Thank You For Pain


Hi again,

It's me. I begun this series with a letter to you, and decided to close it the same way.

March was indicative of a new beginning in the life of "us". Before then you were a stranger. A being I walked by. A social media friend whose statuses had gone ignored. A leader I watched on Sundays. 

Then you spoke. Fireworks ignited and friendship ensued. Nothing forced. Everything about it was authentic. I had no idea you'd become my best friend; my favorite love. 

I had no idea you'd become my biggest heartbreak. That was in February three years later. February, a month dedicated to love and black excellence became a month of pain. Of ending. Of termination.

I let anger fester for a while as I sorted through my emotions. There were too many to choose; I always chose the bad ones. The ones that ignited rage. The ones that encouraged me to shout cuss words into the speakerphone before I launched my phone across the room. Funny how beautiful things can quickly become ugly. Funny how we try to avoid those beautiful things later because of it.

March followed—as it does every year. But this March brought a pain that I didn't know existed. It brought reflection that I didn't realize I needed. It brought behavior I didn't know I still had in me. This March was different from the March in which we met.

It was merely three Marches ago that I didn't know you. However over the course of the months that followed, you became one of the most influential people in my life. You taught me some of the most important lessons I've ever been offered. And to deny you of that—like I had done so many times—diminishes the triumph the last three year brought us; it tarnishes the purpose of our partnership. 

I'm learning everyday, through this process, that even the people who've caused the most grief have something to contribute to your growth. I've learned not to forget those people. I've learned that some of the biggest lessons come from the palms of those with the bloodiest hands; that they have come at the expense of having the bloodiest wound.

I wouldn't have ever imagined that you could provide one of my biggest hurts, but I also never imagined that you would provide some of the most critical lessons of my life. The ones that I truly believe only you could have taught me. The ones that I fought for months to admit I learned. The ones I know have made me a better lover, a better woman, and one day, an incredible wife.

I learned so much about love through you: what love has the potential to feel like in this damaged carnal world; what's required of me to sustain it; the beauty and importance of fighting for it. You taught me how to be selfless. How to be nurturing. You taught me how to be engulfed in someone, but not lost in someone; how to maintain my own identity while building a powerful partnership. You taught me the sanctity of secrets, and the beauty of sharing them with people I love. 

You taught me how to love others after having been so consumed with learning to love myself. Your presence taught me that miracles happen; that God works; that His best works are those most unexpected. You confirmed for me the spiritual component that I need in a partner. You reminded me that I could never date a man who's uncertain about his own life; I could never be led by someone who seemingly couldn't lead himself. You taught me to take it easy on people, though. To give them time. To be patient. To pray with them. To not condemn them. You taught me how to be a helpmate. 

Our relationship taught me about hope and the importance of washing defeat from my tongue. How to speak only to the things I wanted to exist; to manifest. Our relationship taught me how beautiful forever could be with the right person by your side. You taught me that the headaches are worth it. That staying mad is overrated, and that the guessing games often done in relationships are [overrated], too. 

Amidst the unignorable pain, the times I cried to my mother about how much I was hurting, and the many times I shouted on the phone for you to never contact me again, you taught me about redemption. About forgiveness. About coming out of the darkness restored and elevated. About the process of being planted. About always looking toward the light even when I can't see it. About not becoming a victim of the pain. Many of these lessons were indirect—things I took from our interaction and the circumstances that came from them—but if it weren't for you I'm not sure they would have been learned at all.

So often we try to exile those who mistreat us. Those who left bad tastes in our mouths. But truth is, without them we wouldn't be us. Without the mistreatment, the pain, the hurt, there wouldn't be healing. Redemption. Victory. Without those bad moments, these good ones wouldn't matter much.

So I thank you for forcing me to live through the bad in preparation for my good. I thank you for teaching me the many lessons I needed to learn about love, and lasting relationships, and communication, and faith, and hope, and the beauty of existing in this world with someone. I thank you for reminding me of what I deserve, and for showing me that I can—and will—get it. I thank you for having been my better half for three years. I thank you for dedicating your time and love to helping me become a better woman. I thank you for lending yourself to me for these lessons. And most importantly, I thank you for being my favorite broken heart.


P.S - I'm not giving you all the credit (I know you like to take the glory), I am acknowledging you for what you provided to my life: an amazing journey, and even better lessons. 


This series started as a single-person series. It would relive the moments of my life prior to the arrival of this man, then tap into the lessons I've learned throughout its course—from good, to bad, to worse. I was ready to chronicle everything for the sake of making someone else's journey easier. Better. More hopeful. But there was more to it than that. I realized that like me, there were many other woman in this world whose lives turned upside down when that stranger became more. When their March mixed with their February. I knew that there were other women whose stories of pain and heartbreak was worked together for good...somehow. I wanted those women to share their stories too. I wanted us all to recognize how these moments have shaped us in life and in love. I wanted us all, in some way, to recognize the grooming that took place following our pain. I am ecstatic, that so many of you acknowledged the ways in which downfalls pushed you further uphill.

So for all those who came into our lives in March and shook it up in February. Those who taught us something about people, love, and ourselves. For those who didn't love us when we deserved to be loved. Those who realized their mistakes two months too late. Those who mistreated us; and those we mistreated. To those who gave us every reason to cry. Those who made us weak. To the people, the circumstances, the depression. They should all be thanked, because in this moment, after all this growth, they taught us some of the greatest lessons of our lives. Some of the greatest lessons from love.

Before March you were a stranger. We all were. My ex, that inspired me to share my lessons. Me, the woman who created this blog to encourage and empower you toward better. And these women, the ones who dedicated this month to sharing their stories with you; with me. There's been a March and February in all of our lives, that've changed everything we've ever known. I simply hope you could recognize the goodness that comes from it.

To all the amazing women who poured themselves out this month: thank you! Words cannot express the gratitude I feel for you taking the time to search your own hearts, to share the truths of your own stories, and lay them out for all to read on my side of the internet. Your work—both written and lived—is tremendous, and beautiful, and needed. I simply hope that, in the same way you've inspired us all by digging within yourself for this process, it inspired you. I am appreciative of your art, your life, and your lessons. Thank you so much! 

To the equally amazing readers who've shared posts, commented, and expressed your satisfaction with the series: I thank you too. I pray that you read something that you needed. I pray that healing happened on the pages of this series. I pray that someone's words ignited some soul searching within you. And I will continue to pray, that whatever lessons you need to learn, you will. 

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