I have just been listening to a marketing webinar in which the audience was instructed to do 3 things:
1- think of the most difficult challenges they’ve gone through,
2- describe the greatest lessons learned through those struggles,
3- and identify who would most love to hear what you know
These immediately popped into my head: divorce, my mother’s death, and finding a tumor in my breast. Of these, my divorce was the most traumatic. It’s the most alone, most afraid, and most uncared-about I’ve ever felt.
It was also the most life-altering and liberating thing I’ve gone through.
The greatest lessons I learned from it: I could get really skinny really quickly, I could survive on my own, and doing what is best for oneself is ultimately always what’s best for everyone else.
It’s been 14 years since my husband decided what was best for himself and walked out of our marriage. It’s been a little less than that since I found myself on the bathroom floor with a razor blade in my hand and my mother’s voice in my head saying: “either end it now, or, take responsibility for what you’ve created. Learn what you can and move on.’
It’s been just a few minutes less than that since I picked up the phone to my father. The two minute conversation that followed rewrote 29 years of relationship. It set me free.
I believe that’s the sacred purpose of divorce: to set you free from the roles you’ve been playing and give you an extraordinary opportunity to grow up and into a bigger, better, more integrated version of yourself.
When I didn’t have the courage, or will, or belief in myself to put paid to a marriage that was crushing my soul, my husband did it for me. I see it as his greatest act of love for me. For that I am eternally grateful.