I recently found myself flicking through photos that were taken during one of my two most excruciating breakups.

Out of all of the breakups I’ve gone through, and all of the people I’ve had to say goodbye to, there were two that made the largest impact on me.

My heartbreak always came in two stages: (1) the tornado, and (2) the aftermath.

I was always under the impression that the bulk of my pain would be held in the tornado. I thought that my pain would be intertwined with the smoke that took a house up in flames. I thought that my pain would align with the stars as lightning lit up in night sky.

I thought that pain was felt in the destruction.

But, the real pain came in the aftermath. My pain was in the wood and nails in the rebuild. My pain was in the sunrise when the birds were chirping and the day held opportunity.

My real pain came when it was time for life to keep moving on.

But so did the transformation.

That’s the thing about breakups: they are destructive and will shake your world to the core. But they also breed metamorphosis.

A breakup can be one of the most valuable lessons in your life if you let it.

If you’re in the midst of a breakup, it can be easy to lose sight of the big picture.

If you’re drowning in heartbreak, here are 8 tips to help you come out the other side transformed:

1) Let it out

Don’t fight it! You are allowed to cry or scream. Whatever you need to do to heal, just do it.

2) Be gentle with yourself

There is no timeline. There is no right or wrong way to navigate a breakup. There is no set schedule or expectation you need to follow.

Do you want to watch romcoms in the comfort of your bedroom with a pint of Ben&Jerrys? Do it.

Do you want to get out of the house and go hang out with your friends? Do it.

Do you want to go for a long run? Do it.

3) Take your time

As I previously stated, the bulk of the pain might not be three days after your breakup as you’re crying yourself to sleep. The pain might hit three weeks or three months down the road.

Allow yourself the time to heal. Do not put pressure on yourself to walk away unscathed by month three.

4) Do not self-sabotage

You are the captain of this ship. My only request is that with everything you do, ask yourself: Will it heal me, or will it hurt me?

Try your best to move in the direction of healing.

Are you considering hopping down the rabbit hole of your exes Instagram account? That probably won’t help you heal.

5) Acknowledge your unlimited opportunity

This is excruciating, yes. But it is also filled with opportunity. It is easy to focus on what you’ve lost, but look at what you’ve gained.

6) You are transforming

You’ve been given the chance to really transform! How lucky is that?

Your heartbreak might seem relentless, but it will probably lead you into being the best version of yourself.

Welcome the lessons. Welcome the next few months. Welcome the new beginnings.

7) Be grateful

Have faith that this broken heart is actually giving you even more than you thought your relationship could give you.

8) This too shall pass

Always remember: this too shall pass. As with everything, life goes on. That can either be the most harrowing realization or the most promising one.

Welcome where you are, whether it’s a tough day, or a great one…because, this too, shall pass.

Written by Celina Dawdy