How an Ending Brought Me Back to Life.
After a two-year-long divorce, I am nearing the end of my 10-year marriage.
In the beginning, I had a couple of weeks where I used to wake up in cold sweats, drenched in fear and confusion. But after the shock wore off, I had a big realization: There is something of great value here. Could divorce be my defibrillator? Could this be the impetus to bring me (back) to life?
I tried to minimize the pain and be the bigger person, feigning the belief We’re all on our own journey, reading books about healing my heart, and affirming We all have the right to end a relationship — all of which are true, yet the wound wasn’t going to heal with an overlay of affirmations. I had to dig deep.
Despite my best efforts, I couldn’t shake the feeling of betrayal, and when all the lies starting surfacing, my anger hit a wall. And just when I couldn’t take one more lie or denial, I ended up slapping my soon to be ex.
As shocked as I was at my soap opera behavior, I saw clearly that this feeling of indignation was a part of me I suppressed to be the good wife. Not the slap, but the part of me who wasn’t going to stand for lies and manipulations anymore.
And the thing is, I brought the good girl version of me to the party, I showed up in my marriage ready to serve and not be served in return. I was eager to graciously take what was given (if it was given at all) without question, and no expectation for anything in return. This was not a reciprocal relationship.
I was emotionally depleted; in my marriage, I denied my own emotional and spiritual needs for the sake of being a good wife to someone who had basically checked out. Someone who towards the end of our marriage told me he didn’t see me as his equal.
There’s nothing wrong with being good, but when you are ignoring your own needs and feelings for the sake of another, it’s definitely no bueno.
I got to thinking, is it worse when you are betrayed or when you betray yourself? Deep in my core, I knew something was not right, yet I abandoned my intuition and stayed because of fear. I wondered, what else was I not willing to see? An investigation ensued. I called on all my spiritual teachers, healers, family, and friends. I prayed and cried and did so much Yoga that I was sleeping in child’s pose.
At last, I turned to the only place where all the true answers are: within. All this time, I wasn’t listening to my soul. The answers were in me, but I wasn’t ready to hear the truth.
My inner knowing told me that it was time for us both to move on to the next chapter of our soul’s journeys. I personally had been asking for change for some time, and when you ask, the Universe will deliver! So, buckle up, because the request won’t be met with flowers and a box of chocolates, it will rattle you to your core.
I believe it is important to take responsibility for ourselves, not to blame, but to have full awareness of who we are and what we want. If we are reflections of one another, then my husband deciding to leave to pursue another relationship, although painful, was a mirror for me. I realized this was an opportunity for me to strengthen the relationship with my Self and grow into the woman I had been afraid to become.
I wasn’t living in full integrity with my soul, so how could I expect that from him?
While I am still discovering who I am and what I want out of my life today, below are some suggestions on a few things I did which helped me start on my journey of coming back to life and begin the healing work needed to grow into Grace.
“Grace is a power that comes in and transforms a moment into something better.” ~ Caroline Myss
Feel your feelings.
Bereft? Angry? Confused? Elated? It sounds clichéd, but feeling your feelings will help you move through the pain with better awareness and compassion, for yourself and others.
There are five stages of grief that were first proposed by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in her 1969 book On Death and Dying, these five stages can be applied to the ending of any relationship or life cycle — even a job loss (grief comes in many shapes). It’s a good guideline to understand.
Oftentimes we think we should be past a certain stage or not feel certain feelings, but we all have our own time frame, and acknowledging where you are, and honoring those feelings as they surface, will help you come to peace and acceptance in your own time. The five stages are: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. You can read more about each stage here.
I found this to be especially helpful on days when I needed some reassurance that all was exactly as it should be. Right now, in this moment, whatever is coming up is perfect.
Find or reconnect with a creative or spiritual outlet.
Is there anything that makes your heart sing, makes time stands still and bring you to your joy?
I’ve always loved writing. This relationship ending cracked open my creativity, and even on days when the only thing I could write were endless questions, it helped me suss out my emotions. Putting pen to paper was my saving grace. So, bust out the dance shoes, crayons, glue-gun, sewing machine, guitar, shamanic drum, or sign up for a cooking class… whatever! Do anything you can get lost in, something which brings you a moment of relief.
Surround yourself with good vibrations people.
When you’re feeling your lowest, you need high vibrational people around, and by this, I mean the friend/sister/teacher/healer who is going to hold space for your pain so you can safely break down, if needed.
This is no time for the bash-your-ex friend or the I-told-you-so ‘friend’. You want clean-energy people who are there to lift you up without having to bring down another person when doing so. If you don’t have these kinds of people around, find a support group or a therapist who can hold space for you. This means someone who can listen to how you feel without judgment, opinions, or unsolicited advice, and whose words leave you feeling uplifted and positive.
Everything ‘Good’ or ‘Bad’ is temporary. Each moment is just that, a moment. We live in a revolving door of moments.
I remember someone once telling me Feelings pass, and it’s so true. Every moment, every thought, is temporary. Non-attachment is the practice of allowing yourself to feel your feelings without attaching notions or permanence to an event, idea, or person. Practicing non-attachment frees you of the idea that everything (even the great stuff) lasts forever, and it keeps you in the present moment.
Choose not to suffer.
The saying ‘Pain is inevitable, suffering is optional’ is so true. You have the choice.
At first, I felt like a failure. I believed I would be married until death do us part. And when my own mother asked if the reason for my husband leaving me was because I complained about something, I drew a line at feeling responsible or at fault. I chose not to suffer. Practicing true forgiveness (for myself and my ex) and understanding this wasn’t a matter of defeat, set me free.
10 years ago, I made a life with someone I loved, and now the relationship had changed. I had a choice on how this moment in time was going to play out, instead of looking at the end of my marriage as a failure or something done to me, I chose to be curious and open and look at it as an opportunity to grow in a new direction.
Above all, have compassion, patience, and love for yourself. Each day brings new challenges and new opportunities for growth.
Suggested resources for further healing:
Jenny Medina is a writer, blogger and an intuitive conversational healer. She is a Martha Beck trained Life Coach, and has studied and trained with numerous Shamanic practitioners in New York and Arizona. In addition, she has trained in psychic development and is certified in Ericksonian hypnosis. Jenny’s YouTube Channel is where she posts weekly videos sharing her personal life stories along with suggestions and resources on how to dig deep and live a self-actualized life with freedom and humor. Jenny lives in NYC with her two little spirit guides. Her interests include astrology/numerology, health/wellness, interior design, cooking, Yoga, and personal development. You could contact her via Twitter or Facebook.