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My last blog post was a year ago. One.Whole.Year. I wanted to send a note, “I’m still alive! I haven’t forgotten about you!”, but I was going through one of the very biggest transitions of my life and it was taking every last thing I had.
This is not how I thought my story would go. I wanted to stay married. I wanted it to work and to keep my family together. Until the day it became clear that it was time for our marriage to end.
There was the decision and the knowing, and then….. there was the Reality.
The reality was that the emotions were so powerful I was scared that they would take over. The reality was that I had to lean on my friends way more than I was comfortable with. The reality was that I’ve never cried that hard or that much in my life, nor prayed that much, nor felt so alone. The reality was that I was a stay-at-home mom for 12 years with a very comfortable life and things changed drastically.
Just the word, “divorce” brings up a lot of feelings, few of them positive. It was one of the most challenging things I’ve gone through, yet also one of the most empowering.
It brought me to my knees but gave me a choice: I could be the victim in this story or the heroine. I chose the heroine.
Here’s what helped me:
- Knowing that life is happening for me, not to me. Knowing that there is a gift in the uncomfortable and pain and being able to sit with it saved me from the pity party and fast tracked me to healing and moving towards what I wanted for my future instead of stuck focusing on what I didn’t.
- Being the eye of the storm. This has saved me more than once. Before I would go into any interaction with my ex I would take a few minutes to set an intention for the interaction, send him love and remind myself to be the eye of the storm, so that no matter how the interaction went or what he was saying to me, I didn’t get caught up in the crazy trying to defend myself and escalate things. I came from a calmer, healthier place and was able to make better decisions instead of that knee-jerk reaction.
- Boundaries. Oh yes, they were my best friends. I have gotten so good at these and it’s a game changer especially if you have to deal with this person for years to come.
- Feeling my emotions instead of numbing them out. When the darkness came, I let it. The first week after I moved out was the darkest. I knew I had to feel all the pain, but it was too much at first. I called my close friends and parents and when I couldn’t be alone they let me tag along to kids hockey games or just sit and watch TV with them. After about a week, the excrutiatingly intense pain and loneliness let up just enough to let me take a breath. I could be alone for short periods of time. And when the grief came I let it pour out of me. Years of pain and struggle came out, seemingly endless. The more I let it out, the more it lessened. I still have days now where a little sadness comes out of nowhere. I sit with it, listen to it and let it have it’s moment, then it passes.
- Coming back to the present moment. If you’ve ever faced a big change or struggle (um, that’s part of being human, right?) then you know how your mind can obsess about it day and night. Did I make the right decision? This is absolute hell, I can’t do it. How the hell could I put up with that for so long? Who does he think he is? On and on and so much worse than that. With practice, and a million times a day, I would bring myself back to the present moment. I would concentrate on my breath or the sun on my face or my sweet boys who were right in front of me. Then one second later my mind goes to I’m never going to be able to do this on my own. Then the next second my breath. And a prayer, God I surrender this to you, that the outcome will be the highest good for all. I send him love and myself love. And so it is. And that’s how it would go a million times a day. Until it got a little easier and lighter and I was spending way more time in the present moment than the past or the future, which is the only moment we ever have anyway.
This chapter in my life just further fueled my passion to help empower women in similar situations. I know some of you are or someone you know is walking through something similar.
Emerging Empowered is a 12-week Group Coaching Intensive that was born out of my struggles with the ending of my marriage and exactly what worked for me and the community I wish I’d had when I was going through it.
I’m co-leading this group for women who are ready to break old behavior patterns, change their stories, and step into the most empowered version of themselves.
If you want more information on my new group coaching program click here.
With so much love + gratitude