“Divorce is the worst thing that has happened in my life. My husband doesn’t love me anymore and now I am worthless. I blame myself. My life is meaningless now. I have nothing. I am nothing. How could he let go, fall out of love…I am so unlovable that he couldn’t stand to be married to me and discarded me. He said we failed. He believes we should not have ever gotten married.”
These thoughts consumed me for months. They tightened their hold in a dark embrace and loved me in darkness. Like friends, they convinced me to stay for a while longer. I lay suffering, tied to the pain, grief, and denial. I surrendered to those thoughts. I was convinced that this way was absolute and life was meaningless.
While my thoughts pulled me further into depression, something small maintained exemption. I didn’t know it at the time. This small something was alive and this softness, led me to see my sister and cousins for support. It drew me to seek therapy. It asked for help, regardless of my guilt and pride. It showed me gratitude, kindness, and forgiveness. It pointed me to Miguel Ruiz, Eckhart Tolle, Pema Chondron, and Thich Nhat Hanh. It stilled me and reminded me to breathe and listen to what is now. It told me to open my eyes and experience the beauty in the details that I missed because I was too busy thinking, and looking for the big events and objects in life. This softness was life and it saved me from me.
I am reminded of the theologist I sat next to on a plane, when I was plagued with sadness and didn’t know how to explain what had just happened. I explained I was destroyed by divorce and how I was lost. He said to me, “You have been awakened,” to which I replied that I preferred to go back to sleep. I said to him that this just sounded like the type of thing people say when someone has just gone through a traumatic experience, when people tell you that there is a lesson to be learned, it happened for a reason, and you will come out of this a better, stronger person. He said I was given a gift, to find a new path, and invited me to walk it without fear.
I have been graced with the kindness of strangers, family, and friends who have become my pillars which I lean on when I need to rest. They are bigger than life and I see them as beloved giants, these extraordinary creatures who are somehow more magical that fiction. A love lost only enforced and magnified the love that now surrounds me.
Here and now is where I am. Stripped of my possessions, my home, my ego, and I am left to learn what life simply is. My past has become an obscured painting that I can still see behind a veil of fresh white paint. I have no plans and no dreams. Not yet because I simply do not know. This newly blank canvas is what exists right now and I am investing my time, money, and energy in doing nothing and simply being.
I have lived a life of limited beliefs with a conviction that only caused myself pain beyond the sadness of a loss. I spent my life thinking about what ought to be, when this or that happened, and more thinking and more binding thoughts. I believed in the security of marriage, the automatic reliance of love, and an uncorrupted future that I was sure would happen. I believed if I had the external securities of life, I would be happy and safe from sadness. I was vain and unwilling to see the dichotomies of life and believed I was immune to pain. As I am experiencing life now, it feels big and wild. I feel lost without the confinement of my definitions of what should be, but they have not served me and it has taken an enormous rift for me to see that I have been wrong. My beliefs have depleted me and now it is time to find a new path by creating a new thought.
So…what if divorce is the best thing that could have happened to me.