“Pain pushes until the vision pulls.”  -Michael Bernard Beckwith

The man I fell in love with didn’t exist. When his lies finally collapsed, I learned he’d cheated on me and hid who he was since the day we met more than a year before. I felt deeply betrayed—by him of course, but worse than that, by myself.

The hard truth is, when someone betrays us, we were betraying ourselves first. Whether he lied to us or we lied to ourselves, our hearts warned us he wasn’t safe. But we ignored our intuition because we feared what it required of us.

While what’s been done to us is not okay, ultimately, it’s a lesson that we allowed something to become more important than trusting ourselves. Friend, stand in your truth. Be willing to lose it all to gain yourself.

Still, our hearts will shatter. There’s no way around the grief. We must face it and let it gut us. In our darkest, pitch-black moments, we’ll cry in a way that makes it hard to breathe and search for answers that won’t come. We’ll peer into the darkness, afraid to let go when we can’t see what’s ahead.

But in time, we must accept that we’re not meant to see in the dark. All we can do is stare into that black abyss, seeing nothing of what’s ahead, and take a step forward anyway. We must trust that we’re being guided into something bold and beautiful and better than anything before. Light.

For me, I learned that I attracted someone into my life who would betray me on the outside because I was betraying my own truth on the inside. For years, I’ve known I want to help heal the brokenness of humanity and felt nudged toward writing, but it felt big and scary, so I stuffed it down deep. It would rise up louder, so I ignored it harder. I felt like a traitor.

But now, in the wake of the pain, accepting it feels like the way back to life—so finally, I face myself and write.

Sometimes we need pushed to the depths so we can be pulled to the light. Because when the ugliest circumstances bring us back to ourselves, beauty is born.