Archive | July 2017

July 21st: Getting Over What Other People Think

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It doesn’t matter.

Repeat this to yourself.

It doesn’t matter.

When I first began to walk through my divorce, I couldn’t stop myself from worrying what everyone would think.

I felt myself spiraling out of control.

I felt lost.

I didn’t want to talk on the phone.

I didn’t want to go out.

I was afraid.

What if someone calls me and they ask me about my spouse? 

and…

What do I say?

How do I stop myself from rambling on about all of the intimate details of our relationship?

How do I limit what I say and still sound adult, loving, and kind when speaking about my former spouse?

Every time I opened my mouth, I caught myself telling people more than they should know.

I would hear justifications in all of my statements.

I would leave the conversation feeling worse than I had to begin with like, I had revealed a private part of myself, my life, to an acquaintance and now that person could take that information and use it in any way they wanted.

They could tell my former spouse.

They could gossip.

Everyone would know.

I felt that I had made myself look bad by speaking about my spouse in a way that was inappropriate.

I didn’t want to give up my private information to someone outside of my marriage.

I didn’t want to say hurtful things about my spouse.

No matter what part my spouse played in the break up of our marriage, I had spent many years loving and caring for this man. I did not want to speak badly about him to anyone.

I would cry to myself, swear that I wouldn’t do it again and then… I would run into someone and catch myself once again trying to manipulate and justify what had happened in my marriage… trying to defend myself… what I did in the marriage… what I didn’t do in the marriage… to someone who wasn’t much more than a stranger.

I was giving them power over my life.

It was not their business.

The cycle was hurting me.

I had to keep repeating to myself:

It doesn’t matter what they think.

What matters is what I know.

Repeat that to yourself:

It doesn’t matter what they think.

What matters is what I know.

And what did I know?

That I am a good person.

That I loved and cared deeply for another human being.

That I gave all I had to make my relationship work.

That I have value and that I brought value to my relationship.

That I did the very best that I could and no one knows that better than I know myself.

No one can take that away from me… what I already know in my soul… in the deepest part of my heart.

People can gossip and say what they want, but it is up to me not to let other’s opinions of me diminish who and what I am.

I am a good person.

I am a child of God.

I am a caring and compassionate person who gave my best to my relationship.

It doesn’t matter what other people think.

What matters is what I know.

“Dear God, help me to believe in myself. Help me to let go of what other people think of me. Help me to remember that you and I know the truth about my relationship with my spouse and that’s all that matters.”

July 20th: New Beginnings

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Endings are difficult.

They can bring pain or they can bring relief.

Either way, they bring change and change is not easy.

Change can be scary.

It can seem so overwhelming.

You may be fearful that the end is truly the end. That nothing else of importance will ever happen in your life. That there is no reason to have hope.

You had hope before…and where did it get you?

To an ending.

Yes, it is an ending… but it is also a new beginning.

A friend once said to me, “When something ends, it leaves a void in your life. When you have a void, something else comes and fills in the place that has been left empty.”

Your new beginning will bring you new things.

Yes…it will be scary but isn’t it exciting?

Your life is now full of new beginnings. You will meet new people. You will walk new paths. You will find new ways to experience life. Things you never thought of doing… you will do.

Endings are hard but remember… they bring new beginnings and new beginnings can bring you happiness and joy that you may never have imagined.

“Dear God, let me see this ending as truly a new beginning. Let me be open to the new people and experiences you lay before me. Help me to walk with excitement into my future instead of in fear.”

July 19th: Progress, Assessment, and Celebration

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Today marks the fourth year of my daily divorce meditations and so, I pause to celebrate my accomplishment and assess my progress.

It is so easy to be hard on myself… to feel that I am still stumbling… still learning lessons I feel I should have already learned.

But, in this moment, I stop to be proud of all I have done to move forward in my spiritual process.

How different my life is today.

How happy I am today.

I would have never believed at the end of my marriage and the beginning of my divorce that I would ever find a way out of the pain and despair but I have done just that.

I have practiced so many important things that benefited my well-being this year, that in the past, I was never willing to do:

To admit that I was vulnerable and able to ask for help…

To thank others for being a part of my life…

For accepting multiple perspectives and learning to live-and-let-live…

For having courage and faith to make hard decisions…

And knowing that I am a work-in-progress and living life to the best of my ability each and every day.

It is never easy to accept a great loss and move on.

It is never easy to recover from heartbreak.

But time carried me through and taught me that I am stronger than I ever believed and that I can survive setbacks of the greatest magnitude.

“Dear God, thank you for giving me the strength to continue on. Thank you for guiding me out of pain and despair and into my new fulfilling life.”

July 18th: The Horizon

July 18th

I spent most of my marriage always looking towards the horizon:

When we have enough money to pay our bills… we will be happy.

When we buy that house we’ve always wanted… things will get better.

Once the children are a bit older… we’ll finally have some quality couple time together.

I was so busy focusing on the horizon that I never looked at the reality of the moment: that we loved each other but we were struggling.

Our day-to-day compatibility was faltering.

After my divorce, I continued on with my pattern, hoping that on the horizon I would find my perfect life:

As soon as I get my Master’s degree… I won’t have to worry about supporting my children.

As soon as I get in shape again… I will feel so much better.

As soon as I begin a new relationship… I will know true love and commitment.

Spending all of my time looking at the horizon, always looking ahead, keeps me from seeing what I must see: my life as it is today in the moment.

Sometimes, in despair, it is easy to fix a mark on the horizon and point to it…

But to live for the horizon… to constantly steer towards it without stopping to really look at things, assess my wants and needs, I am blindly walking towards a future that may be contrived of illusion and fantasy and not in my own best interest.

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“Dear God, help me to stay focused in the moment. Help me to use this present day to guide me in the right direction.”

July 17th: Coming to Terms

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There are only so many times that I can ask for what I want before I must stop asking.

My divorce taught me that no matter how I may love someone… no matter how I may want to be with that person… if I keep asking for what I need and their answers or their actions continually express the word, “No…” I must come to terms with the relationship and decide if I can carry on with it.

How much am I willing to take?

How much am I willing to give?

Have I set up a relationship where I am constantly the nurturer? The giver? Allowing someone else to take from me at all costs?

If I am left wanting… spent… worn from sharing so much of myself… then where do I go from there?

I know now that I have to love myself enough to let go of what is no longer working for me and find a relationship where my love is valued and cherished, sought after by the person I choose to share my life with today, and that together, we will build a mutual loving relationship based on honesty and respect.

“Dear God, help me to let go of old behaviors. Help me to move forward in faith and know that my future holds a better life for me.”

July 16th: Expectations

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I have expectations for everyone and everything and it is one of my character flaws I seem to refuse to let go of.

I am so good at creating “my fantasy world of choice” that I can basically map out an entire scenario for something that hasn’t even happened and then, feel totally deflated when it does not work out the way I planned it.

But, having these unrealistic expectations for every person I love and every life experience I am inclined to be a part of, leaves me vulnerable to two things:

Never really accepting the reality of my world and…

Constant disappointment.

Today, I am working very hard to “hope” without “expecting.”

It is difficult to let go of the fantasy and stay present in day-to-day life but, the more I practice keeping my mind where it should be… in the moment… the easier it will be for me to one day let go of my unrealistic expectations and my illusions.

“Dear God, help me to accept people and things as they are. Help me to live each moment in the moment and appreciate what it has to offer.”

July 15th: Regret

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I have a friend who likes to say, “I have no regrets. Everything I did led me right to this very place.” And… I would have to agree with her that yes, that is absolutely true… but I still have regrets: Things I said poorly… Choices I wish I hadn’t made… Incidents and actions that changed my life… But I do not use my regrets as a way of chastising myself for an eternity:  I believe that regrets teach me lessons that I could not learn in any other way. I cannot go back in time and fix things… change things… re-run the tape of my life. I must accept life as it is today: regrets and all. But, I can choose to use my regrets as poignant reminders of actions I do not wish to repeat. Today, I know how I want to treat a loved one in a relationship because of my regrets. Today, I know how I want to interact with my family and friends because of my regrets. Today, I know that just for this day, I want to be a kind and empathetic person with no regrets. So instead of obsessing over what cannot be changed, I use my regrets to guide me in the present, to be the person I wish I had been… in my past.

“Dear God, help me to forgive myself the mistakes I have made. Help me to learn from my regrets and move forward with a humble heart.”