There is a point and purpose to every experience. Unfortunately, that point is not usually clear in the midst of the situation. 

Consider your first crush – for me, it was Rashad. He stole my heart with his charm and care. He understood me, knew all quirks and loved me anyway. I thought we would be forever? Ah, the bliss of first love, the joy of finding the cookie to your milk, and the gut wrenching despair when that love is betrayed. I discovered my beloved Rashad was not just courting another girl. He had literally slept with the enemy – my enemy Keisha. Cheating is bad, but cheating with that scum of the earth was the ultimate betrayal. 

Oh, the sorrow that ensued, the hovering cloud of pain, the neverending void that could never, ever be filled. I truly believed that I was wholly unlovable and could not trust men. Or myself. That is, until I met my next crush, Robert. Then I realized that if I had not loved and lost Rashad, I would not have found the joy, love, and possibility I found with my new beau. And Robert prepared me in such beautiful ways to find my true love (and partner for over 20 years and counting) Christopher by helping me love myself so I could love others (even that wretched Keisha). 

Such is the path of all experiences. In the midst of the highs, we see only blue skies. In the depths of lows, we see only barriers. Yet, as we work through each, we both live and learn. We survive to get past the experience and we learn skills to appreciate the best experiences and acknowledge the worst experiences. The true joy comes from being able to reflect back at all of your experiences and recognize that they have shaped you into the person you are now. 

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