There is so much wisdom in surrender, knowing that I don’t know, opening to guidance, keeping the faith that there’s a reason, relaxing deeper into trust. When I could finally let go of the life I thought I had, the life I felt entitled to, I finally had the space to welcome my real life, as it is, right now. Then the real healing could begin. I had to let go of my marriage and I had to let go of my anger toward my children’s father for abandoning the marriage. I had to let go of control (I had none to begin with). When everything fell apart and there was nowhere to go but through, I learned to get clear and sober and fill my mind with prayer. I learned to turn everything over to a power greater than myself. I turned over my thoughts, words and actions, my hopes, dreams and fears, my beliefs, perceptions, my ideas of success and failure. Somehow, grace pulled me through the darkest nights of my soul; somehow I survived the changes that took time… I am grateful for prayers, sacred words spoken that bolster my courage and soothe my bodymind. I am grateful that my whole life has become a prayer.
You’ve come a long way baby! You were scared to live without him and then he left. You thought you were going to die, but you didn’t. You were terrified you wouldn’t find a new home, and then you did. You weren’t sure you could make ends meet, but you have, month after month after month. Just look at you go, sweetheart! See how it all works out? From my perspective, you’re a superhero. And…I LOVE YOU.
When he left I tried to forgive him. I wanted to forgive him and I wanted to forgive the other woman. But as much as I tried, it wasn’t working. I was still angry, lonely, grieving. I was still terrified, feeling betrayed, victimized. Then I realized I didn’t need to work on forgiving them, I needed to work on forgiving myself. I am training myself to understand that I’m worthy of love even if I’m not perfect. I’m working on forgiving myself for tolerating the way I was treated in my marriage. I’m working on forgiving myself for being human. With the focus back on me I can actually feel my body/spirit/mind/heart/self as it heals. I’m finally getting to know the woman I am, and I’m discovering that I love her.
We might feel haunted but what needs to get done. We might feel driven to achieve success, and we might believe that we’ll be happy once we do. I am one of those people. I am also fortunate to have teachers, mentors, guides and wise ones show me a different way. When I feel haunted by the to do list, I can pause. When I think I need to be more successful, I can pause. The household chores don’t all have to get done at once. I don’t need to achieve overnight success. I don’t have to prove myself to the world. I can pause to enjoy where I am and who I am right now. What a relief!
Halfway through this challenge, and I have to pause to be grateful for gratitude itself. I began a gratitude journaling practice years before my marriage ended, and had made it a habit to focus on what was going well in my marriage, so I was shocked when my husband announced it was over. Turns out he had been doing the opposite, focusing on what I did that annoyed him. Although I pleaded with him to step back and look at the good in our lives, he had made up his mind that I was the worst wife ever and there was nothing I could do about that. I continued to write in my gratitude journal as my life fell apart at the seams. I continued writing in my journal even as the voices in my head told me I’d be better off dead. I continued writing in my journal as I weathered storm after storm after storm. I have learned perseverance, strength, discipline, will, resilience. I have learned how to put things into perspective. I have learned that I don’t need a man to feel worthy— I am worthy because I exist. I survived. And I attribute a large part of my success to the mindset I developed while practicing gratitude. Thank you gratitude!