At the end of 2007, I left my marriage of fourteen years and began 2008 in a small two bedroom apartment. I felt as if I had jumped from a tall bridge, attached at the ankle, to a bungee cord. I was full of both exhilaration and terror. I remember very little in this time frame, accept that, I bought a blow up mattress and a lamp. All I had was a suitcase full of clothes and the unknown future.
When I look back I felt so light. Though I was scared and very nervous of the huge decision I had made, somehow I was at peace within myself.
I had been reading many self help books, journaling and making vision boards at that time of my life and knew in my bones I had to leave the marriage.
It was the summer of 2007. I was at a Dave Matthews concert with my ex-husband and our friends. I was laying on the grass reading a book about Qi-Gong, when all of a sudden I knew I had to make the biggest decision of my life. I was at a crossroads, walking the yellow line and quickly felt the road coming to a Y.
I promised myself I would leave the marriage with the intent, to continue to be friends and to be the best parents we could be. I can say that it wasn't always easy nor was it a bed of roses but we have accomplished this huge intention... to be kind and friendly to one another.
In today's world, I did not know of the ever present disdain, (the feeling that someone or something is unworthy of one's consideration or respect; contempt)
for divorce. I was more nervous to tell my parents than actually divorcing. I remember sitting in the car, the night I told my parents that I was planning to leave, crying, because I just wanted peace.
Within my heart and psyche was an area that was so overwhelmed and so "over it." I had come to a place where I just couldn't do it anymore. I wanted out. I wanted serenity. I wanted to remain friends and to leave before I hated him. More than anything I wanted to leave the marriage with intentions to remain respectful and never to drag him or our relationship through the mud. I wanted to conserve the love that we had for each other and still be able to share nice memories, though there were many times I would have loved to forget.
At that time my daughter was only in 5th grade. Having asked her of memories about this time, the only thing she really remembers was being asked to go to her room because we were always arguing. She said she would sit in her room with her back to the door.
As a mom, hearing her memory broke my heart, but I was glad she didn't really remember the other horrible times where remotes were thrown or pictures came off the walls. I was glad she felt loved, cared for and always taken care of. She continues to have really fond memories of her childhood; for that I am grateful. She loves her dad and is happy that we have remained cordial. She refers to us three as the "OG" which stands for, original family. Despite wanting to have more children, she was an only child. When her dad remarried she gained three brothers and sisters.
On January 1st 2008, I remember waking up to a whole new life. I felt so light. I had not taken anything from the house, though, later I went back and took some furniture and pictures etc. after we agreed upon what we each wanted. Those first few weeks I was in a daze. In fact, I hardly have any memory of what happened. I don't remember where my daughter was or even having her with me. I believe she was at her grandmas house that week, because it was during the holidays, but I sincerely don't remember. I was on autopilot with very little presence because I was fully unsure of how to go about divorcing.
I could see myself walking, driving and going about my days not able to connect to myself fully because what I was doing felt so bizarre. Yet, at the same time, I knew what I was doing was was needed for my mental, physical and spiritual health. You see, I still loved my husband. I still loved the smell of his cologne, the way he danced at weddings and the life we had created as a family. However, I didn't like what we had become as a couple. I knew that we needed to go in different directions. Our "karma contract" was complete. We were not good together. We disagreed often and we didn't think alike. Looking back, and being honest, it was a very dark time of my life. However, I could see the light at the end of the tunnel and I kept my eyes looking ahead.
When you know within your bones that you are supposed to take action you have to muster a ton of inner strength and bravery to put yourself in motion. Divorce is like taking two pieces of paper that have been glued together and trying to separate them. It isn't possible. You'll never be the same. You have to fully rebuild.
This clearing of my energy was profound to say the least. I found my face hurting from smiling so much. I found a renewed skip in my step and a cute little kick in my canter. I was eager to wake up everyday. I didn't feel bad for myself. I felt excited. Every now and again, sadness would percolate up and I would experience disappointment because I had broken the life long commitment of marriage, but I made a new vows to myself. I promised to put myself first and to befriend my soul. I made a pact to protect my heart and to listen to my inner truth. I vowed to put my spiritual life above all else and to enter into a lifelong commitment to myself.
After many many moons of disconnection and upset, I had a sense of pride and felt a renewed appreciation for life. I decorated my little apartment, got a new bedspread and was quite proud of the decisions I was making. Though the memories of the past would often perk up I would try to find optimism and gratitude for what I had been through.
During this time I lived on the Oregon Coast. I believe this is when I started ritually driving to scenic spots to think and clear my head. I would often drive an hour away to Cannon Beach to walk and let my toes touch the ocean. I'd pick up random sea shells or sand dollars and cast them out into the water to let memories go or sadness leave me. I swiftly found this to be the best way to release the past and have since continued this practice. Tossing a stone or any item into water has a certain mystic energetic. Watching flower petals float away is quite serene and allows a subtle cleansing to occur. The water and leaves, or rose petals working together to allow for a drifting away...
I love to stand near water and connect to the breeze, closing my eyes, taking a deep inhale while extending my arms. Then, I open my eyes and gaze out before me taking in all that nature is offering me and connect to the vastness as I move back and forth. It is such a bold act to open your heart and let things that are dear to you, leave. The heart wants to open and be strengthened and it will if we let it. The power of intentional release is deeply healing. The act of forgiving yourself for the participation in un-healthy actions, knowing you may never forget, is perhaps the greatest release of all. Assimilating the lessons does not happen instantaneously. Quite the contrary. It takes years to heal. It is now 2018 on the cusp of 2019 and this is maybe the first time I have ever written about my divorce.
There are layers upon layers of emotions and belief systems that we hold and engage everyday, both consciously and also unconsciously. It is only when we become conscious of our programming and patterns that we can bring that which does not serve us into the light and work with our shadow for healing to occur. The great work of self alchemy is not for the weary. It takes commitment, diligence and discipline to work with yourself on a conscious level. It isn't so much about setting goals and achieving them as it is about feeling into what will best serve your purpose and greatest joy.
To accomplish what I have in this short time has been no easy feat. I have had to deal with unresolved "stuff" that I had stuffed down. We all do this. But, will we allow the trauma to be seen in order to deal with it? Or, will be bypass, deny or even lie to ourselves? I call this the "Ya butt." We place statements in front of our traumas such as "it's hard." Yes! It is very hard, AND you can overcome and deal with these traumas if you allow yourself the availability to work through them.
Clearing your life of unwanted and unneeded energy is absolutely necessary to living a healthy, happy fulfilled life. You cannot continue to believe the lies you have told yourself or remain in your self created suffering. No amount of bypassing or denying of your circumstances in any way is ok for your mental or spiritual health. You must engage the unresolved emotions and allow for them to percolate up in order to deal with them. Being honest with yourself can be grueling and often the most painful process of all. Looking in and exploring our deepest feelings can be absolutely annihilating. Self inquiry is valuable.
Cultivating self care rituals and practices to help you stay clear and at peace proves to be critical. Self care, self nurturance and self love proves to be essential.