For a long time
it felt like something was missing.
I had been a Mrs. for so long,
and now he was gone.
There was an empty place in my bed,
a hole in my heart,
an vacant seat at the table,
a void of presence in my life.
But slowly, slowly,
as time went on,
I faced the one inside me
who believed I couldn’t make it on my own.
I worked hard.
Day after day, I recommitted to my healing.
I began to enjoy the company I kept
in the quiet moments of solitude
when I wasn’t working or mothering.
It’s Saturday night and I’m alone.
The highlight of my evening was a long soak in the tub.
I love this moment.
I love that nothing is missing.
I love that I can feel my wholeness now.
I love that I stayed alive for my healing.*
*If you’re reading this with a broken heart, having gone through a loss of a relationship or the loss of a loved one or the loss of something by which you formed your identity, please hang in there. It gets better. There were so many moments during my separation and divorce that the pain was so intense that I really thought I wanted to die. Thankfully I had Twelve Step Meetings, therapy and a few really good friends who helped me stay on this planet. On the other side of that terrible trial, I can look back and see what a gift it was. I am stronger now, and more capable of loving authentically. I have a clearer sense of who I am, and a much better idea of where I want to go and what I need to do to get there. There is hope, friend…hang in there.
I hand over the keys to my old house.
This evening I brought my children,
7 and 9 years old,
over to the old house to say goodbye.
We lived there for almost five years,
and when you’re 7 and 9,
that’s a good portion of your life.
They had fun running through the empty house,
their whoops and hollers echoing off the bare walls.
I walked room to room, thanking the house.
I said goodbye to the experiences it held,
good and bad.
I said goodbye to the kitchen island,
the epicenter of my creative expression there,
where so much fabric was cut for sewing,
so much art was made,
many meals prepared,
many words exchanged.
So many feelings now.
Relief to let go.
The pain of still healing wounds,
the memory of the grief and loss,
and the love that was shared there too.
I can remember all of it.
We returned to our new home,
still piled high with boxes,
little paths running through them.
I made a big pot of chicken soup
and we sat in the kitchen together,
the kids goofing off,
giggling with their noodle mustaches,
droplets of broth flying…
I’m grateful for them.
Just when I thought my heart might break
from another surge of memory,
they remind me that
home is here
and life is now
and love is real and present
and there is nothing missing.
After years and years of believing
there was something wrong with me,
a part of me thinks there’s something wrong
if I’m not feeling anxious, under pressure.
But as I relax into the ground of being
and just let myself be held,
as I release the illusion of control
and gain a felt sense of my own worth,
I see that there really isn’t anything to be done.
I mean, sure…
Bathe, feed the children, do your work,
get some sleep,
but other than this,
there is nothing the moment requires of us
Back and forth
and back and forth
between the two worlds.
And slowly what was before
is transferred over to what is now.
If I keep taking this stuff with me
wherever I go,
I’ll keep having the same experiences
over and over and over.
I’m ready for something different,
but I need to learn to let go.
I can hear the shaming voice,
the one who blames me,
who tells me I never get anything right.
And then I need to just sit and breathe
I can’t get this wrong.
No matter what happens,
life will hold me.
Can I surrender into this infinite embrace,
and just allow what is to be?
I shared my story tonight,
was witnessed by my recovery family
as I told the tale of the last
two and a half years of my life.
There were moments where
I thought I might not make it through,
so overcome was I by emotion.
But I breathed, I paced myself,
I spoke through the emotions,
I let my family see me.
Afterwards, these beloveds gave me hugs.
they told me they were proud of me,
of how far I had come.
They told me they were inspired by my story,
my willingness to be vulnerable,
to speak my truth, to be seen so deeply.
Life is a mystery;
it can only be understood looking backwards.
As I look back on the last two years,
I can see that the worst day of my life
was the greatest gift—
of freedom, of authenticity,
of finding my true power,
and expressing it out in this world.
You know, he said,
You really are getting a lot of this right.
And I took this in,
and I wondered why I fixated so
on everything I thought I was doing wrong.
Could it have been the way I was spoken to
during my marriage?
Or was it the way I was spoken to
when I was a child?
I’m thinking both.
I’m thinking what I learned as a child
led me to tolerate
what happened in my marriage.
Now it’s time to heal.
Now it’s time to celebrate who I’ve become.
I’m a human, and I make mistakes,
but you know what?
As a single mom/yoga teacher/meditator/
healer/visionary/creatrix/lover of God
I really am getting a lot of this right.
Just one step forward,
just one little action.
Write the goal down;
you don’t have to know how.
Just breathe. This doesn’t have to hurt.
Yes, it may take some hard work,
and yes, there might be some setbacks,
but this is life.
Infuse love into everything you do;
and some day (hopefully) far in the future
when it’s time for you to leave this body behind,
you’ll know this world is better
for your having passed by this way.
Perfection is a myth.
Just make a little progress, bit by bit
and it will be a life well-lived.