Getting Over Divorce
At some point in my mid-thirties I decided that I needed a RADICAL change. My life as it was just was not working. I prayed for guidance and I got an answer. It was not the answer I wanted but I knew it was the right answer. I needed to leave my marriage and moveback to Seattle. This felt like a colossal failure, especially since this was now the second time this had happened. My second divorce! The shame was excruciating. Not to mention I really did love my ex-husband. Even though we were probably the two least compatible people on the planet, I did care for him deeply and knew that this was going to hurt.
It also didn’t help that I had a long and detailed story about who I was because of this experience. None of it was favorable. How would I explain this to people? What future partner would ever accept this tragic flaw? It was like I had a scarlet D squared tattooed on my forehead. I was determined not to let this define me. I decided the best thing to do would be to get into another relationship ASAP, a perfect place to hide from my dirty little secret.
Somewhere along the way I became very confused about the purpose of a romantic relationship. Maybe it was Hollywood and the Jerry McGuire syndrome or maybe it is because I am a Pisces women with a penchant for relieving suffering in others and melodrama. Whatever it was, I got it wrong. I saw a relationship as a means of validating my self-worth. This inevitable sent me rushing into the arms of someone who refused to give me their approval. Instead of seeing this as just a wrong fit and moving forward my Ego mind said “Challenge Accepted”.
Unfortunately even after a second divorce I went back to my old habit of dating emotionally unavailable, wounded, and more often than not spiritually and financially broke men. As luck would have it the Universe had my back this time. A new relationship completely eluded me and the more I tried to make it happen the more things continued to fall apart. I didn’t realize it at the time but this is exactly what I had prayed for, even though I was resisting it with every fiber of my being.
Whether you are seeking God, Self-Actualization, Enlightenment, Peace, or whatever you want to call it, there are so many teachers that show up along our path and they rarely appear in the form I imagine. So far I haven’t come across a fairy godmother or yogi guru although I welcome them on the path as well. My greatest spiritual teacher to date has been my divorce and the opportunities for healing and growth that followed. Of course I had to be dragged down this path kicking and screaming, but now, four years later I wouldn’t trade my lessons for anything.
My top 5 Invaluable Life Lessons:
- Embrace Your Fear- My second divorce allowed me to have every fear I had ever imagined wash over me. The fear of being alone, judged by other people, rejection, and the fear of just facing my own bullshit and self-loathing. Grief and sadness are part of the human experience. I suffer the most when I believe I shouldn’t suffer.
- There are no mistakes- I am amazed at how when everything in my life appears to have completely derailed it somehow keeps working out. Right about the time that I completely convince myself that everything I have ever done has been a mistake, is right about the time that I find myself in exactly the right place at the right time. All of the people and situations that “failed” were exactly what I needed. Surrendering to what is instead of what I think it should be is always the point where transformation begins for me.
- Endings make way for New Beginnings- I have never been very graceful with endings. I have a hard time letting go. I have stayed in jobs, relationships, even cities way past their expiration date. Always for the fear of losing out. Knowing when to call it a day makes room for a new beginning, the opportunity for expansion.
- Don’t Settle for Less- A big part of my struggle has been my belief in lack. There isn’t enough. I have held onto soul crushing jobs and empty relationships just because I believed that I would never have the opportunity to date or work again. I clung to things that didn’t work because I was afraid I didn’t think I could trust that the right things were coming for me at the right time. I thought I had to take what I could get. Not true! By letting go of the things that don’t work for you, you can actually make room for the things that will.
- The relationship you are having with yourself is the most important relationship you will ever have- I know this sounds like a given but I did not know this, maybe intellectually it made sense but I certainly didn’t understand it on an emotional level. I was always looking for a distraction, a way to avoid myself. I don’t even know why. Looking back I can see how every dysfunctional relationship mirrored back to me my own dysfunction. It was no mistake that I was in relationship with broken people, I was broken too! When you have a loving relationship with you, you don’t tolerate anything less from anyone else. You are the one person you will never get away from so why not fall in mad passionate love with you.