavior to notice. I didn't realize it at the time, but we both wanted different things, were in separate chapters of our journey, and would therefore struggle walking the path of life, side by side. I should have let go. Instead, I decided to hold on even stronger, and overcompensate the love I needed but was not given. Being a supportive partner is in my relationship book a must, and that also meant that I would not quit when times were hard. My resilience and dedication have always been defining characteristics of my personality I was proud of, but sometimes they would lead me to make the wrong decisions. I am not a stranger to holding onto things or people, even if they did not serve me anymore. I found myself holding on to this relationship, and trying to find acceptance with the situation I was in. I agreed to wait almost five months on somebody who I only knew for half a year. I was so focused on being the best person I could be for my significant other, I failed to notice that this mentality was not reciprocated. I thought that if I would put in the work, my partner would do the same. I thought we were on the same page. But we weren't. He cultivated a persona I fell in love with, but the real him stayed a mystery.

The five months of being apart were hard, for both of us. Neither of us has ever been in a long-distance relationship before, let alone in a long-distance relationship while in the military, during a pandemic, in a place both new to us. Some of my dear readers might think like I'm exaggerating - 5 months apart, is not thát long right? Considering the fact that I have been apart from my family for almost two years, aren't I already used to this? Even though I understand these sentiments, when it comes to distance, I believe in two rules:

  1. Goodbyes never get easier. On the contrary, saying farewell to your loved ones seems to get harder the more often you do it.
  2. Being apart from the people you love is not like a muscle you can train to avoid feeling the pain. Some moments the pain is bearable, other moments like this one right now, you want to book the first flight back home to Amsterdam.

Having my significant other far away from me was that last drop that made my bucket of long-distance relations overflow. I felt so isolated from my support system, that these months seem impossible to overcome aloneIn addition, we did not leave things great when he left. He expressed his doubts about loving me one month before his departure. However, he came back to me and said he made the worst mistake of his life letting me go. I gave in, and I gladly forgave him. I assumed he was under a lot of stress and this wasn't the "real him". It's ironic to realize that the moment of him questioning his love for me, was one of the only times he did not try to avoid confrontation or people please me, and spoke his true feelings. I wish I would have known this at the time, but these are only sentiments I hold in hindsight. I agreed to wait on him, because I thought everything would get better when he would come back home. But for some reason, throughout the waiting time, I carried a perpetual sense of saying goodbye with me, but I didn't know to what, or rather who. Now I know that this was my intuition preparing me for what was coming.

After waiting for him for almost 5 months, he left after 2 weeks of being back. There were no warning signs from his side. He told me all the beautiful lies every person wants to hear from the one they love. We talked about moving in together, our travel plans, how our future would look like... Our one year of love disappeared after a brief conversation. Two hours later he was packed and disappeared too. I have not seen nor talked to him ever since.

"When it comes to distance, I believe in two rules:

1. Goodbyes never get easier. On the contrary, saying farewell to your loved ones seems to get harder the more often you do it.

2. Being apart from the people you love is not like a muscle you can train to avoid feeling the pain. Some moments the pain is bearable, other moments like this one right now, you want to book the first flight back home to Amsterdam."

 

 

 

"Aside from writing as a form of therapy, it can serve another purpose: it's a time capsule for our experiences, as well as a reminder of the tough lessons learned."

Aside from writing as a form of therapy, it can serve another purpose: it's a time capsule for our experiences, as well as a reminder of the tough lessons learned. Before writing this, I revisited my blogpost about my pathological liar ex-boyfriend, and reading this particular part felt like a sting:

"How could he do something like that, especially because it would probably be our last week together? Not only did this make me feel sad, but I also thought it was unjust. And if there's one thing that triggers a libra, it's injustice. I started thinking about all the things I had put up with, just because I wanted to be a 'chill girlfriend'. Maybe I wasn't meant to be a chill girlfriend, or maybe he wasn't boyfriend material, to begin with. The only thing that I was certain of, was that I didn't do anything so wrong, to deserve being mistreated like that. And although I understand that stories and feelings are always subjective, it can never be an excuse to treat a person so disrespectfully. Except for a casual 'happy birthday' text on my birthday, I never heard from him again. Just imagine being in a relationship, and then never hearing anything again from the person you love. It still amazes me how someone could treat their own girlfriend like that, being a grown human being."

When I read this, I felt like I wrote this for my current breakup. At first, it made me embarrassed and ashamed. After everything I've been through, I allowed another dishonest person to enter my life. Obviously, this was not as crazy of an experience, but there were similarities. Don't you ever learn, Lilia? Why do you keep choosing these men that do not deserve you? But then I realized, yes Lilia, you are so right. These men do not deserve you. And it is time to stop settling for less, for men that make you feel like you are too much, and you should be less. Because the truth is, they are just not enough.

I finally arrived at the moment of the story when both me as the narrator and the listener become one. Even though my wounds are still fresh, and my heart aches from the lies, I have come to understand that this breakup is one of the best things that happened to me. To be quite frank, I have felt miserable and in pain the majority of this year. It took a breakup for me to realize I haven't been happy in this relationship for a long time. When he returned my spare key, and drove away without looking back, it felt unfair. But after taking some time to process, and talking to my friends and family, I started noticing all the red flags and toxic manipulation I went through. And then it clicked. I am truly, sincerely, better off without him. I've always longed to feel loved, but if this is what being loved means, I did not care for it anymore. I was supposed to be his little girl, his baby, but then he left. Now I am a woman larger than life, and I will never make myself small for any man again. This instilled an incredible sense of freedom and relief inside me. I realized I do not have to worry about anyone else anymore, except for myself. I do not have to feel undervalued and unappreciated anymore. I have no sacrifices or compromises to make in order to be loved. All the love that I gave away, I can give to somebody who will appreciate it - me. The void I feel inside can be filled with my own self love. For the first time in my life, I stopped seeking external love and validation, and realized that all I ever longed for was already inside me. And it was in that moment, I discovered the art of healing a heart.

xo Lilia

P.S.Want to know more? Watch my Dating Storytime video about what's really been going on and how I've healed my heart.

P.P.S. Curious about my previous love story I referred to? Read about my experience with a compulsive liar here.

17 Comments

  1. October 1, 2021 / 07:41

    Stay strong Lilia ❤ I get you, we all love you. And sadly I think that’s a karmic cycle that you have gone through. ❤❤❤

  2. CurlyhairedVeggie (Faith)
    October 1, 2021 / 07:51

    The tears, the heartbreak I felt… You are right, you didn’t deserve this. You deserved the truth from the absolute start. You deserve someone who could love you for your authentic self and not what they want you to be.

    Sending MY love and My light. Wrap it around you like a big hug

    • Lilia
      Author
      October 1, 2021 / 08:52

      Aw thank you so much beautiful for your kind words. Reading it felt like a true big hug indeed <3
      Lilia recently posted…The Art of Healing a Heart

  3. October 1, 2021 / 08:18

    These lessons are some of the hardest. Stay strong my Libra sister – I believe your blessings are around the corner. It is unfortunate how so many men treat women. You’re right though, focus on your self care & self love. I can really relate to this – that blog was very well written.

    • Lilia
      Author
      October 1, 2021 / 08:52

      Thank you libra sis Kayla! Means a lot to me, and really appreciate your thoughtfulness & compliments! <3
      Lilia recently posted…The Art of Healing a Heart

  4. Abbie
    October 1, 2021 / 09:45

    Stay strong Lilia I hope u will be ok

  5. Ele
    October 1, 2021 / 15:40

    Lilia, I’m so sorry you have been through a hard time and thank you for graciously sharing with us. You are a brilliant writer. I was so happy to read the last part of the post about your acceptance of the amazing woman you are and refusing to settle to anything beneath you. Yes! You deserve the world. Much love, Ele.

  6. October 2, 2021 / 15:04

    Its crazy how connect with you on your words.(thats why ive been following for 4 years)
    I felt everything you said.. i notice that a lot of men are afraid of strong, indépendante, successful and complete women like us, like you said they are not enough. Never stop being who we are. Shine Girl your Light will illuminate the right ones.

    Love
    – Jessica

  7. Lara
    October 2, 2021 / 22:41

    Dear Lilia,
    listening and reading I feel like reflecting many of the feelings I used to have in the past. All toxic behaviour aside, in long-term relationships, there are many times where you are not on the same page – one has a dream and the other is supporting it at the time. What is important, is that you reciprocate. Indeed, sacrifice at such an early time is hard and probably unnecessary. It might need more time to say, I am second for a while and then I feel come first again. But look at it like this, you were both alone during a hard time and you supported each other through that. Indeed, when we are looking, we hope that someone that we find is THE ONE. And I love your new message, of taking care of yourself. Wishing you all the best!

  8. Hana
    October 5, 2021 / 19:04

    thank you so much for this.. I could relate with everything you said I’m going thru the same thing rn and him leaving me without a proper explanation really broke me and made me feel so insecure. but everything happens for a reason and I believe God has better plans for us. stay strong <3

  9. Aline
    October 10, 2021 / 02:17

    I’m so sorry for you! I’ve been following you (silently, thoug) for years and seeing how strong, beautiful, smart and literate you are, I thought you deserve Love with a capital L, but apparently is was not the time for it…
    I can understand why you say that this relationship seemed so close to the other disastrous one that you knew a few years back: you are probably too nice, and give too much of yourself to your partner, and this sort of guy seems to have a sort of “radar” that will allow them to find the perfect girl for them, the one who will give everything to them while not receiving anything in exchange. So please, do not blame yourself, blame them! Stay as you are, authentic, kind and true to yourself. Don’t see finding love as a “to-do” on your list: it will come your way when the perfect person for you is there.
    Good luck and thank you for the inspiration you give us everyday!

  10. Dominika
    October 13, 2021 / 05:02

    Dear Lilia,
    I’ve seen the video, I’ve read the article. I am really sorry for you and what you’ve been through. Even though I have to say you are incredibly inspiring in how strong you are. I admire your attitude towards the whole situation. I am also soryy because I firmly believe – as a stranger who only sees you and your life through your videos, blog and instagram posts – that you deserve all the happiness of the world and I honestly wish it for you. That is why I believe that this is what was meant to be for you to find the truest love.
    I wish you all the best, honey! ♥
    Dominika

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