After nearly 13 years of friendship, I was dumped by my best female friend. I was sent packing with a capital R as in REJECTED. At the time, it was devastating. We had been like sisters with late night phone calls, a shoulder to cry on, laughing together and spending Friday night dinners together as family.

Breakup of friendships can be just as painful, if not more, as a breakup in dating. We go into romantic relationships knowing there is a possibility it might end; that's not typically the case with a deeply meaningful friendship.

We grew up together through the pivotal years of adolescence to young adulthood, from age 15 through 27. That one friend who knew everything about me. We were attached at the hip. Sisters.

Then it suddenly happened. My phone calls stopped being returned. Conversations were filled with dead air, angst or outright insults. Being in denial, I thought it was a phase. I was prepared to stand by my friend during this time.

Maybe she was struggling to juggle being a working mom. Maybe it was an issue of marital disharmony. Maybe she just didn't want to be my friend anymore.

Well, it turned out it was the latter and I was crushed.

Who was I without my best friend? Who would give me the best hugs ever? Who would remind me of my awesomeness? All of it was gone just like that in the blink of an eye.

And now, four years later, I can confidently say I see how this was good for me. We can either grow through revealed blessings or revealed pain. It was this pain that gave birth to the person I am today.

I was determined to embrace this challenge in my life to make me better, not bitter. Here are the four crucial tools that helped me get back on my feet after the breakup.

1. Forgiveness

Like a moth to a flame, I persistently contacted my friend. It took months, if not years, to finally accept this new reality that the friendship was over.

There was no dramatic falling out. No incident or act of betrayal. Not even growing apart. None of that happened. One day she valued our friendship and the next day she didn't. It really was that simple.

For her.

But not for me.

Instead of turning my anger towards her, I turned it inward and it was literally killing me. I became depressed. What had I done wrong? What could I have done better? I had a list of accusations against myself a mile long.

How did I find my way out of this mental prison of self-incrimination?

Forgiveness. It wasn’t until I was able to forgive her that I could forgive myself. I had to decide between wanting to be happy or needing an apology. The only way to move forward was to both accept and forgive the situation.

2. Know yourself

I had put all my eggs of self-worth in one basket. And it was not my own basket. When someone else owns the definition of who you are, it's like a house built on a weak foundation ready to crumble at any moment. We need to acquire self-mastery and self-knowledge.

Today, I know my worth and from where it comes: within. That lesson alone – of self-acceptance, knowing your strengths and weaknesses and self-love – will create a more powerful version of who you are and the life you're living.

3. Offer up a blessing every day

I pass by her house nearly each day. Not because I'm a stalker but because we live a block away from one another. In the beginning, I would take circuitous routes just to avoid her home. That got tired real fast. So I started walking down her block knowing there was the possibility of running into her.

I got the strength to do this by reframing the entire situation. Every time I pass her home, I offer a prayer to God that her house should be filled with blessings – happiness, martial harmony, success and health. Each day was an opportunity to channel my discomfort and potential negativity into cultivating positivity and genuine warmth. I wish her only the best.

Layers of disappointment over the loss of our friendship shed away and my sense of love and self-mastery grew stronger than ever.

4. Love is unconditional

I uncovered the unconditional love I felt toward my best friend and her family. A person may not act in a way that we understand, but maybe we don't get to understand everything and everyone in our lives. Sometimes we're left holding a bag of mixed emotions due to someone's behavior and we simply have to accept it.

I've come to learn that through all the upset and anger, I will always love my friend. She may have done the equivalent of unfriending me on Facebook (times a thousand!) but still I love her nonetheless. Although we are at a distance, uninvolved in each other’s lives, ultimately I made the decision to love myself by holding onto the love that once resided in our relationship. That is our true power and the meaning of friendship.