The grief took me by surprise. The depth of my tears seemed to come from the innermost parts of me and sometimes I felt like they would never run out. I felt very much like death had come to my door, and I had no choice but to ride out the tsunami of grief it brought
- Death to surviving.
- Death to over functioning.
- Death to loose boundaries.
- Death to bending because I’m scared of losing love.
- Death to trying to make a happy ending.
Today, I find myself struggling sometimes to hold onto these new set of shoes I’m wearing. I want to kick them off and go get my old comfy sneakers that take me to places of desperation, neediness, over adaptation, codependency. But then I say no… I put bandages on the blisters forming where my new shoes are causing discomfort, and I keep walking.
I realize it’s normal to one minute want to run right back into the past. To soothe the pain of separation and loss and pretend that everything is okay.
But then the next minute feel the incredible rush of relief that comes with finally learning to honor oneself.
One minute you want to beg to someone, anyone, to tell you you’re worth loving, even when you’re not useful or accommodating to them.
The next minute.. standing in that feeling of alone-ness, in the middle of the night when your body and brain can’t fall asleep, and your souls whisper… “you’re doing it.”
One minute you can’t hardly bear the idea of being alone forever.
The next minute you cannot imagine how you went so long without a sacred space that is just for you.
Though the world sees me as incredibly competent and reliable, I’ve spent the majority of my adult life thinking I cannot be left to my own devices. I need someone to rescue me, take care of me, give me feedback because I can’t give it to myself. And it turns out this was the biggest lie of all. A belief system that dictated the entirety of my adult life is crashing down.
It’s only been a short while, but it feels like a lifetime.
There are still many hills to climb, many of which seemed huge and insurmountable before I made the decision to be alone. I wish I believed it when people told me those hills would not seem so huge once I trusted my instincts.
I spent so long being afraid of them, and here they are – and the grace and strength is there for me, in abundance.
Even still, grief is so messy and unpredictable. Sometimes I watch myself flail around trying to find a stabilizing force. I try not to fall into shame and judgement because no one ever said it wouldn’t be messy trying to break out of a cocoon to become a butterfly. Those caterpillars have to turn to goo first to even get their wings.
When I think about having a partner again, I feel so many things.
- Guilt. Should I not want this?
- Anticipation. Will someone actually be able to walk alongside me in this life?
- Despair. I don’t know that there is any man able to reach the standard I’ve now set for access to my heart and mind.
- Joy. I know that I’m an entirely different woman now and won’t choose out of need.
I feel God is close to me in this moment. I know He is near to the brokenhearted.
I see Him in the eyes of my children who are closely watching how I choose them as my first priority.
I see Him in the mentors who are right there to send love and advice and reassurance just when I need it.
I see Him in the face of my parents who show me unconditional love and acceptance no matter how messy my life gets.
I see Him in the arms of friends who are walking this with me.
And I know, when He sends me a partner who will be strong enough, smart enough, capable enough to just walk alongside me in this life – I will see God in his eyes too.
In the meantime, I will keep going. I will keep finding joy. I will wake up every day grateful I get another morning to get up and see the goodness of God in this life. I will celebrate life and love in all its forms. I will take risks. I will be gentle with my mess ups. I will find compassion for everyone, even those who don’t know how to care for my heart. I will choose forgiveness.
I will not be ashamed that my life doesn’t look like the fairy tale endings we were all spoon fed as children.
I will choose love.
For myself as much for anyone else.
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YES Julie YES ! “the grace and strength is there for me, in Abundance .” …” He is near to the broken-hearted !”❤️❤️❤️
Omg… First of all, every word resonates because I’m walking the same path… however this stuck out most: “Though the world sees me as incredibly competent and reliable, I’ve spent the majority of my adult life thinking I cannot be left to my own devices. I need someone to rescue me, take care of me, give me feedback because I can’t give it to myself.”
Ditto! Ditto! Ditto!
Like you, I am on my second marriage and likely second divorce. Not because my husband(s) are terrible people, but because of why I chose to be with them in the first place; rescue, care and feedback, as you put it. (Of course we know those inner insecurities and holes are much deeper than those words give credit too.)
Like you, I don’t process the world within the boundaries of “standard.” I am not exactly celebrating my self-discovery of why I choose the wrong men for the wrong reasons. I just hurt. I hurt for myself (which I feel guilty about), I hurt for my kids, I hurt for my husband. Everyone has new shoes on.
I am not an easy person to “walk beside.” My standards, my ambition, my values, my need for growth … I’m usually way out front being scolded for not slowing down. So I do and I begin to die inside. Like you, I ask, who can walk beside me if I tell the truth of who I am?
I hate divorce. I hate being aware of my contribution to it. I hate feeling numb. I hate feeling weak. I hate that I won’t be able to hide it much longer. I hate that I feel I must hide it.
And… I hate that some people love to celebrate the downfall of successful people and I’ll have to face that too.
Maybe Like you, I bet my business will double or triple in size because that’s how I process pain. I create more solutions. But like you, this round I will find solutions for myself instead of just trying to heal the world around me.
It will get better. Keep troopin on. You gotvthis!
Thank you for sharing this. <3
Love this. My emotions exactly when divorced after 23 years. Oh, how I so remember. Better days are ahead for you. Believe me I know.
This is absolutely beautiful.
I read this 3 times and each time I got something different out of your words. God is working within you and you will continue to rise above the pain
This took me back to 18 years ago. So much so, that I could’ve written these words myself (though, not as eloquently as you!). You’ve made a difficult and brave choice. I hope you can continue honoring yourself and showing yourself grace and love throughout this journey. I am here, from the other side of it, telling you that it does get easier. Love yourself. In addition to you, your kids will feel that positive change. ♥
I am at a loss for words. Wish i could take the pain from you. My love and support are always with you.