Guilt and shame are the theme for many divorces. How do you remain on a positive life track, not get caught up in the blame game and release the need to be right or the martyr in your failed marriage? In other words, how do you mesh forgiveness, compassion and acceptance in divorce?
We all have a story about our marriage. We have stories about divorce as well. These stories are illusions and keep us from taking real responsibility for ourselves. While we recognize the concept of spiritual partnerships being a vehicle for spiritual and personal growth, remembering that we chose this relationship for our growth is difficult to remember when we (and our family) are hurting.
Divorce leads us down the path of asking important, life-altering questions such as: Who am I? How did I lose myself? What is my life purpose? Who am I without my husband or wife? We learn who we are, and what we are made of. It's difficult to step into this paradigm when society all around us still abides by the old one; the one that says this is a tragedy, I failed because we didn't make it.
As a divorce attorney, I remember being so thankful I didn't have to care for my kids alone, because I don't think I could have handled running a law practice while being a single mom. Then when I went through my divorce I learned I was so much more capable than I could ever have imagined. That boost of self-esteem was important for my own growth.
Isn't it interesting that even though 50 percent of the population goes through something like divorce, we still feel shame and guilt over it? Many people still feel the burden of feeling like a failure, like they picked the wrong partner, or they are not good enough to be successful in marriage.
Even though it is prevalent in our society, divorce still has not become normalized. As a society, we do not think in terms of spiritual partnerships. How different would we be if we understood that marriage was not necessarily forever, but only lasts until something major needs to change? How would our lives be different if we took on the perspective that we are truly here for our soul’s evolution and that break-ups are created specifically for our soul's growth?
Here are a few secrets of divorce I want to share with you:
Divorce is not about failure. Divorce is not about picking the right/wrong person and not about getting to the 50th year anniversary. Divorce is about your soul's longing for personal growth and finding the next level of growth. It helps to recognize that you and your spouse are connected at the soul level and have made agreements for this growth opportunity to occur.
Divorce is an enormous change in our lives. It blows us up, physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially. Nothing will be the same after a divorce. We might assume we failed, we might feel like we are damaged goods, but what is really behind the ending of a marriage is another story.
Divorce is an opportunity for growth, or plummeting down into the depths of guilt and shame. I ask you to envision yourself spiraling upwards into the self-discovery phase of your life. See this time as an impetus to move upward and onward.
Here are some questions that might propel you forward: What is the truth, the reality of your marriage? Was it all you really hoped it would be? Where was the marriage satisfying and where was it not? Did you or your spouse lose yourself in this marriage? What opportunities are presenting themselves to you right now?
Consider these questions as you aim to recreate your thoughts of divorce.
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