It's an inevitable fact that life has its fair share of trials and difficulties. The problem in today's society is that the only thing that we see, especially on social media, are solely the 'ups' of life. Edited pictures, retouched bodies, beautiful moments, happy couples... these are the posts that we view in our timelines and let's face it, it has been impacting our lives negatively. 
      One aspect in life that it distorts is love. Love shown by couples online make it seem like love is so easy and so glorious, that's why a lot of people want it so much. I too, for a time, personally wanted it because I was one of those girls who's a hopeless romantic by nature.  I was so in love with the idea of love! Growing up, I always thought that love should be so easy and that it should be just like the movies. I also saw it happening in front of my eyes since my parents have been together for more than two decades and counting... BUT just recently, reality bit me. It showed me that love is not at all easy and it it's not worth fighting for anymore, it's time to let go. 
      I had to learn the hard way. I guess we never really learn unless we get burned ourselves. Now, I can attest to the saying that experience is really the best teacher. Yes, break-ups can be messy. Imagine spending so much time, investing a part of your life to someone who will just disappoint you in the end, after being so loyal and devoted to that person? It just wasn't fair anymore. It came to a point where I was doubting my place already. I would ask myself: was it right that I'm still in this situation? Why was I still tolerating all those things when I can leave anytime I wanted to? Deep down, I knew in  my heart that I deserved so much better. It took courage to walk away, but it felt so damn good to do something right.
      A lot of my friends ask me about this and I don't know how I do it, but in an instant, I can just shut out someone if I wanted to despite sharing moments and memories with that person. I guess it's because I always have a positive outlook in life and I believe that we encounter people in our lives for a reason or for a lesson. Sometimes we can even be used as an instrument by God to be both. This doesn't mean that we have to stay in their lives forever, but just pass through it, knowing that you did what God wanted you to do for them. I can easily let go because I know that someone out there is being prepared by God for me and I have faith that one day, in the right time, all my struggles will be worth it. 
      I can say that as a woman, I know my worth. I can easily step out of a toxic relationship since I have a pre-conceived set of standards on how I want to be treated. I don't know how I forget easily, or rather, choose to forget and move on with my life, but it sure is something that people should learn more of especially in the 'moving on' phase of a break-up. I guess it's just about being brave enough to step out of something that isn't doing you good anymore. Why stay unhappy with someone when you can be happier alone? Life is too short to be sad especially if you can do something about it. Although, at the end of the day, when you experience all these things and have finally made your decision.... Be strong, stay firm and ask yourself: will you become bitter or will you be better?
      I chose the later option. It's not the easy way; but it's the challenge that made me more determined to bring out the better version of myself. I knew I proved to be more mature this time since I didn't want to get even. I didn't want to make him jealous, I didn't go wild in parties or even date around because I made a promise to myself that I will be stable in all aspects of my life first before I get into anything else with anyone.
      I did things that were good for my soul. I prayed. I got to know God more each day. I developed a deeper relationship with Him by conversing with Him throughout the day. I poured out my heart to the Lord since I know that He will never let me go through something I won't be able to handle. I surrounded myself with people who cared about me and loved me unconditionally. I valued my parents more because I know that they always just want the best for me, and if they don't like someone for you... that's definitely a red flag. Always remember to listen to them because they know better. I found a group of friends who accepted me for who I am and was just full of really great, positive energy which made me realize why I was being too serious with someone when it was the perfect time of my life right now to just make friends and broaden my horizons. Now, I am becoming more sure of what I really want in someone through my friends and my experiences with them. I also did not wallow in unhealthy, junk food because I know that it wasn't good for me - and I was sick of things that didn't serve me well, especially in the end. So, I worked out everyday, I ate healthy meals and I pushed myself to my limit. 
      I loved myself more than anyone else (only to an extent of course) because no one else is going to love me better. It was my time to be selfish because I knew that I had to get myself ready for the real world. Now, I have to be sure with who I am and what I want so that nothing can sway me. I tried my best every single day to be better than who I was yesterday and I promise to continue to do so for the rest of my life. 
     I wrote this so that you will learn from me and my experience. I wrote this so that I can give others hope and inspiration. Sometimes, love can be so blinding and just when you though that you lost the love of your life? Look in the mirror and start appreciating that person staring back at you. Accept yourself first for all your flaws and your imperfections. Challenge yourself to achieve your personal self-perfection as the day goes by. Be a little selfish and learn to love yourself for who you really are inside and out.
      Love yourself first because it's the best thing that you can do right now. It's truly something that your future self will thank you for. 

xx. Denise