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My Waiting To Exhale Moment

11

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Have you ever believed you’ve loved someone more than you’ve loved yourself? If so, then this one’s for you.

I was tired. I mean tired… TIRED. I was emotionally, mentally and physically drained from a relationship I’d given all of myself to. More than I’d given to me. More than I’d given to anybody.

I was young and naive; looking at the glass half full in many of life’s scenarios and wanted to keep an optimistic viewpoint of the world. I didn’t want to allow heartache to make me jaded. I didn’t want life’s disappointments to make me complacent; being of the world instead of above it. But here’s the truth. I was stupid. THE END.

It was nearly seven years in the making. We were childhood sweethearts, school mates and he became my first love. They say the first cut is the deepest, and man, are they right!

I don’t know if I couldn’t see the signs or didn’t want to. By the time I’d realized I needed to let him go, a long time ago, he was a smooth talking, high school drop out, pot head, lacking ambition, delusional liar and an insecure iota of man.

At this point I was a sophomore in college. I’d always done pretty well in school, was self-motivated, and wanted to conquer the world with everything love, peace, righteousness and justice! Clearly he was holding me back.

We’d gotten back together for the ump-tenth time and he was now a father. A child he fathered while we were on “a break”. And because I couldn’t dispute these claims (I couldn’t prove he cheated), I’d decided it was best to drop it. For 9 months things were back to normal as we knew it. I was smitten, he was a jerk and no matter how hard I tried I just couldn’t let it go. One day he came to me explaining that this wasn’t a relationship he could continue to be in because he wasn’t good enough for me.

*note:* Ladies, when a man tells you the truth you must LISTEN!

He was right, he wasn’t, but I’d spent my entire teens and early adulthood with this person.  I had overcome so much already and accepted him back (again) after having a child with another woman (something I said I’d never do). I mean, everything, to lying, cheating, manipulating, disrespecting, conniving and then some. I took it all in the name of “I love my man”. I felt disposable. I was now the second woman in his life next to his daughter and although I was not angry at the child I was angry at the entire situation. F%*K! My heart were ripped into pieces. It felt like someone took a knife, pierced my heart then began twisting and reeling it in to ensure any beat that was left would be gone. And, his latest declaration of trying to do right by me didn’t dissuade me of giving up on the relationship.

I kept close contact in hopes that the relationship would be salvaged. He played the disappearing act and ignored many of  my attempts to call. I felt further dismissed, used and abused. In “I love my man” state, somehow, I forgot to ask myself did “my man” love me? I mean, really love me. Not what he says he feels but how he makes me feel. How he treats me. I think I should reiterate that point for the women who are reading, “Not what he says he feels but how he makes me feel. The way he treats me.” Did you get that? No, really get that? Ladies, talk is cheap. The sooner you learn that the better!

Anyway, in the wake of my depression from my most recent heartbreak, I found myself commuting to class one morning and suddenly an epiphany! It just hit me. My heart stopped interfering with my emotions long enough for my mind to work. It said, ‘let it go’. And just like that it was gone. I was sitting on a crowded bus with tears streaming down my face, stifling my moans, hoping no one was witnessing my meltdown and I suddenly exhaled. Just like Angela Basset’s character did in “Waiting To Exhale”, I let go.

To my surprise, it was that easy. I use to think the hardest part about breaking up is, not wiping the person out of your life physically, but erasing the emotional scares. Freeing yourself from the emotional connection, the memories, and the years spent loving.

Don’t get me wrong, it was very difficult. And, there were times I’d gotten lonely, depressed, needy and wanted to feel needed. But, it is only difficult if you allow it. The moment you realize you no longer need this person in your life and finally admit to yourself that they are toxic, the easier it will be to let go.

I’d spent a year single, although not happily, for the first time in my life I was dating. During this period I learned a lot about myself, what I wanted and what I did not. All the things I’d never put up with again from any man or any one.

Just as I’d started doing quite well, Mr. Smooth-talking, cheater and manipulator called me out the blue one day. The call took me by surprise, and so, I answered. He tried sparking a conversation and I rejected any advances to re-enter my life. My brashness caught him by surprise, so much so, he was left speechless and that was the last time I’d ever spoken to him again.

Around the same time, as if the God’s either felt pity on me or thought I was deserving, I met a great man I’ve since been in a very loving, healthy and committed relationship with. That was 6 years ago. I’d apparently used what I’d learn from my past experience, applied that knowledge and was ready for someone good to enter my life.

I think my epiphany moment was long in the making, hence, the ease in letting go. I hadn’t realized my own strength. It’s pretty sad to think it took me loving someone more than I’d loved myself to realize that.

You won’t die, your world won’t crumble. You’ll find a way, like most hardships in life, to pick up the pieces and move on. Your very existence isn’t based on him/she being there.  You’ll be, you’re, alright by yourself. You should know that.

You should never, and I mean NEVER, love anyone more than you love yourself. You should never go above and beyond for a person who wouldn’t do the same for you. Furthermore, you should NEVER do anything for anyone you wouldn’t even do for yourself.

I look back now and think ‘what the hell was wrong with me? What was I thinking?’. And, again, as they say we live and we learn. Honestly, I say, if you can learn from another, save yourself the wasted time and energy.

As always, know your worth and treasure it.

Similar Article
A Letter To My 16 Year Old Self

And here’s a little something for your enjoyment….

Lauryn Hill: “I Used To Love Him”

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  • Cassie

    I really loved this piece. Confirmation that I’m on the right path. Thanks!

  • Pree

    Wow, I actually teared up. Sometimes you can forget these type of lessons when you “love” someone. Thanks for re-reminding me though.

  • @Cassie Great! I’m glad you were able to find some inspiration from this article. And yes, if you feel you deserve and can do better then you can!

  • @Pree awww… you’re gonna make me tear up too! Lol. And no problem for the reminder :-)

  • VI

    Girl reading this reminded me of my past relationships. I had to realize I loved him more than i love myself. He wasn’t the one hurting me. I knew better, but I refused to do better. It was me hurting myself. Sometimes you just wake up one day and say enough is enough. Then and only then you get your power back. It’s difficult in the beginning, but every day its gets a little easier when you know what you’re worth and what you deserve. Wonderful post!!!

  • mrs. thomas

    WOW!!! if more of our young ladies could read this,i was about to cry too, yes we all have been there and some still are, but I know how it is to loose yourself in man, but I THANK GOD i did it once when I was younger in my 20’s and now as a 44yr old wife, and mother and married for 18yrs my husband never goes a day without showing and telling me how much he loves me and how beautiful I am, even while I was going through chemo/radiation for cancer. PLEASE PARENTS VALIDATE YOUR GIRLS, NO MATTER IS YOU ARE A SINGLE PARENT OR NOT, AND LEARN TO EXHALE!!!! thanks ms. toni and GOD BLESS

  • Lol! Thank you! I’m glad you liked the story. It’s something I’ve been meaning to write because, like you said, more girls need to read this! If I can inspire at least one person then I’ve done my job! :-)

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  • Tricey

    I will be 41 in a few months and consistently down myself for my lonely state. I have only been in 5 relationships in my life (mistake #1) and was loyal too loyal and naive thinking he was the one. I cry as I type this wondering why me but I guess GOD has a plan for me too. Thank you for the article.

  • No problem! Thanks for commenting. And yes, there’s a purpose/plan for everyone. Never down yourself. The time you spend alone is sometimes necessary to experience growth. You have to feel secure enough in yourself first and know you don’t need any man to validate who you are but when the right one comes he’ll compliment you instead of taking away from who you are and who you need to be. Blessings