Beliefnet
How Great Thou Part

I am a bit nervous this morning. I am on the way to meet a friend. We have a few too many, obvious parallels and instead of feeling this is helpful it makes me sad. I never, ever, want to see a heart hurt again. Let alone one that would have never had the courage to see another heart suffer in the first place.

That is how good she is. I will call her “Bambi” because of her sincere innocence.

There is nothing, but gentle goodness within her. In truth, there is just an honestly about her – an unbridled love.

There was a day that there might have been some that knew me that might have called me as good as she is. In the days before I stayed so long that even a few who loved me failed to recognize me.

I try to restrain myself. I try to listen to her stories only I know her stories. They are mine with a slightly different setting. I watch her fight the tears and I silently get angry.

To witness water filled eyes from a gentle soul, a people pleaser, a fixer, a person who retrieves her happiness from others happiness makes me angry.

It is her new beginning. The dawn of her divorce.

The moment where some will never lose sight of her and others will walk away from her. The beginning of a loneliness that a heart that worries about so many others should never experience. It will lead her to a point where she begins to question if she ever had a light within her at all.

We chat for a bit more in between sips of water and coffee. I am passionate. I tell stories. I tell her what she is up against.

And then I tell her of the beginning of my new beginning. Of the dawn of my divorce.

I tell her what I wish someone had told me.

1. To self-protect by making her world as small as possible. This is a time of grief and hibernation where our energy is better spent on getting ourselves and our family through this. To essentially shut out the outside world because it can become loud and crowded with many opinions.
2. To develop more boundaries in her life and not discuss certain things with everyone nor allow people to say certain things to you.
3. To not care what other people think which is a challenge for anyone let alone the overly caring.
4. To immediately find a healthy physical outlet for all that pain to come out. To start running, exercising, doing yoga, horseback riding, walking – whatever it is just do it so that the stress has a physical chance of leaving your body.
5. To find an emotional outlet. Whether you are an oversharer (like me) or someone who keeps all your pain in – go buy a journal and start getting it out on paper. If you’re not into writing about it then list the things that are bothering you most and what are the things allowing joy in your life and prioritize. Just get the emotions out somehow uncage them. Similarly, find things to read about divorce or inspiration so that you don’t feel as isolated in your experience.
6. To begin a healthy diet to offset the stress. I made myself smoothies and ate as many good things as I could for as many days in a row as I could because they would be inevitably followed by tough days where I wanted to grab Cheeto’s and wine. I couldn’t control the stress so by eating as many fruits and vegetables and taking vitamins I felt that at least it was doing some nutritional damage control.
7. To clean out your house. The physical cleansing is an emotional cleansing because your mind is already crowded. You do not need your environment to be as well.
8. To get both you and your children in counseling. It’s a priority whether money is scarce or not.
9. To bring your faith into your life by reading a daily devotional, saying a prayer, listening to a sermon, going to a daily Mass. Whatever will give you respite and strength.
10. Write what I call your very own “Once Upon A Time Story.” Often in marital problems we lose part if not all of ourselves. We lose ‘our story.’ Each of us has a God given uniqueness that we came into this world with. So dig back in your memory to who you were as a child and what you loved to do and what qualities set you apart from others. Write the beginning of your “Brand New Story.” Let go of your significant other and find yourself.

I wish someone had given me this list of tips. These steps for my new beginning. Instead I got lots of tips about the right lawyers and the laws, etc. Yes, these were necessary, but divorce takes a huge emotional and physical toll on an individual. You have to be strong enough to survive it.

Instead…

I felt the need to keep talking about it since that is how I work things out. I felt the need to still keep showing up to events even though I was dragging my two hundred pound heartache through the door with me. I felt the need to consider every single piece of advice people gave me even though much of it was just one persons opinion. I felt the need for justice that everyone should be able to see what had really happened in my relationship. I worried so much about what was going on instead of focusing on the fact that things would begin to go write if I could get myself centered and strong again for both me and my children.

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