Having lived through two ended marriages, the day came when I finally had to look at myself. When the first one ended, I felt so alone and unloveable, I ate 50 pounds worth of chocolate chip cookies. Cookies were comforting until my clothes didn’t fit any more.
Notice I didn’t say “failed” marriages. If we live through marriage and divorce, we’re bound to learn something from the experience. Hopefully we learn about our own weaknesses and vulnerabilities. It’s really his fault, right?
What did I learn? I learned how few inner resources I had. I couldn’t validate myself much less anyone else. I felt ugly and stupid and totally undeserving of anyone’s attention. I finally had to face one of my own shadows—I’m not loveable. What an inhibitor that turned out to be. I remember how I didn’t compliment my husband or tell him how great he was or how much he meant to me. No wonder he fell for someone who did those things for him.
Nothing tests relationship to self more than other people. If I’m upset by something someone says or does (other than physical violence), I need to look at my own inner psyche. If I’m not differentiated (secure in who I am and my value and worth), things I hear disturb me more than necessary. How secure I am? How do I respond to conflicts with others? Is there a tug in my gut? Do I react with defensiveness?
Am I nervous inside as I begin to speak? Do I get angry or hurt easily? Am I flexible or inflexible? Can I stretch to understand another’s perspective? Do I walk away when others attempt to connect with me? Do I fight, or flee, or freeze? How do I face business and personal challenges like speaking opportunities, marketing opportunities, or interviews, or social occasions?
Many of us fear public appearances as much as intimacy. They both expose us. If we can’t find anything inside that grounds us and reminds us of our value, we’ll be easily flustered. Positive intention lies in that vulnerability if we just listen. Deep inside self is a wound waiting to be healed. It wants to be found and opened and loved. Instead of fearing it or fearing others will find out about it, we can embrace it and adore it and share it. There’s magic in sharing it. It lets others feel safe in sharing their vulnerability too.
So yea, divorce is hard. But I discovered my own potential. I’m still discovering it especially when I tune into the little voice of fear inside. It appears more often than I prefer. A deep breath and a reminder that I’m okay in learning more, lets my heart stop pounding, my voice stop quivering, and my hand stop reaching for another cookie.
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