*Disclaimer: Author’s identity has been kept anonymous.
Sometimes in life you meet someone who makes you smile from the inside out. A person who you may never want to imagine a life without. Someone who ticks all of your boxes, makes you happy, makes you think about what you would both name your children and whether they’d have the eyes of their father or the smile of their mother. It’s beautiful when it lasts. We humans were made to love. Love our families, friends and our soulmates when and if we happen to meet them. As easily as we may begin to have feelings for someone, circumstances can present obstacles. Each moment that follows can make the difference between whether this special person becomes a part of your life permanently or not.
Recently I was considering someone for marriage quite seriously. A person whom I was sure was the one for me. I had placed all my hopes into one basket and was ready to submit fully to the winds of love in order to make our feelings an Islamically sustainable reality-marriage. Things didn’t work out, and when we had to part ways it was a very deep cut. It felt like someone or something had died. A concept died. The idea of ‘us’ that we had imagined and dreamed left this world and ceased to exist anymore. It was therefore a matter of immense grief and sadness.
This is only natural, and feeling a sense of loss over someone who we care deeply for is a part of life we cannot always escape. People come into our path for a reason and we cannot delete them from the hard drives of our lives like we delete a file from our computer. It is a much more delicate process than that. The following tips I believe have helped me to come to terms with heart break in my life and move on.
1) This is the decree of Allah.
Let this mantra be the answer to every time you question, “Why?!”. If you have consulted Allah during the process, then there is khayr (good) in all sequence of events. If you have reached out to God when you were in such a vulnerable place by praying to him, making istikhara (guidance prayer) and had the right intentions in pursuing someone, then you must know that God is on your side and He will never let you down. There are a whole host of reasons why Allah may have taken this person away from you. It may be a way for you to have learned and gained life experience and wisdom. It may also have been saving you from a greater difficulty. He may want you to turn to Him so that He may deliver something which is actually better for you as an answer to your prayers. Your duty is not to find the answers to why, your test is to accept His divine decree and in the depths of your grief respond with “Alhamdulilah”. Be sure that your sacrifices for the sake of God will never go unacknowledged. I came across this passage of the Qur’an during the sadness I was experiencing. It reminded me of trying to see the bigger picture,
“Allah amplifies and straitens the means of subsistence for whom He pleases; and they rejoice in this world’s life, and this world’s life is nothing compared with the hereafter but a temporary enjoyment”
(Ayah 26, Surah Al Rad)
2) Let go of Hard Feelings
Just let all the animosity go. It’s all wasted energy, I promise. Be civil with each other and try to end things on good terms, it helps you both move on. (Unless the person was an abusive nutcase, then yes, be angry and report them to relevant authorities!)
It is the case that people will hurt you. They may have said or done a few stupid things, but holding onto hard feelings against them is not going to do anyone any favours, especially yourself. The easiest way to relieve yourself of the pain is to forgive the person for whatever ways they may have wronged you. Accept that, like you, they are also human, and susceptible to making mistakes. People often hurt others even if it was not their intention to do so. It sucks, but it could have easily been you doing the same thing if you were in a different situation. It is wise for you to ask for forgiveness yourself, especially if this person has expressed their hurt to you. Sometimes it takes time to front up and do this, but when it comes out, it can really bring a sense of closure. Pray for good things for this person as often as you think of them.
3) Find space and time to heal
The hardest thing about heartbreak can be the sensation of being completely alone again. Loneliness is often something we are afraid of, but we only feel it because during the time that we have someone else in our life, we are conditioning ourselves to happiness or validation in the presence of their partnership. Un-condition yourself. Shift this paradigm and make it all about you again. Sometimes after we have given so much of our energy to someone else, and especially when that has gone under-appreciated, we really need to find ourselves again. We need to build back our self esteem within the seemingly intimidating world of singledom and brave the currents to re-establish our self confidence. This task can seem very difficult when we are often left swimming in an ocean of personal insecurities after heartbreak. These feelings are completely normal, but you must not let them overcome you and drown as the circumstances can be very harmful. Give yourself the time and space to heal and be easy on yourself. There will be difficult days and more easier days, times when you know you have to take things one day at a time. Indulge in the activities you have always personally known and loved and just work on taking care of yourself better.
Don’t feel the need to jump into anything new without feeling completely ready, it’s not fair on yourself or any other parties involved. If you give time for yourself, it will put you in a safer place to open your heart to the right person at another time in your life, God willing.
Everybody’s journey is different, and you may think of a million different ways to deal with heartbreak but I think the best thing we can take out of these experiences are the kinder memories. All the people that have ever mattered to you in your life will shape you and impact you, ultimately adding to the person you are. People we have encountered in heart break are not just people you either marry or don’t marry. These people are souls in and of themselves, experiences, lessons and moments of mercy that Allah has placed in our lives, even if you can’t see it. Don’t try and eradicate them completely from your hearts, but understand and appreciate their place in the greater scheme of things. If marriage is what you want, know that that is a noble ambition, it is the Sunnah of the Prophet (s.a.w) and a means for you to draw closer to God should you have the correct intentions.
You may come across further trials in your search for the right person as it is not a necessarily smooth ride, nor is the journey of life in general. One day you are going to find the Man or Woman who raises you up and helps you place all your past experiences into perspective. Try your best to be the most healthy and strongest person you can be for them when you find them, so that you may also raise them up. And never forget to keep loving, even when the world turns upside down around us and love seems like it causes more pain then relief, there is the impenetrable love of The One who created both love and heart break. And He is The One who beautifully mends our hearts at the times when they were meant to be broken.