The Many Stages Of Grief When Your "Soulmate" Changes Their Mind

The Many Stages Of Grief When Your "Soulmate" Changes Their Mind

Grieving is a process, even when the person you've lost is still very much alive.
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When the person you considered a soulmate, whether it be romantically or platonically, just up and decides to walk out of your life with no warning or real goodbye, life goes on... but never the same. My "soulmate" personally was platonic, an absolutely beautiful, kind, loving soul whom I bonded so closely with – a friendship and connection truly created by God. The most beautiful soul I've ever known. I've never felt for anyone in my life what I felt for this person, and I probably never will again. When someone has such a profound impact on you that it changes every part of you and your life; when you have such a special closeness with someone, a bond unlike any other; when they are unlike anyone you've ever known, and you know they truly are irreplaceable because they are simply one of a kind; when you loved each other with everything you had for so long, and then they walk away, they change their mind. It’s like entering the Twilight Zone. Uncharted territory. You never planned on them changing their mind. It’s grief, like the person you once knew has died... but worse, because they are still very much alive, just no longer in your world.

It's panic. It's waking up to one last cold, loveless text message, the cutting of ties without any rhyme or reason, without any decent explanation. It's a total lack of any understanding, not knowing their side or what drove them to such a drastic decision when everything was fine just four days prior when you saw them last, and two days prior when you spoke to them last. It's knowing they didn't come to you with whatever it was they were dealing with. It's being blindsided, having the rug pulled completely out from under you and hitting the ground on your way down, so hard that it shakes your whole world and leaves you shattered and scrambling to gather the pieces. It's total confusion, millions of unanswered questions that spin around and around in your head and may very well remain unanswered forever. It's feeling like you must be going completely insane, spiraling and bouncing between more emotions than you can properly manage at once. It's complete shock. It's a total lack of closure.

It's anger. It's wanting answers – the answers that you feel you deserve and that should be owed to you. It's using random phone numbers from a text free app to get around the fact that they've blocked your phone number. It's wanting to put your fist through the drywall, wanting to scream, wanting to fall to your knees and just shatter to pieces. It's mailing every gift they ever gave you back to them because you can't stand to look at them anymore. I have to admit, I really miss those gifts sometimes. It's wanting to show up at their house and kick their door down – clear off its hinges. Wanting to get in their face, rough them up, push them around, get nasty and put them in their place using a sailor's vocabulary. It's wanting to make them feel small and insignificant, just like they did to you.

It's using every ounce of strength you have left to not act on this anger. It all may seem like a good idea at the time, but going out and doing something crazy only to get arrested for it later is NOT the answer, and believe me, I've contemplated this many times. I've had to learn how to talk myself down from the ledge and away from situations that will only feel good in the moment. I have had to often remind myself in the midst of my anger that things like harassment, trespassing, and vandalism, among others, can be considered felonies, and that the taste of vengeance would turn from sweet to sour very quickly as the consequences for actions like these would soon follow. It isn't worth losing everything I've worked so hard to achieve, and because of that I just walked away. I decided not to stoop to that level. I'm glad now that I did, and I learned a thing or two about self-discipline in the process. Everyone deals with the urge to make poor decisions when they are angry. It's about being able to control yourself enough not to act on them. Anger, kind of like alcohol, has the power to make you lose sight of reality and blur the lines between right and wrong. It can rid you of any and all common sense. Don't let it. It isn't worth it, and you will live to regret it later.

It's going through a period of wanting revenge. A period of wanting to make them suffer. It's wanting to shake them, wanting to make them feel your ever-loving wrath. It's having enough dirt on them to wreck their whole life and take them down, blindfolded, with your hands tied behind your back... All you'd have to do is say the word. It would be that easy. You can play the tough guy card all you want, but you know deep down that you love them too much to go through with it or do anything that would purposely hurt them. I have been hurt and burned so many times. I was a doormat, and I got tired of allowing people to walk all over me without defending myself or holding them accountable for their actions. Because of this, I have a very spiteful side that can rear its ugly head and attack in self-defense. In this particular situation, I just couldn't bring myself to hurt her no matter how hard I tried; and believe me, I tried. I had the power to cause so much damage, but I just couldn't. It's maintaining self-control. It's taking the higher road. Being the bigger person will pay off in life. Karma is only a bitch if you give it a reason to be. Come judgement day, the person who hurt you is going to have to answer to someone much higher.

It's walking around every day, zombified, with no real direction. You may become physically ill, vomiting and dry heaving at the thought of them. Losing weight, doing nothing but sleep in between work shifts. Your body and mind grow tired and weak. It's crying at night, tossing and turning, nightmares. It's loneliness, missing them and everything you loved about them. Everything you had and shared. It's being worried sick about them, wondering how they are doing and if they are okay. It's broken promises, abandonment, betrayal and broken trust. It's feeling like a fool for believing in them to begin with. It's when everything you thought you knew becomes no longer. It's questioning your whole relationship. This is where the questions come into play. Was anything we had ever real? Was it all a lie? Did they ever really love me? Did they have an ulterior motive the whole time, or was it good intentions and true feelings gone wrong? Is there anything I could have done to prevent this? It's maddening, really, doubting the things you were once so sure of. Feeling like you can't be sure of anything anymore.

It's doubting your self-worth. It's losing yourself, watching your self-esteem shrink to nothing. It's wondering what's wrong with you, feeling worthless and unlovable. Feeling like trash, garbage that people just throw away when they are done with you. It's doubting God and turning away from Him. I got tired of fighting off the darkness, so I just decided to let it win. I gave into it and walked right into the fire. I am still trying to find my way back out into the light. My relationship with God is still very fragile, but He and I are working on it. It's like drowning, being completely submerged in water and struggling to make it to the surface. The silence becomes loud and the air becomes thick and heavy. The world becomes scary and strange when someone screws with your head. Paranoia and depression set in, and your views on life and the world change. People can't be trusted. I still have days where I walk around crying in public, everywhere I go. I threw in the towel for a while. I stopped caring about the things in life that were most important: like myself.

It's irrational thoughts, losing touch with reality and logic. It's self-hatred and self-sabotage; drinking too much to try and cope and drown your sorrows, even though that doesn't work. It's being aware that it doesn't work, and doing it anyway. It's throwing your hands in the air and saying "what the hell does anything even matter anyway?" Luckily, I woke up recently and realized what I was doing to myself. I was able to get a handle on the destructive behavior before it seriously harmed me, and I came closer than I'd like to admit. It's an emptiness, a void that will never be filled because you cannot replace them. There will never be another "them." You don't want anyone else, anyway. It's not that you can't live without them, it's that you just don't want to. I have only ever been this heartbroken and torn apart inside one other time in my life, and that was when my mother died. I never thought anything could ever compare to that, but the grief I am experiencing now is scarily similar to the grief I experienced then. I feel like I've lost two mothers now instead of just one, and nothing could have ever prepared me for the level of devastation that would cause. I wouldn't even wish this pain on the person who caused it. Nobody deserves to feel like this.

It's denial. Not being able to really grasp the situation. Constantly repeating "this can't be happening" or "I can't believe they did this to me." It's being in a constant daze, trying so hard to make sense of the mess and how you got to this point but hitting only dead ends due to the insufficient information you have to work with. It's wondering if they are ever coming back.

It's not being able to imagine living the rest of your life without them in it when they were such a huge part of it before. I know that everyone thinks that this was just another frivolous attachment that I formed, but they are wrong. What I had with her was so different, different than any other friendship I've ever experienced. I've never been that in love with anyone before; I fell head over heels in love with her in the most platonic of ways, and I guess I still am and probably always will be. I've never felt that for anyone before, and I've never had such a strong or special bond with anyone before. I NEVER expected any of this when I met her. It happened naturally, mutually, and willingly. Nothing about our relationship was forced. I didn't just jump into this relationship; we walked into it together, hand in hand. There's just no way for me to describe what we had. I always told her, there aren't enough words in any language to describe how truly beautiful and special she is inside and out. People like her are one in a million, and I always wished she could see herself through my eyes. She was like the mother I never really got to have but always longed for, because mine was so preoccupied with her drug addiction. I saw something in her I'd never seen in anyone else, and she gave me something I have never experienced before. Truthfully, I am blessed to have gotten to experience her love and have her in my life for the time that I did, but the fact that it ended so abruptly and on the terms that it did has left me heartbroken. She has left a lifelong mark on my heart and my life in a short period of time. She was the furthest thing from frivolous. She was one of the few attachments I've had that actually wasn't. She was so much more than just a mere attachment, she was everything I've ever wanted. Everything. She was the real deal. I can't figure out what to do now. I feel like I'm losing my mind and I'm amazed I haven't run out of tears by now. I don't expect anyone to understand this. She and I understand it, and that's all that matters.

It's having to pick up the pieces and start again. It's not knowing where to go from here and not knowing what to do with the time that they consumed in your life. Writing that line just gave me chills. It's picking up the phone to call or text them, and remembering you can't. It's having so much you want to share with them, milestones, heartbreak, and everything else that takes place in your life. I shared the deepest parts of myself with my "soulmate", parts of me that nobody else has ever gotten to see. They, in turn, shared their life with me. That's what it's all about, that's what friends do and I'm so lonely without her. I was in the hospital recently, twice in one week, and I remember laying there both times crying because I couldn't even reach the person I wanted most. The person I would have called first. I wondered if she'd even care to know anymore. That just made me cry harder.

It's never wanting to love anyone again like you loved them, in order to protect your heart. Loving them like I did made me more vulnerable than I ever want to be again. They turned into everything they promised they'd never be. It's people not understanding why I can't just "get over it" and "move on." So what am I supposed to do now, just forget about them? I, for the life of me, can't figure out how I'll ever be able to do that.

It's finding acceptance. It's coming to terms with the situation for what it really is. It's accepting that it is what it is, there's no going back. Maybe you will reconnect in the future, maybe you won't. Not knowing just kills me. It's accepting that you may never get closure, the answers you so desperately long for. You may live the rest of your life without them, or without knowing why. There may be no why. The answers you search for may not even exist, and if they do, they may not be the ones you want to hear.

It's realizing that whatever issue they had that made them make the choices they did probably had a lot more to do with them than it did you. I’ve learned through all of this that everyone you look up to in life is really just as messed up as you are. You walk around every day consumed with your life and all the things that are wrong with it and with you – and so does everybody else. Everyone has their own crosses to carry. Everyone is just trying to get through life, because let's face it, life is hard. People are not machines, they are human beings. We are flawed, all of us. People make mistakes. They mean well and put themselves in situations they think they can handle, and realize down the road that everything is spiraling out of their control. They run scared, fight or flight in an attempt to save themselves. Just like that, everything goes up in flames. When the smoke clears, they realize what they’ve done and who they’ve hurt. They have regrets and at the end of the day everyone involved suffers, but at that point, it's just too late.

It's acknowledging that there are always two sides to every story. People have reasons for their actions, and reasons why they made the choices they did. Those reasons could be totally bogus and wrong, or they could be somewhat valid. They could be valid, but still be wrong. People are notorious for making bad decisions in life, decisions that end up affecting the people in their lives. It could have been a situation totally out of their control. They may not have had much of a choice, or many options to choose from. Even if you know that their reasons were valid, at least partially, it doesn't make the loss any less. They may have never meant or wanted to hurt you. I have a feeling this is what happened with my "soulmate." Our situation was much different than the average friendship. It was complicated; we had a lot up against us from the beginning and I know how hard she tried. How desperately she tried. If our situation was under circumstances, we would probably still be in each other's lives. I don't believe she meant to hurt me, and if I ever really knew her I know that she probably has a lot of guilt knowing that she has. It was a loss on both sides. We are both suffering, both hurting. I just wish we were hurting together, instead of apart. I doubted this before, but I have come to realize that everything we had was totally real. The love that we had for each other cannot be faked. I read and re-read through our old text messages often; I have them saved in a place where I will never lose them. They are all I have left. Through my tears, I can feel the love that we had for each other just pour out of the words that we shared. I am shattered, completely overwhelmed with indescribable grief. I always wonder if she too is grieving; if she too is hurting and feels the pain of losing me, or if I have been forgotten by now. I know we both have regrets. I just hope that she hasn't come to regret me. All of the anger I had is gone. All that's left is sadness, remorse, and so much love that I'm not sure what to do with now. I just so desperately don't want it to be over – for now, maybe, but not forever. How heartbreaking, when two people who love each other are forced to go their separate ways.

It’s about finding compassion through the anger, hurt, and heartbreak. It's accepting that you will always love them, that you will always have feelings for them and you will always miss them and what you had. No matter what has taken place, you will always be thankful for them and everything they did for you and taught you while they were in your life. That will never change. They will never be replaced, you will always have a special place in your heart for them. You will always hope that part of them still loves you, cares for you and thinks about you. You will probably hold onto those thoughts for dear life whether they are true or not, and never let them go. They bring you some comfort. You will always want the best for them and hope that life treats them well. You can sever ties, but you can never truly erase someone from your life. The memory of them and the times you had will always be there – they will always exist.

It's healing. This will not happen overnight – it will take a long time, and it will be a process. It will hurt, and you will have to fall back some to go forward. Time really does heal. It's about going on with your life. Going to school, going to work. Yes, making new friends. Finding new hobbies, volunteering your time. Everyone needs something in life that lights a fire in their soul, something that they are passionate about and gives them a reason to be. This for me is getting to put my heart and soul into my involvement with the Miss America Organization. I just keep pouring all of my hurt, heartbreak, and negative energy into my preparation for the 2018 pageant season – something productive and positive to focus on that can help me create a better future. My "soulmate" was supposed to be there to support me at that pageant. My heart is broken that I won't see her face in the crowd, but I am going to take that stage and shine regardless. I will not allow anyone or anything ruin that moment or opportunity for me. The show must go on, much like life.

It's about getting up every day, and just continuing to live your life. Make the most of every day. If you truly considered them your soulmate, they will want this for you. Even with all the hurt, if you considered them your soulmate, what you had must have been real, at least somewhat. People don't generally throw that term around lightly. I know I don't. I've only had one person in my life that I loved in such a way that I dared to use that term. The one who got away. Everything I've ever wanted slipped right through my fingers.

It's about getting to the point where you can feel yourself getting stronger. It's about realizing that you WILL be okay, even though it won't be an easy road. It's about resilience and perseverance; a strength that you can only find within. You will have bad days, lonely nights, and the questions and what if's will probably always linger. There will be much sadness, and you will cry. It's about hoping you will rekindle your relationship in the future, but not living for it. It's about learning to love yourself and live your life for you. It's about taking control of your own happiness. It's about having a newly profound appreciation for the people in your life who have never left your side. The people who rally around you in your time of need, who support and love you endlessly, who ask for nothing in return with no strings attached. Thank you to all of those people, for having my back and seeing me through this crazy thing we call life.

It's about maturity – finding it within yourself to forgive, even though they did you wrong. Holding bitterness in your heart will only hurt yourself, in the long run, nobody else. I am still learning these things. I am still healing, slowly but surely. I still pray for the person I considered my soulmate every night, with the newly restored faith that I am gaining. I will never be the same after her, but at the end of the day, maybe that is for the best. Hopefully, I will come out stronger and healthier because of all of this.

These are the many phases of grief that I've experienced since losing my "soulmate" and some of the things I've learned along the way. I still bounce back and forth between phases, but that is all part of the process and I am making progress. The hardest thing I've ever done in my life was say goodbye to my mother when she died. The second hardest thing I've ever done in my life was say goodbye to my dear friend as she walked out and we parted ways, not knowing if we'd ever meet again. They were both very different losses, but the grief is still just as crippling. A loss is a loss no matter what form it comes in.

"They say it only takes a little faith to move a mountain;
Well, good thing; a little faith is all I have, right now." -- MercyMe

I would like to end this by sharing something monumental that I have experienced recently. I went back to church one time since I suffered this loss, and decided then I would continue going. I went only under the persuasion of others. I really did not want to be there. I stood there, arms crossed, stone-faced, completely stiff with tears pouring down my face. I did not pray, I did not sing, I did not worship. I just stood there angrily. But I was there. During the service, I had an epiphany: what if my soulmate's purpose in my life at that time was to lead me to Jesus and show me the love of God, so that I can be saved? Would everything she so kindly and selflessly taught me be for nothing if I just hardened my heart and turned away? How would that make her feel, and where would that leave me in the long run? Probably not where I want to be. My soulmate was the one who helped me open my heart to Jesus. She brought me back to God, helped me find a church, calmly and patiently addressed all of my questions, doubts, and concerns. She spoke His Word passionately, with everything she had. She acted as my spiritual guide here on earth: as if God had put her here to help lead me in the right direction. God had spoken to me through her many times, and the love I received from her was so unique. As I pondered all of this, the pastor said something that was HUGE for me. He said that God never leaves prayers unanswered. He answers with a yes, a no, or a later. This absolutely blew my mind. I prayed night after night for my soulmate and I, that God would help us through our hard times and keep us close. I was so angry that God had ignored my cries, that I stopped going to church and closed myself completely off from it all and I allowed myself to be led by darkness. This distorted my thoughts and behaviors. I felt that He, too, had abandonded me. I didn't understand at the time why He would take her away from me when He knew how much we loved each other and how special we were to each other. I thought I was so slick, pulling a fast one on God because I stopped talking to Him. Silly me, that isn't how it works. He can hear me anyway, I don't have to speak.

Perhaps, though, God didn't ignore my prayers. Maybe He didn't answer with a no. Maybe, just maybe, He knew that the time was not right for us then, and has answered with a later. In the moment that I made these realizations and connected it all together, I could feel her love again, and I could feel God's. Suddenly, everything was so much clearer and made more sense. At the end of the service, I sang. Ever so softly, but I sang. Tears poured down my face for the whole entire service. Going back to church was very hard for me. It brought back memories of her that I didn't want to face, so I tried for so long to hide from them. To my surprise, though, those memories of her really, truly helped me. Those memories reminded me that my darkness distorted thoughts were not true. It seems the things I was hiding and running from were actually what I needed all along. I left church that day different than when I went in. My heart still aches from missing her every single day, but I can think of her and smile again. I left with some of my faith having been restored. I will regain the rest over time. Going back to church made me realize exactly what it is I need to do with all that love that I thought I couldn't place, and where I need to put it.

I don't know what the future holds: for me, her, us, or anyone. But I have hope, real hope for the first time in quite a while and that will get me through until He reveals the unknown. I do not at all believe that our relationship ended because it was meant to, but only because it absolutely had to. I'm not at all convinced that either of us were totally finished, or wanted it to be over. The love was still very much there, I just know it. Maybe I am wrong, maybe this is all false hope: only time will tell. I know it will be a long time, but I am willing to wait whether it is two years or ten, or until He shows me that it's time to put it all behind me for good. I don't think we are at that point yet. I truly believe in my heart that there is a chance that God has answered my prayers with a later. This will give me time to strengthen my relationship with Him and with myself before I try to strengthen or re-strengthen my relationship with anyone else. And until then, I will carry my soulmate with me, always. She shared music with me during her time in my life, Christian songs that showed me her passion for the Lord and helped me start to develop my own. I can listen to those songs again for the first time since she left. I actually have the desire to listen to them again. I have been sleeping with them on repeat; they bring me comfort and remind me that He is good, and that I am not alone. They make me smile. They also remind me all of the reasons why I dared to call her my soulmate. She really was and always will be, regardless of what happened, and those songs remind me of that. I have used the word "soulmate" in quotation marks throughout this whole article as a theoretical term, because I questioned the validity of that word and what I had with her. But as I came to the end, I realized that there is nothing theoretical about it. It was and still is very much true. Quotation marks are no longer needed. I sing those songs that she has shown me, through tears full of joy, pain, sadness, hope, faith, praise, worship, and love.

Regardless of what happens in the future and if we will ever have the chance to reconnect, I will always keep all of the things that my soulmate did for me, taught me, and the love she showed me tucked away in my heart, and I will always be thankful. For now, I think I've made and found my peace, I will carry on and continue living my life for myself as I let God carry what is out of my control until I am in a place to carry it myself. The right time will come for me to pick this all back up and pursue it again, and believe me, I will; but that time is not now and I refuse to allow myself to miss out on the present by wishing my life away, waiting for the future. This is all precious time I will never be able to get back.

I've come a long way since this has all taken place, and it's up to time and faith now, to heal the rest. Grief really does take a toll on you – it's all a process. I'm not saying it'll be easy. I'm saying it'll be worth it. Your world's not falling apart, it's falling into place. Onward and upward.



Cover Image Credit: LoveThisPic

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.
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Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.


7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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An Open Letter To The Friend Who Continues To Save My Life

No one knows me like you do.

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From the day we became friends, we have always had nothing but support for one another. Although we have only really been friends for about seven years now, I feel as if you have always been a part of my life. You know me just as well as you know yourself, and I understand you in the same way I understand my own thoughts and feelings.

You have never made me feel pressured, insecure, or unappreciated. The mutual respect we have for one another is unmatched. We can talk to each other about anything; from some of the most trivial topics to entire life philosophies. We have grown and matured together, and I couldn't be more proud of the person you are today.

We don't always agree on everything, and I always appreciate your fresh point of view, but I have never felt more in sync with another person than I do with you. We share the same birth month, the same age, the same home town, the same anxieties, and many of the same attitudes and values.

I feel as if you know exactly when I want to be alone and when I need company. Since we are both introverted, we understand that the other person needs time to recharge. And when I'm sitting alone with nothing to do, I always get a text from you asking to hang out.

In some of my loneliest, most vulnerable moments, you have been there. When I question how many true friends I really have, you are always sure to make your love for me known.

Through high school, and now college, we have experienced so many life-changing events together. Some that have taught us extremely valuable lessons, and others that have shown us incredible pain and how to grow from our lowest moments.

I want to thank you for showing me what life-long friendship looks like. Thank you for always understanding me and never putting too much pressure on me. I see an incredible future for both of us no matter where each of our lives takes us.

We will always share a unique connection that cannot be separated by any distance. But, for now, I'm glad you're only one text or phone call away.

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