My ex-husband is getting re-married tonight in a traditional Indian ceremony, and my daughters, 11 and 13 years old, have their hands hennaed, and their jewel-toned Indian dresses ready to go. The big life moment seems even more surreal with the added exotic flair.
But, this isn’t about him or about my girls. It’s about me, and how I am celebrating too.
I was divorced five years ago, in 2010, and let me first admit that I experienced every bit of my sadness that year, let it pass through me. I was heartbroken. Fast forward five years, after countless hours of time alone, of reflection, of joy, of kindness to myself, of deep healing, of interesting, sexy, growth-inducing relationships….
What do I know for sure?
- That every romantic relationship we have ever had was meaningful. There was a gift there, something your spirit, your deepest essence yearned for, wanted to experience. Focus on what that gift was. Reclaim and own it for yourself. Focus on your gratitude. Some relationships were meant for a short time, others for years. I picture each of the relationships I have experienced, whether my 12 year marriage, or my most recent five month one, as the gift that they were. I envision each like a treasure chest, some more gilded and golden than others, with the best of what that man brought to me, and the best of what we shared. And importantly, I envision that “treasure chest” outside of my body (not in my heart- need the space for my next soulmate), and also importantly, the lid is respectfully closed. With gratitude, I can move onward.
- Emotions like anger, scorn, and the feeling that “justice was not served” are like poison to your physical and mental well-being. I can make you sick. During the year of my divorce, I could barely walk without limping, My auto-immune inflammation numbers were three times the normal level. You must find a way to first acknowledge and then release those negative feelings and get them out of your body. Carrying resentment is like throwing your body at a fence…does it hurt the fence? No, it hurts you. Do therapy, do a gratitude journal, see healers, get bodywork done, pray like mad, get busy spreading your gifts and your love to such a degree that you ARE love, you ARE forgiveness. Lastly, forgive yourself for carrying that crap. When you leave those lower vibrations behind, you soar in the world as your true self, with glory.
- No matter how rough things ended between you, remember that everything you experience with a relationship is a co-creation. That is hard for many of us to admit, since it is easier to blame another than to take responsibility for our part. I have done a lot of work on this, considering the endings of my past relationships, and nope, it was not pretty to admit my faults, how I may have contributed, but it was freeing.
- Move towards love. Remember that moving away from a relationship can ironically and absolutely be taking a stand for love—for love for yourself, for the belief that greater love is your future and your birthright. I wear a 22-karat gold pendant, right against my skin, that says “LOVE” on one side and “OPEN HEART” on the other as a reminder. It may not feel like you took a stand for love when you are no longer with him/her and are home alone on a holiday (yes, that has happened to me more than once), but I have a deep and undying belief that I will experience an extraordinary, magical and lasting love in this lifetime. It will be so.
- Know that what you stand for matters, and will sustain you. My highest values are LOVE and TRUTH. Ironically, as my 100-foot retaining wall is getting reconstructed this week in my backyard, I am reminded that these deeply held values likewise hold me together, are my personal retaining wall, my deepest grounding, and have been at the core of every hard and inspired decision I have ever made, relationship or otherwise. Does this decision, this stand, this new relationship move me toward love? Does it allow me to express my deepest truth? Because I make decisions this way, and am true to myself, I have no regrets.
As photos of my girls are coming in on my iPhone from my ex’s wedding festivities, I am feeling nothing but blessed, calm and filled with gratitude for my beloved girls and for me in this moment. Healing can do that for you.