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An Antidote for Bitterness

O.G. SExT Cast Member & Resident Blogger Aleef Khan on stage in Kapuskasing, Ontario as part of the #SExTNationalTour. In today's blog he opens up about relationships and what it means to be courageous.

This bitterness manifested in you from a long string of failures in the romance department is quite different from your typical heartbreak. Heartbreak is a sharp pain that goes away after a while and bitterness is that dull pain that persists for an indefinite amount of time. People get heartbroken after their significant other dumps them. People get bitter when that thing happens a few more times. Countless rejections, cheating partners (one after another), abusive relationships and nasty divorces can also make people bitter. ​

The bitter person might tell themselves “Why bother anymore with love? It’s just not worth it. I just keep getting hurt over and over again. I don’t know how many times I can do this. Screw it; I will be alone for the rest of my life.” Wanting to be alone after all this turmoil and heartache seems pretty reasonable. A month or so ago I met who I thought was my “soulmate” on tinder (YES, you read that right!). I never understood what people meant by “chemistry” until I met her. We kissed later that day then after two weeks of snapping each other cute things, she came out with “I am not ready for a relationship, let’s stop talking." I kept asking myself, “What did I do wrong? Everything was so perfect. Will I ever be enough for someone?” I met this girl after a long string of rejections, failed dates and nasty breakups. So my bitterness meter went to an all-time high after this particular tragedy. I was done with dating. One rainy day, I went for a jog and decided to cry freely about my romantic life in the streets of Danforth. As I was passing by the Shoppers Drug Mart, I had an epiphany. I couldn’t believe it took me so long to finally understand, but first let me tell you about my “dream life”. Over the years I had many “dream lives”. In one of them I am a celebrity. In another I have billions of dollars. But the “dream life” that was persistently in my vision and “dreams” was having a family of my own. It is the dream I rank above all my other dreams. I'd rather have an awesome wife, three adorable kids and a golden retriever than billions of dollars or celebrity status any day.

"I kept asking myself, “What did I do wrong? Everything was so perfect. Will I ever be enough for someone?”

That rainy day I realized that getting my heart stabbed over and over again in order to get a CHANCE to obtain my dream life is a very small price to pay. To see my future wife and children I am willing to pay this price 10,000 times over. If my heart needs to get absolutely shattered a thousand times in order to fulfill my dreams so be it. This realization was the antidote to my bitterness. From now on I welcome heart break with a bloody smile on my face and you should too. Every time I feel like giving up now I imagine the faces of my future kids and wife, and that gives me all the strength to get up and try again. When God was crucifying our hearts he wasn’t punishing us for something we did, he was merely asking us “How badly do you want this dream life of yours?” It is hard to open up your heart again after it has been bruised by a thousand cuts. I will reference a quote from the movie A League of Their Own :“It’s the hard that makes it great." The fact that it is actually difficult makes it much more meaningful. Who do you think will enjoy a glass of water more? A man who just woke up from a nap and was offered the glass of water or a man who jogged 12 hours in order to get that glass of water? The best hero stories aren’t the stories where the hero is an overpowered demi-god who is immune to fear and death. The best hero stories are the stories where the hero is weak, afraid and mortal but he goes and faces his dragons anyway! It takes all the courage in the world to face the dragons when you know you are vulnerable. A lot of people close off their hearts after they get hurt too much; their fear freezes them. Don’t let that happen to you. It is okay to be afraid of the vulnerability of your heart. The willingness to open your heart while being fearful of its vulnerability is the very definition of courage. This act is barely any different from facing a dragon when you know that you are susceptible to its fire. If you aren’t willing to put your heart on the line of fire again, you don’t deserve love. You risk nothing so you get nothing. In this journey of life we will all die. If you are going to die anyway, you might as well give it all you got to achieve the things you want. Even after trying so hard if you still don’t find the “one”, at least you won’t say “I wish I tried harder” before your last breath. You would die in peace knowing that you gave it your all and you didn’t hold anything back. In matters of love and war give it your all or give it none! There are great examples of testaments of love around the world. Look at the Taj Mahal and read the stories of men and women who gave up their lives for each other. However, my testament for love is a bit different. The testament for my love is the willingness to expose my soul to infinite suffering and pain in order to get a small chance of meeting my future family one day. What is your testament? *This article is dedicated to my future wife and kids OR it’s dedicated to a much older version of me who is dying alone without a family to call his own.

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