Here are a few of the things I learned during a 2013-2014 divorce, in no particular order. I kept them in present tense, the way I wrote them at the time.
- The healing tools I’ve been learning and teaching actually work. I knew that already, but lately I’ve needed them like a fire hose at a burning building. Being a healer isn’t just for other people; it’s what I do for myself, too. This work is real-world stuff, saving me, keeping me grounded and showing me how to keep my heart open no matter what.
- I can live with much less than I thought. Simplicity is actually really comfortable.
- Telling the stories ad infinitum (even as internal monologue) doesn’t actually make me feel any better. Lots of other things help much more than the ceaseless narrative that makes me so bored with myself. I’ve learned to go do those things instead.
- I have spoken to myself in ways I would never speak to another person, no matter what they had done. I have berated, belittled, and bemoaned all of my mistakes and flaws, and it spilled over onto other people. But when I learned to forgive myself, I let them off the hook, too. Forgiveness helped me to see that I don’t have to be a victim of anything – including my own anger and disappointment. All of this is within my power to resolve and forgive, without victimizing myself further.
- People like to be helpful, and will often offer things without provocation when they know you have a need or desire. Help can often come from completely unexpected places—if you ask. Accept it, say thank you, and try to relinquish the sense of obligation. Again: people like to be helpful – give them a chance by letting them know what you need.
- Specifically, get the more feminine souls in your life to circle up. Midwives, my loves. When birthing a new life of any kind, you need midwives to hold your hand and help you breathe. I treasure mine.
- The universe is benevolent and has a sense of humor, and really really wants us to get the joke. I just couldn’t invent some of the weirdness that’s been showing up, like, for instance, the basement where I’m living for now, which was offered at the perfect moment from someone I’d only met once before. Random, yes. But the irony of doing this underworld journey in a basement? Good one, Universe! <gun fingers>. Every time I thought something was going to be painfully hard, something would happen to make it easier, and even silly. Every time I felt alone, a friend would check in, like the tree frog that greeted me at the front door one afternoon, or my friend’s Jack Russell terrier, who curled up on the couch with me and made me weepy with affection. For all my writerly imaginings, I could not have written a more perfect solution to my loneliness that day. Which leads me to:
- Gratitude: the balm for pretty much everything. Notice what’s good, because there is always something. We get reminders this time of year to pause and express this. It’s very hard to hold gratitude and complaints in your heart at the same time.
In my journal, I described this whole shebang as a freefall:
The parachute opens. The view is beautiful. Gravity does her work.