"There is a time for everything..." Ecclesiastes 3
I didn't think I needed to give myself permission to grieve the ending of my marriage, but I did. It wasn’t because anyone told me that I had to be tough, or that I was expected to hold it all together throughout the process. It was, in fact, precisely the opposite. People expected me to be broken; and I get it. Divorce is often chaos. It's messy, it drains, it wrecks. I hated the stigma associated with it, and I didn't want to feel like that. I expected the obvious. Would I be sad? Surely. Disappointed? Naturally. But surely every divorce didn't have to end with feeling shattered and cold. I refused to relinquish my optimism. I wanted to be ok. I needed to be.
I was so busy declaring that I didn't need validation from anyone, that I forgot to make validation permissible to myself.
The divorce proceeded rather amicably. There were no great debates over possessions nor drawn out court procedures. In the grand scheme of it all, things were “Easy like Sunday morning”. I got so swept up in the smoothness, that I expected the healing process to coast along much like everything else had. I wanted to wake up and for “Tuesday” to be just another “Tuesday”. Not a day of with a void. A day of anger and uncertainty. Just a Tuesday, so that I could find a new routine, be in a state of rest, and feel confident in my decision. I figured I could control that. I wasn't overtly angry, and although it was hard, I knew in my heart it was the right thing. So I didn't want the pity party to roll in after the separation. The overwhelming sympathy of others was something that I could not bear. What I wanted was encouragement and strength.
The breakdown is part of the build up. Its purpose is to cleanse and prepare your heart and mind for growth.
I was so busy declaring that I didn't need validation from anyone, that I forgot to make validation permissible to myself. Underneath a few layers of solidity, unsettled feelings were brewing. The downhill ease of coasting through my feelings finally came to a halt. In gardening, you must till the earth to let it breathe. It has to be broken up in order to be rid of undesirable weeds and roots in preparation for sowing new seeds. And so it is with life. Just because I wanted to walk boldly into a new chapter of life, the previous nine years hadn’t become null and void. I still lost my love and companion of nine years. I was, in fact, heartbroken, but I didn’t know how to exist in both spaces - the courageous face of moving forward and vulnerability of being broken hearted. I eventually realized that being brave is not without feeling. Its the ability to acknowledge your emotions, “work the ground” and “weed” through them. The breakdown is part of the build up. Its purpose is to cleanse and prepare your heart and mind for growth.
Our circumstances may differ, but heartache is universal and everyone understands the language of pain. we all know what it feels like to hurt, whether it be a broken marriage, a severed friendship, a lost loved one, or countless other situations. Remember this - Give yourself the permission to feel. Don't worry about reflecting emotions that people expect you to be feeling (you may or may not be excited in a presumably thrilling moment, or feel relieved in a situation otherwise deemed tragic). Own your feelings and work through your emotions. Be angry, sad, or relieved. Cry, yell, and then breathe. Write your thoughts in a journal, talk to a friend, family member, or counselor. There is no shame in reaching out for help. I am still working on weeding through my thoughts and feelings. Its not a process that is achieved overnight. However, by allowing myself to go through all the levels, I am connecting with myself on a deeper, spiritual, honest and reflective level that is facilitating a healthy healing.
Sometimes it feels easier not to deal, but I assure you, new plants can’t grow and push through compacted soil.
Having it together all the time isn't a commendable act. It’s a stressful and draining facade. We try so hard to bury ourselves in our work, in other activities, or the company of others, so that we don't have to feel because feeling is tough. Feeling is reliving. And feeling can mean forgiving, accepting, and/or taking ownership for things that we may not be readily willing to do. Sometimes it feels easier not to deal, but I assure you, new plants can’t grow and push through compacted soil. Until you break though your sentiments, you can’t properly heal and move on.
Weed. Water. Grow. (repeat as necessary). Trust me, I have a “green” thumb remember?