Dear Broken Bride,
This letter’s for you who got left at the altar. I know you weren’t actually left at the altar, but it still feels the same, doesn’t it? He asked for the ring back, and now there’s an empty space on your finger where you feel nothing but cold air. Even your skin has little divots where that engagement ring used to sit.
If you’re there right now, give yourself a little grace. If you’re five years from being left at the altar and still alone, give yourself some grace. You’ve asked the question over and over again: “Is something wrong with me?” Here’s the answer. No. Nothing is wrong with you. Even when all of your friends find a significant other. Even when your friends get engaged and actually get the privilege of saying, “I do.” Even when you feel so ashamed that you’re going to be last (or maybe never).
I promise, nothing is wrong with you.
You’ve been carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders. You’ve been struggling to figure it all out. Go ahead and keep trying if you want to. It might ease your mind a little, but it won’t bring you answers. It won’t be the cure-all for the shame of not being good enough. I know you’re asking, “Why isn’t my good enough GOOD ENOUGH?”
You have every right to be frustrated. But whatever you do, don’t take that frustration out on yourself. You’re not your enemy. Right now is when you really need YOU to be your best friend. You are still beautiful, even when you don’t feel like anyone wants you, and something great can happen to you at any moment. Even if you’re going to be alone for the rest of your life, you’re going to be okay.
Take a deep breath. Let it really fill you.
At the end of the day, when all is done and people fade away, the comparisons will stop. The questions will shut up, and the answers will stop hanging with so much weight. Peace will wallop you and you’ll say softly to yourself, “I don’t know why I was ever upset. My life is the bomb.” Solitary moments will breathe life back into you instead of curse you, and your eyes will open to see that you are never truly alone.
You’re surrounded by people every day. It’s your choice whether or not you’ll open yourself up again after you’ve been hurt so badly. I know you’re so eager to share yourself again, but pause and make sure you’re ready. Don’t rush your heart, even with a friend. Why? Because if being left at the altar has sealed anything in concrete for you, it’s this: You are valuable. Being guarded isn’t a weakness. It’s a kindness to yourself.
It’s okay to take all the time you need to learn to trust again. It’s okay if all you can manage to do it open up your heart to yourself, lift your face into the raindrops, and enjoy a moment. Life bursts out of those precious, soft moments where you let yourself go to flow into every inch of your body and truly come alive.
You’ll know when you feel safe. Trust yourself to know when you aren’t. No, you aren’t being paranoid about being hurt. You’re wiser with a refined radar because you got shredded. You learned from your mistakes.
Stay tender inside with yourself. Lock the world outside for a little while if you need to, but don’t lock out yourself.
Feel everything. Even when it hurts.
I can’t tell you why your heart got so broken, but I can tell you that nothing is wasted.
Choose to be your best friend every day.
Your beating, whole, vibrant heart is a miracle.
With all my love and dearest affection,