“Self-love, self-respect, self-worth: There’s a reason they all start with ‘self.’ You can’t find them in anyone else.” ~Unknown
After my divorce, I felt like I was the most terrible person in the world.
I had zero self-worth, zero confidence, and zero belief in myself
If you’re going through a breakup or divorce now, your self-worth may suffer too. You might feel worthless. You might feel value-less. You might feel like a failure.
Think about it. The person who loved you, who wanted you, who fell in love with you is now rejecting you.
If you’ve been together for a …
“The most difficult times for many of us are the ones we give ourselves.” ~Pema Chodron
After you come out a meaningful relationship that you didn’t foresee ending, you begin to think about everything you did wrong.
If you were not the one who wanted to the breakup, you may spend a lot of time blaming yourself and wondering about what you could have done differently.
You might begin to believe you’re solely responsible for what went down and that you deserve to spend years in relationship purgatory by yourself, mourning the loss of the person you loved.
“Some of us think that holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.” ~Hermann Hesse
She knew it sooner than I did. And more intensely than I did.
I, on the other hand, may have considered our differences but never thought of them as deal-breakers. I tried to justify the many struggles we had between us and believed that our marriage could work despite the challenges.
I had this feeling things would get better and stayed hopeful no matter how bad our relationship got.
I told myself that her extraverted personality and my more introversion could …
“Like a sandcastle, all is temporary. Build it, tend it, enjoy it. And when the time comes, let it go.” ~Jack Kornfield
I picked up the butter cookies and a small postcard-sized painting I had brought for her.
I took the third-floor hotel elevator down.
Closing my eyes, I took several deep breaths.
The elevator ride was less than five seconds, but our time spent apart was five years.
Five years after the divorce I had flown up to see her again.
I’m not sure what led to this meeting. We had emailed each other a couple times out of …
“What’s broken can be mended. What hurts can be healed. And no matter how dark it gets, the sun is going to rise again.” ~Unknown
I grew up with difficult and hurtful parents who spoke critically, with the intent to demean.
Each word of sarcasm, each thinly veiled joke or put-down undercut my self-esteem. Each knocked me down a rung in life and kept me from my potential.
Rampant comparisons to other Indian kids succeeding academically, attacks of my mediocre performance at school, and harsh language were my mother’s weapons of choice.
When someone attacks your self-esteem repeatedly, you …
“The less you open your heart to others, the more your heart suffers.” ~Deepak Chopra
The end of my marriage was a life-shattering event that rocked my world and made me question my existence.
My breakup led to a full existential, spiritual, and personal crisis.
After putting the pieces back together, I feel like I’m ready to love again.
It took me a long time to feel open to another relationship because I was stuck in the past, replaying the story of my former relationship over and over again in my mind.
I also held a set of disempowering and …
“For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes. To someone who doesn’t understand growth, it would look like complete destruction.” ~Cynthia Occelli
There are no two ways about it.
Heartbreak squeezes you as though you were an orange, crushes you as though it were a tractor, and cuts sharply as a razor blade.
Breaking up with my former wife was the most crushing event in my life. It made me see myself as a failure, hide in embarrassment, and cry myself to sleep for months.…
“Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here.” ~Marianne Williamson
Love terrifies me.
After having loved, courted, and married the love of my life, things went sour. Over the course of a few years, our marriage crumbled and our relationship came to a sudden halt.
When you’ve only been with one person, loved that person to the core, and believed that person to be your soul mate, you take the breakup unusually hard.
Yes, tears. Yes, sorrow. Yes, seclusion. Yes, withdrawal. Yes, not wanting to get out of bed.
I experienced every symptom of heartbreak …
“A thousand half-loves must be forsaken to take one whole heart home.” ~Rumi
When I met my first love, my dull black and white life became as bright as a double rainbow. The intense hues of love flooded over me with extreme joy and happiness.
Soon after meeting, we married and lived together for ten years. Yet, like rainbows and raindrops, our love evaporated and I took our divorce especially hard, soaking in self-pity and sadness while grieving for the past several years.
After experiencing a painful breakup, you never, ever want to be in a relationship again. A broken …
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” ~Rumi
Most of us are so busy waiting for someone to love us that we’ve forgotten about the one person we need to love first—ourselves.
Ironically, it was when my ten-year marriage fizzled that I began the innermost process of self-discovery about love.
While discouraged and saddened at the crumbling of our relationship, I began to explore love more. How had it fizzled? Why had we stopped loving each other, and what had happened to …
“Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.” ~Karen Kaiser Clark
Life can be a persistent teacher.
When we fail to learn life’s lessons the first time around, life has a way of repeating them to foster understanding.
Over the last few years, my life was shaken up by dramatic circumstances. I resisted the impermanence of these events in my life and struggled with embracing change. When I resisted the lessons that change brought, a roller coaster of changes continued to materialize.
When I was seventeen years old, my immigrant parents’ small import-export business failed. From a comfortable life in …
“If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path.” ~Buddhist saying
Moving to a new country as a kid can be traumatizing because of the challenges of fitting into a new culture and new social customs.
When I arrived in Northern California at the age of ten with my parents and younger two brothers, we were excited about being in America (home of Disneyland) but apprehensive about our how our classmates would react to us and how we would fit into the social environment of a school in a new country.
My earliest memories of …