The heart is a fragile organ, but it’s essential in keeping us alive. Since the heart is fragile, the pain you feel when it shatters is excruciating. You would think an organ as fragile as the heart would stop beating after breaking so many times, but it somehow finds the strength to keep pumping. Broken hearts aren't meant to destroy us; they make us stronger and help us discover what we deserve.

Heartbreak sucks. It consumes your thoughts. It can make you dream about someone you once loved very much. Heartbreak can make you cry when you hear a song that reminds you of someone. It can make you question your value as a person. It can lead you to maybe drinking too much when you go out at night. It can make you feel defeated. Heartbreak could be the reason you build a wall and don’t put yourself out there again.

However, behind every broken heart is a stronger, better version of yourself.

I may only be a young adult, but my heart has been broken in a variety of ways. My first real heartbreak was when I fell in love with my male best friend and the feelings were not mutual. Then, I dated this guy who was a sad excuse for a gentleman and instead of heartbreak, the end of our relationship brought me relief. After him, I moved onto a short-lived fling with the greatest Casanova in town. I finished off the second half of my senior year in a serious relationship with an old friend, who ended up cheating on me while he was on vacation in Italy…life is good right? After I got cheated on, I wanted to experience college single. Spending some time single allowed me to reflect on who was I and how I was treated in the past...which led me to my next romantic endeavor.

Recently, I let my guard down like I never have before. I was in a short-term relationship and you can say I was falling in love. And I don’t mean the type of love that teenagers claim they have when in reality all they do is text nonstop. I was on the road to having the most mature and rewarding relationship in the whole world. But then it ended and my heart shattered in a million pieces.

Don’t get me wrong, the pain is agonizing. However, the lessons this broken heart has taught me are not lessons I can find in a lecture hall.

Throughout all the pain and agony of gluing together my sad, shattered heart, I learned falling in love is the single greatest feeling in the whole world. While I may no longer feel love, now that I have had a glimpse of what it was like, it’s amazing. Falling in love, or at least how it seems to me, is the reason we exist. Sharing my experiences with someone I cared deeply about made my accomplishments more rewarding. Feeling love for someone and then having my heart broken has made want to put myself out there again. Just because it didn’t work out with one person, doesn’t mean it won’t work out with someone else.

Heartbreak has surprised me. I typically feel afraid I won’t be able to move on and that there won’t be a next one. Nonetheless, shortly after heartbreak, someone new comes into my life and makes me feel all right again. Broken hearts have taught me that everyone can be replaced; it’s just a matter of time.

Through my broken hearts I have discovered that being vulnerable is good. Letting people unveil your darkest layers is a necessity. Once those layers are unveiled, falling in love is inevitable and you will have the most amazing time ever. I can’t guarantee that once you let yourself be vulnerable that you won’t break your heart again, but it will lead to a more honest relationship.

If I let heartbreak determine my love life, I wouldn't have one. I would've given up on relationships when I was 16 years old. It's natural to feel connected to someone and want to be with them..but it's also natural to take your time. We don't need to wed ourselves off right now. What we need is to feel as many things as possible because feelings help us unveil who we are as people.

There's no better time than now to let people get to know the real you. Feelings such as falling in love and heartbreak are a powerful experience, so why not experience them? Now is the time to share your innermost thoughts and fears with someone. Go on little adventures. Live in the moment. Right now is the time to let your heartbreak, because if you don't, you'll never learn what you deserve.

And when you let your heart break...you're one step closer to finding the special person who won't ever break it again.