In the not-too-distant past, I sat in my mother’s den and had a discussion with her. On that day, I was really struggling. I said, “I think God is giving me more than I can handle,” as my voice cracked trying to conceal the sadness bubbling in me. She said that I was strong and that God gave me these obstacles because he knew I could handle them. “I’m tired of always pretending to be so strong when I’m actually crumbling inside,” I said, as the tears slipped out of my eyelids. I wiped them with my fingertips but they caught pace quickly & streamed down my cheeks.
It seemed as if everything around me was shattering. I felt like someone pushed the glass terrarium of my life off a shelf and I watched it crash down, as all the things I had grown over the years in it abruptly turned brown and lifeless. I had decided to end my marriage of 20 years. When I walked down the church aisle with my father in my long white dress, I believed I would be married forever–not 20 years. Despite my failed expectations, I had to work through deep healing and forgiveness of myself, so I could be loving and supportive to my children and continue a working relationship with their father.
A scarring event had caused me to detach emotionally from my spouse and the chasm just grew deeper over the years. Although the latter 10 marital years weren’t good, I stayed there and pretended to be happy because that is what was expected of me by my ultra Catholic family. My mother was the only person that knew everything that happened over the course of the marriage. In front of everyone else, I kept up the smiles and made it look perfect on the outside focusing my attention on my work and my children but inside part of me was dying like a plant with damaged roots. When I finally decided to end the marriage, my immediate family had a hard time with it, because I had been a very good actress in front of all of them and I was the only person in the entire family to get divorced; their world was turned upside down. But, my former husband and I both agreed it had been over for a long time and we had been going through the motions–emotionally disconnected. In this life, we cleared Karma, and had two amazing children that we loved unconditionally but the marriage could not be repaired. We had to face a new challenge–to work together and interact amicably to make the best loving decisions for our children, as divorced parents.
As I began my healing process, I first had to forgive myself for allowing the dysfunction to go on for so many years and for not loving and respecting myself enough during my marriage. I also had to clear guilt related to failure on a couple of different levels. First, the marriage had failed and regardless of circumstances, I was responsible for my part of that failure. Second, I had failed in keeping my family together for my children. I struggled deeply with that part because I didn’t want them to carry emotional scars from it. This point was later resolved for me by my son, Brayden. He said that it is better for parents to get along and be friends than to be married and act like enemies. I believe there is deep truth to this statement. For this reason, when conflict arises between my former husband and me, we work it out like adults because it is the right thing to do for everyone. If I ever forget this fact, my seven-year-old, Buddha-loving daughter reminds me that I must always be kind. One day, her father stopped by to pick something up from the house and we had a little disagreement. A few minutes after he left, she came in my bedroom and said, “Mommy, I need you to do something for me. When daddy goes back to his house, he is all by himself and you are in our house with Brayden and me and our dogs. So I need you to remember that and be a little nicer to him.” Then she cupped my cheeks and kissed my forehead and said, “I know you can do it, Mommy.” Yes, I felt like a horrible person after she pointed out the fact that I was being a nasty jerk; she keeps me grounded and in check, always. Although on a human level, there was pain from the marriage, on a soul level, we believe everything happened as it should honoring soul agreements, lessons, and clearing Karmic patterns.
In healing through this experience, I felt like shards of me were falling all around and I could look down and see sharp pieces of mirror reflecting bits of my life. I tried to pick them up, but they were too broken and didn’t fit together anymore. I feared who I would become without all these little broken pieces of me. Then I realized those pieces weren’t supposed to fit anymore. The person I was before, she shattered into millions of pieces and so I was growing into someone new–someone vibrant that was sensitive and happy. When the pieces shattered, my walls that shielded and protected me for years broke apart, too. I was no longer afraid to say if I was hurt or upset. It was ok for me to feel emotion again and I let my true self shine through.
There is still healing for both of us as challenges arise but we work through them because we know on a soul level, every experience we have on this Earth, even those that seem hurtful are actually done with love; it is all for our highest good. When pieces of us break apart, it’s because we have outgrown those parts and new things will grow in their places. I move forward on my journey with an open loving heart, a bright soul, trust in the Divine process, and a mission to be the best version of myself each day.