“True love does not only encompass the things that make you feel good, it also holds you to a standard of accountability.” ~Monica Johnson
I remember the confusion I felt as it slowly began to register to me that he had indeed read all of my messages and was indeed ignoring me. Even though my eyes were telling me this, it still didn’t make any sense.
Just the day before, he’d initiated contact, called me beautiful, and wanted to know the details of my day. We’d talked all day that day, as we normally did. But this was a new day. And he ghosted me. He discarded me.
It hurt like hell. My heart felt like it had literally been ripped out of my chest by the Hulk. It was forceful and it was intense.
This absolutely could not be happening. So I ashamedly sent a few more messages, but he still ignored me.
My tears flowed like a steady spring rain. My head hurt. I didn’t want to eat. I didn’t want to sleep. I didn’t want to do anything but see a notification from him, proving me wrong. Proving to me that he did not ghost me, that this was a terrible dream.
But that solace never came.
For the first few days after this, I craved him like my favorite dish.
But then I started to realize that this man who’d shared so much intimacy with me had just left me with no explanation. No goodbye.
So I became angry.
I was slowly going through the grieving process. Denial. Sadness. Now anger. I was about to enter my next phase, which was acceptance. I reached this phase through accountability. I realized that even though the way he exited our relationship wasn’t mature, I wasn’t innocent.
I’d been needy, desperate, and clingy, and I’d hung my self-esteem on his “hey beautiful” texts like a person gasping for air. He was my air. His validation is where my self-worth started and began.
I began to realize that I had pushed and pressured him. I had made him the source of my joy. I had put a heavy burden on him. I was taking love from him and not giving him love in the way he needed it.
It would have been easy to play the victim, to say “woe is me” and hate him. It would have been easy to be resentful, bitter, and full of venom.
But instead, I chose the road of accountability.
I extended him grace and realized that as humans, we are always doing what we feel is best for us at each moment. I extended him forgiveness and I forgave myself.
I looked back over the last months and realized that I had abandoned myself. I had abandoned the self that was secure and had outsourced my self-esteem to him. It wasn’t fair to him. He hadn’t signed up for that.
Yes, he could have handled it better. He could have had a conversation with me. He could have done all kinds of things. But at the end of the day, that’s his cross to bear. My cross is that I had to begin to heal from this experience, I had to grow from this experience, and I had to evolve into a woman who was ready for true, genuine, reciprocal love.
I knew, deep in my heart, that he was the catalyst. So I thanked him. I released the hurt, anger, and confusion. It turned out that ghosting experience was the best thing that could have happened to me because it put me on the journey to true love.
Through this experience I learned:
-The importance of knowing your worth in a relationship
-To recognize and understand my boundaries
-That it’s okay to be selfish and put your needs first in dating
-What it really means to love and accept myself
The day I thanked him in my heart and released the pain from that experience I learned so much. That day mostly taught me how living as a victor will attract the deepest love you have ever felt. I’m so happy I didn’t listen to my ego and stay in victimhood. I conquered. I took accountability.
If you choose to see what you gain from breakups, even the ones that break your heart into a million pieces, you will be much closer to experiencing a love so strong it will knock you off your feet.
If you want a deeper love, you need to be whole. Wholeness requires healing.
So many people are walking around as empty zombies, full of resentment and bitterness. Usually this happens when we’re unable to take responsibility for our part in a hurtful situation.
I understand you may have been cheated on, lied to, left in the cold, used, or, like me, you were ghosted. But do you see how in some ways you might have ignored red flags, or you were not firm in your boundaries, or how you sought validation outside of yourself, or were clingy, or pressured the other person into a relationship?
I am not blaming you. I am not making you wrong. I am asking you to take accountability for how this situation can teach you where you are wounded, and use it as your catalyst. After you’ve come out the other side you will be so much closer to transformative love.
The purpose of accountability is not to negate what the other person did or to make you feel regret, shame, or guilt. Those emotions do not serve you; they only keep you stuck in a downward spiral.
No, accountability is about realizing you have more power than you think. In many cases we get our hearts broken because we give our power away. We make others responsible for our happiness, joy, and worth. It’s not fair to them.
When we put people in this position, they may feel cornered. They may feel they have no other option but to run. That doesn’t condone immaturity or insensitivity. But odds are, they don’t mean to hurt us; they just don’t know what to do. It happens. If we dry our eyes and ease our anger we will see that this situation provides an opportunity to take a deep look at ourselves and recognize just how much love we are giving ourselves.
In order to get love from anyone else, we have to love and heal ourselves. We then are able to attract whole and healthy people who are ready to love us like we truly deserve.
The next man I met became the love of my life. And six years later, he has never ghosted me.