10 Influential Women From History Share Their Take On Heartbreak



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Photo By Les Anderson On Unsplash


By Olivia Lucero



We gathered some quotes from some of the most influential women in history and the modern day so our menders can be empowered by their wisdom, leadership, and ability to create incredible things out of adversity and heartbreak. Here are some words that can help you mend, from some amazing women that have gone or will go down in history for their contributions to the world.

Frida Kahlo

She was a lively artist from Mexico who explored pain, passion, race, gender, class, and postcolonialism in her art. Her life and art later became more involved with politics, and she is now considered a Chicano, feminist and LGBT icon.

On overcoming heartbreak from a tumultuous relationship:

“There have been two great accidents in my life. One was the train the other was Diego. Diego was by far the worst.”

“I am that clumsy human, always loving, loving, loving. And loving. And never leaving.” 

“I think that little by little I'll be able to solve my problems and survive.”

“At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.”

“Perhaps it is expected that I should lament about how I have suffered living with a man like Diego. But I do not think that the banks of a river suffer because they let the river flow, nor does the earth suffer because of the rains, nor does the atom suffer for letting its energy escape. To my way of thinking, everything has its natural compensation.”

Jane Austen

She was an author who provided social commentary on the English gentry of the 18th century. She critiqued female dependence on marriage with humor and irony, and though her novels were successful while she was alive, they were published anonymously.

On the importance of social support:

"The composure of mind with which I have brought myself at present to consider the matter, the consolation that I have been willing to admit, have been the effect of constant and painful exertion; they did not spring up of themselves; they did not occur to relieve my spirits at first. No, Marianne. Then, if I had not been bound to silence, perhaps nothing could have kept me entirely—not even what I owed to my dearest friends—from openly showing that I was very unhappy."

"Elinor, in spite of every occasional doubt of Willoughby's constancy, could not witness the rapture of delightful expectation which filled the whole soul and beamed in the eyes of Marianne, without feeling how blank was her own prospect, how cheerless her own state of mind in the comparison, and how gladly she would engage in the solicitude of Marianne's situation to have the same animating object in view, the same possibility of hope."

“Friendship is surely the finest balm for the pangs of disappointed love.”

Whitney Wolfe Herd

She was a co-founder of Tinder that went through a breakup before starting Bumble, changing the world by changing dating. She was a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree and is working with legislators to make unsolicited dick pics illegal.

On creating mend monuments:

“They say that the greatest companies in the world come out of someone’s personal heartbreak.”

“Don’t let something hurtful from your past hold you back from what you want to do. Be brave.”

Anne Frank

She died at the age of 15 as a Jewish victim of the World War 2 Holocaust. While hiding for two years before being discovered, she kept a diary that has touched the hearts of people throughout the world revealing her hope and persistence amidst the hell she was surrounded by,

On gratitude and resilience:

“I don’t think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains.”

“It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart.”

“Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!”

“I know what I want, I have a goal, an opinion, I have a religion and love. Let me be myself and then I am satisfied. I know that I’m a woman, a woman with inward strength and plenty of courage.”

Oprah Winfrey

She was born in poverty and rose to become the richest African American in history. She's a media executive, talk show host, and producer that has been ranked as the greatest African American philanthropist in American history and the most influential woman in the world. 

On personal growth:

"Think about any attachments that are depleting your emotional reserves. Consider letting them go."

"Turn your wounds into wisdom."

"Challenges are gifts that force us to search for a new center of gravity. Don't fight them. Just find a new way to stand." 

"Pushing against the need to forgive is like spreading poison in your veins. Surrender to the hurt, loss, resentment, and disappointment. Accept the truth. It did happen and now it’s done. Make a decision to meet the pain as it rises within you and allow it to pass right through. Give yourself permission to let go of the past and step out of your history, into the now. Forgive, and set yourself free."

Mother Teresa

She was a Roman Catholic nun who founded the Missionaries of Charity and devoted her life to serving the poor, lonely, and vulnerable. She was canonized as a Saint for her work in Calcutta and many other countries and was granted the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.

On spreading love always:

"The success of love is in the loving – it is not in the result of loving. Of course it is natural in love to want the best for the other person, but whether it turns out that way or not does not determine the value of what we have done."

"Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat."

"The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted."

"There is a light in this world, a healing spirit more powerful than any darkness we may encounter. We sometimes lose sight of this force when there is suffering, too much pain. Then suddenly, the spirit will emerge through the lives of ordinary people who hear a call and answer in extraordinary ways."

Jane Goodall

She changed the way the world interacts with and views animals by being the first person to closely study chimpanzees. She famously taught us about their human-like qualities: they create and use tools, they engage in war, and they experience heartbreak over loss.

On finding solace in nature: 

“Chimpanzees have given me so much. The long hours spent with them in the forest have enriched my life beyond measure. What I have learned from them has shaped my understanding of human behavior, of our place in nature.”

“I think the most important thing is to keep active and to hope that your mind stays active.”

Michelle Obama

She was the first First Lady of the United States to hold two Ivy League degrees. She used her position to influence fellow politicians and began campaigns to fight childhood obesity, childhood hunger, education of young girls worldwide, and empowerment of young girls.

On going through hard times:

"You should never view your challenges as a disadvantage. Instead, it's important for you to understand that your experience facing and overcoming adversity is actually one of your biggest advantages."

"Do not bring people in your life who weigh you down, and trust your instincts. Good relationships feel good. They feel right. They don’t hurt. They’re not painful. That’s not just with somebody you want to marry, but it’s with the friends you choose. It’s with the people you surround yourself with."

"When you are struggling, and you start thinking about giving up, I want you to remember something that my husband and I have talked about since we first started this journey nearly a decade ago—something that has carried us through every moment in this White House and every moment of our lives—and that is the power of hope. The belief that something better is always possible if you’re willing to work for it and fight for it."

Hua Mulan

She was a Chinese warrior who dressed up as a man to take her father's place in the army and fight for her country. The following quotes are from the Chinese film Mulan.

On fighting inner battles (rather than ignoring them): 

"The General Hua you see before you is actually terrified of battle. I had been afraid and hiding all along. But I never thought my fear and hiding would cause the loss of the most important friend in my life. His departure lets me understand fleeing from the endless battles only makes us lose even more!"

"Someone once said, go too far from home and you will lose your roots. Kill too many people and you will forget yourself. If you die in battle, your life will sink into the ground like rain and vanish without a trace. If at that time, you fall in love with someone, hope will blossom again from the earth and embrace life with passion. Wentai, thank you."

Gloria Steinem

She's a social-political activist and a leader in the feminist movement. She founded of "Ms" magazine and Women's Action Alliance information center.

On letting go of the familiar and embracing growth:

"The art of life is not controlling what happens to us but using what happens to us."

"The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn but to unlearn."

"Once we give up searching for approval we often find it easier to earn respect."

writer photo

Olivia Lucero

Olivia studied romantic relationships and personal development for four years at The University of Texas at Austin. A true free spirit, she recently returned to America after farming in Ireland for a few months. Find her at her blog, Free Reins.

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