I am officially a Colleen Hoover fan 😃 ! I will be reading all of her novels in the coming months because this novel, It Ends With Us, was a gem. I didn’t know how much of a gem it was until the end. It was the slap in the face, the look in the mirror, the therapy, the confirmation, and the words to my thoughts all in one. I wholeheartedly recommend adding this book to your reading list.
The takeaway I received from the book is to know your limits in love and not lose sight of them by letting people cross them. If you do, you end up in an unhealthy cycle. I am one of those people who believe that love is not enough to sustain a thriving relationship. I’ve come to believe that through my own experience. I can recall trying to make a relationship work off of the simple fact of loving them. Trust was broken, communication non-existent, and respect was out the window. There was no real foundation to the relationship. I held on because of – My Love. You know what that made me- unhappy and exhausted.
Imagine trying to build a home with someone. Every part of the home required a characteristic of healthy love. So one wall was love, the next one was respect, the other communication, etc. How far can you get in building that house with just love? And yet there I stood. Constantly, trying to erect this structure without help or all the pieces needed to build and sustain it.
I could not for the life of me let the person go. For years I allowed myself to be in an on-and-off-again relationship. I was always waiting for the on-again period to come around, and be permanent. It was as if a permanent situation would be the ultimate prize. At best, It would justify all I allowed myself to endure. But you know the saying, if you keep playing with fire, you will get burned.
Like Colleen’s character Lily, I told myself he wasn’t as bad as my father. Trying to prove that and not ‘fail’ at love is what kept me holding on tight to… nothing. That very much yielded self-inflicted pain. I understood why I allowed this to happen through the imagery of Colleen’s novel. I lacked boundaries. I allowed my limits to be pushed until I entirely lost sight of my worth and what I deserved. I stayed because “It takes an astronomical amount of pain to disrupt a pattern” (Hoover 360). To this day, I still feel the pain that comes from staying away from a person you love.
Now that I have shared a little of my story. Here are the top 5 messages in the novel that resonated with me, which are also the top 5 reasons you should read Colleen Hoovers Novel, It Ends with Us.
1. “Imagine all the people you meet in your life. There are so many. They come in like waves, trickling in and out with the tide. Some waves are much bigger and make more of an impact than others. Sometimes the waves bring with them things from deep in the bottom of the sea and they leave those things tossed onto the shore. Imprints against the grains of sand that prove the waves had once been there, long after the tide recedes” (Hoover 214).
2. “Just because someone hurts you doesn’t mean you can simply stop loving them. It’s not the person’s actions that hurt the most. It’s the love. If there was no love attached to the action, the pain would be a little easier to bear” (Hoover 321).
3. “The last thing you want to do is lose sight of your limit…We all have a limit. What we’re willing to put up with before we break…But slowly with every incident, my limit was pushed a little more. Every incident chips away at your limit. Every time you choose to stay, it makes the next time that much harder to leave. Eventually, you lose sight of your limit altogether, because you start to think, I’ve lasted five years now. What’s five more?” (Hoover 335)
4. “I know you believe he loves you, and I’m sure he does. But he’s not loving you the right way. He doesn’t love you the way you deserve to be loved. If he truly loves you, he wouldn’t allow you to take him back. He would make the decision to leave you himself so that he knows for a fact he can never hurt you again. That’s the kind of love a woman deserves” (Hoover 335).
5. “Cycles exist because they are excruciating to break. It takes an astronomical amount of pain and courage to disrupt a familiar pattern. Sometimes it seems easier to keep running in the same familiar circles, rather than facing the fear of jumping and possibly not landing on your feet” (Hoover 360).
I am not someone who half loves a person. I Couldn’t even tell you what that looks like. I’m an all-or-nothing type of person. In the past, I tried to hold on tight to love, to the point of suffocation. I held on out of fear of losing it. However, I learned that love is not about possession. Love is about liberation. The best act of love you can show someone is setting them free, especially when being in each other’s life isn’t healthy. Through that action, you’re saying that although you’re not near me or in my life at all, I’ll continue to love you this way. By staying out of your life I gift you the freedom to find what/who makes you happy. Ironic huh? A lot of people don’t get that, and it may even go over your head. One of my favorite poets Maya Angelou, explains it best here.
I want to share two special lessons for the young people who read my blog:
#1: You don’t have to hold on tight to anything that’s for you. That shows fear. What’s for you is meant for you, and you’ll know because it’ll be clear, feel calm, and God’s hand in orchestrating it and preserving it will be present from the start.
#2: The worst thing you can do is fall in love with potential because potential is not guaranteed. You’ll lose so much life chasing behind a figment of your imagination. So much so that you forget to look at life at face value and live in reality. Please understand this quickly to save yourself from a bunch of heartaches.
Hoover, Colleen. It Ends With Us. New York, Atria Paperback – Simon & Schuster, Inc., August 2016.