August 4, 2015 - Written by:

Ouch! Growing Pains and Why We Should Embrace Them

Recently, someone who was a major fixture in my life has stepped down. It was a mutual decision, which was painful for both of us, but it had to happen. We simply weren’t able to give each other what we needed and so, with sadness and still a lot of love in our hearts, we parted.

I’m not going to lie – it’s horrible. Parting ways with someone that you still love is like bereavement. It eats you up inside and messes with your body as well as your head.

But I’m not going to prattle on about how much it hurts, because we’ve all been there and we all know the pain. I’m going to give you my spin on it and hope that if you are in that place right now, you can think of it this way too.

When we part from someone we love for whatever reason – our oldest friend, a family member, a partner – we all begin an important period of growth. On our journey through life, there will be people who walk into it and then fall out of it. Our mistake is that we often expect those people to be around forever.


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The hard truth is that they won’t be. We can hang onto them all we like, we can convince ourselves that these unhealthy relationships HAVE to carry on, we can fix them and everything will be as we want it to be…

But there comes a time when that attitude becomes destructive and we must let go for our own sake.

When this happens, we go down fighting. We mentally kick, scream and cry for our loss. We feel like we’re never going to get over that person leaving our lives, we can’t possibly function without them. But the more we fight the situation, the more we are stunting our own growth. It doesn’t have to be that way!

Instead, we can accept this as an opportunity to move forward. In the very first episode of Frasier, a woman calls into his radio show and explains that the pain she felt upon breaking up with her boyfriend eight months ago isn’t going away and that she feels that she’s in mourning. Frasier explains:

‘Claire, you are in mourning. But you’re not mourning the loss of your boyfriend. You’re mourning the loss of what you thought your life was going to be. Let it go. Things don’t always work out how you planned; that’s not necessarily bad. Things have a way of working out anyway’.

Frasier is right – letting go of what you thought your life was going to be is the hardest part.

Consider your loss as a growing pain. Everyone wants to grow; no one wants to stay the same as they are. And although it’s painful and you want to fight the heartbreak – give yourself those moments to cry, deal fully with your emotions, figure out what went wrong, but remember the most important thing: you are in a period of transition, you are growing, and you are moving forward. All these things are good.

It’s been three, very long weeks of growing pains. But for the last week and a half I have felt at peace, healthy and adjusted. I have been making new realisations about that relationship and myself every day, and things are becoming clearer. My self-assurance has returned, I’ve started taking better care of myself, doing the things I was putting off, and making plans to do even more with my newfound time!

Of course I still miss him immensely since he is a wonderful person, but there is no doubt in my mind we made the right decision to move on.

Goodbye Hello

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Whatever is in our future is still waiting for us. Finding and losing people is all part of the grand journey, and although the losses hurt like hell, the pain passes eventually until we are ready to open our hearts again.

I’m looking forward to new chapters that I KNOW are just around the corner. This also means that there are new people who are going to wander into my life and make a difference to me. And what could be more exciting than that?!

If you enjoyed this article, why not check out: ‘Brave Heart‘?




  • Shiraz, this is very insightful. It can be so hard to feel like you’ve lost someone important, that your relationship with that person will never be the same if it continues at all. But the pain can be beneficial to your (re-)discovery of yourself. Understanding why you are hurting and finding ways to examine where exactly that pain comes from is a tough but necessary process. There are uncountable things I have learned about myself and equally numerous things I have achieved as a result of a break-up. Now, looking back at who I was at various times in my past, I am grateful for forcing myself through those growing pains. One thing that always kept (and keeps) me sane is writing things down. Keep strong, girl!

  • Sunstone

    So, so true – every word. When I look back at myself before I ended a nearly six year relationship I can hardly believe what a weighed-down, anxious, weak person I was. It took a personal tragedy to make me realise that life’s too short to hold onto old habits and that life is for jumping into the unknown and swimming instead of drowning. I’ve never regretted it for even a split second 🙂

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