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Amanda Balgaard

You can survive and thrive beyond your broken engagement.

I have felt that dread clawing at me from the inside out.

I have buried myself in books about leaving single life behind, rationalizing why my engagement felt like a death instead of a birth. I have stood in front of my mother, my aunt, and the seamstress in a beautiful wedding dress as the panic slithered up my spine. I have sat weeping on the bathroom floor, telling myself that it was better to just get married than be on my own again even though I could feel my spirit slowly wilting.

But I have ended an engagement, and I have canceled a wedding.

And for me, the experience was deeply profound. Not necessarily because I had called off a wedding, but because it forced me to face all the ways I had kept myself small in my life. Small and silent and wrapped up tight. After the life I’d been building had been leveled and laid low, I was finally able to recognize how much I had been willing to give up of myself for the sake of staying in this relationship. And I grieved for the beautiful and expansive parts of myself that I had ignored, shunted, and punished into submission. And I began to heal. I began to rebuild.

You might be on the edge of a personal reclaiming like this.

Your broken engagement is forcing you to face certain beliefs you’ve held about yourself and the life and love that you want to have. Don’t back away. Trust that your instincts are true. Trust that there’s something to unearth here. You’re not just grieving a broken relationship, but you’re grieving the ways you betrayed yourself while you were in that relationship. You almost made a lifelong commitment to someone who didn’t know, allow, or accept your full and expansive self.

You can still find that Full and expansive woman
and nurture her strength again.