Today's blog is the most personal one I will likely ever share.
I'm sharing it because I think it's so important to learn how to react to what happens to us in life, no matter how horrible or adverse it seems.
It's crucial to react with the kind of empowerment and discernment that leads us toward the growth of becoming our highest and best selves versus the dismal alternative of becoming jaded and perennially suspended in pain.
The last year and a half have been my most powerful opportunity to step up and do this.
I filed for divorce and a restraining order on June 29th, 2017, ten months after marrying someone I had known very well since I was 18 years old.
It was the single hardest and the best decision of my life – to free myself from a massively dysfunctional, highly abusive situation I had unintentionally become embroiled in, out of seeing the unrealized potential of another person I deeply loved, and believing against all odds that they could and would rise and become who they were truly meant to be.
Unfortunately, love does not conquer all, and no one can do the work for you that you are meant to do for yourself.
Those ten months were the most shocking, painful, and disappointing of my life to date.
It brought me deeply back to my childhood where I was co-dependent as a result of having an alcoholic and addict brother who created a constant cycle of chaos in our home, every six weeks like clockwork.
I was the peacemaker, the healer, “the good one”, the responsible one, and the counselor who tried to soothe the entire family and make everything better, and then to pretend it wasn't happening at all because it was too painful to absorb and accept.
Little did I know that the seed of co-dependency was still alive and well in my cells decades later. All it needed was just a little water from an addicted counterpart to resurge.
We all have our blind spots as they relate to ourselves.
Being on a spiritual path in life, with my primary life goal being to evolve and self-actualize, it makes perfect sense that I would attract a similar situation in my adult life – marrying someone I thought I could help save so that I could have the opportunity to finally heal this part of myself once and for all and eventually have the opportunity to move on and attract the love I truly deserve.
I had heard it before…
Healers tend to attract damaged people.
Empaths tend to attract narcissists.
I never thought it would happen to me until it did.
Starting with our abusive honeymoon, the same three thoughts began playing over and over in my head for months on end…
This is not my life.
I don't tolerate this kind of recklessness, irresponsibility, and abuse.
This is not the person I married.
Six months of weekly Al-Anon meetings and talking with others in my same situation as well as seven months of weekly private somatic therapy and intense couples therapy finally bridged the gap for me from denial to acceptance.
This was my life.
I was tolerating this kind of recklessness, irresponsibility, and abuse.
This was the person I married, or at least whom he had chosen to become.
Our therapist put addiction in such a way that was quite enlightening for me. She said that asking an addict to recover (especially one in his 40s who's still in denial and unable to take accountability for his actions, nor accept the consequences of them) in order for a relationship to thrive would be the difficulty equivalent of them asking me to cut off my left arm for the health of the relationship.
In that single analogy, I understood addiction as a true and real disease in a way I never had before. I accepted it and developed great compassion for the disease and for my soon-to-be ex-husband who had lost his strength and his formerly beautiful light to this soul-sucking disease.
I watched someone so formerly full of kindness, warmth, love, light, and generosity relinquish ownership of his soul right before my eyes, succumbing to a constant whirlpool of darkness and debauchery.
After studying personality changes in addicted people, I understood that when their addiction progresses to a certain point, the person you once knew and loved no longer exists – you cannot find any component of the positive attributes of the person you once fell in love with amongst the muck they are mired in. Only a shell remains.
It's hard to reconcile because they still look and sound the same, but yet are completely vacant to who they used to be.
Now that the truth had full circle revealed itself, what was I going to do about it?
Well, I got pregnant unexpectedly (yes, this is coming from the girl who wrote the book on preconception planning ;)) and that's how I made my decision.
A new, truly helpless being now needed me to be completely healthy in mind, body, and spirit to bring him forth. He needed my love, attention, emotional support, and money so I could no longer afford to waste those things on a lost cause.
This was my first act of motherhood to protect my prenatal period so that I could grow the healthiest baby with the least amount of stress.
It was the single hardest, and best decision of my life. I can wholeheartedly say that now, mostly on the other side of the madness, I'm happier and more fulfilled and feeling more supported than I ever have in my life.
The greatest advice I can offer you if you are in a seemingly impossible situation is to let go of what holds you back so that you can hold on to what matters most.
The truth, no matter how painful it is at the moment, is always best because it always creates the right reality.
I've been “working” hard on my spirituality since I first realized I was “on the path” at age 21. This particular spiritual work, however, was the hardest and most valuable work I've ever done and for that, I will be eternally grateful.
It stripped me down to the very core of who I am and forced me to bring that person forth full throttle.
As a result, I now trust myself in a way that I previously did not think was possible. I trust God and my angels in a way that has, for the first time in my life, freed me from the need to control outcomes or even next steps.
I've developed and been so supported by a kind of angelic, impermeable strength (as well as by my family and close tribe of women friends who are my soul family) that tells me no matter what, I have everything I need to provide for, protect, nurture and nourish my son. I can do this single mom thing, and I can do it well.
Below I'm sharing the lessons I've learned as a result of facing the pain of this experience head-on and using all the spiritual tools available to me. I sincerely hope that they help you and can apply to any type of difficult situation you may be facing or face in the future.
Here are things I now know for sure:
- Each one of us is so much stronger than we could ever imagine.
- A woman carrying the magic and purity of creation inside of her is outrageously empowered and protected.
- If you say YES to your lessons, and meet your fears head on, connecting to your higher self in spite of your fears (it's not easy!), you will rise above the energy of fear and intimidation and be placed in the energy of love and connection and that is the only place from where decisions should be made.
- We all have an emotional elevator where we can push a button (via meditation and prayer) and go up a few floors where the air is easier to breathe, and hope and peace are abundant, no matter what we're going through (I share a resource for how to get here at the end of the blog).
- Whenever you feel the most out of control in your life, be grateful – because there is no place left to go but up. You are ripe for change – the kind of change you might have previously thought to be impossible. This is the perfect time to start a new workout routine called TRUST – trusting yourself, your higher power, and the process of life. It's a difficult workout, much harder than Cross Fit 5x/week, but when the muscle of trust has been built and strengthened, just like any other muscle, it works for you whether or not you're working it and the magic of FLOW happens. And while in that place of flow, you are in manifestation alley – where all your dreams are possible and probable. Dark energies can no longer find you when you are in this place because you are vibrating too high.
- Focus on the light, on what you do want, and on staying completely plugged in and connected to your higher power and the dark parts of yourself (we all have them) and your life will naturally fall away.
“Once you connect with an awakened woman, understand that she will not entertain your ego, nor play on lower vibrational frequencies with you. This means you must either rise up to meet her where she is or be prepared to vibrate out of her experience altogether. None of it is personal. All of it is vibrational. Level up, or vibrate out. She doesn't mind either way.” ~ Spiritually Awaken Soul
- Always pray for the highest and best for everyone involved and never wish ill on anyone, no matter how much they hurt you. Instead “look at another person's behavior toward you as a reflection of the state of their relationship with themselves rather than a statement about your value as a person, then you will, over a period of time cease to react at all.“~ Yogi Bhajan
- Remember that “Hurt people, hurt people” and take steps to resolve your own hurt within yourself in the cleanest way possible so that you don't pay hurt forward on someone else in your life down the line (especially your children or your next relationship). Being clean with your energy is one of the greatest legacies you can leave and also leads to great personal freedom. Click here to read about and to do the powerful forgiveness process I went through.
“To forgive is the highest, most beautiful form of love. In return, you will receive untold peace and happiness.” ~ Robert Muller
- Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because you deserve peace.
- In the chess game of light versus dark, the force of light always wins.
- Pressure turns coal into diamonds. Whatever challenges you might be going through now or in the future, know that you might bend, but you don't have to break. Mine the diamond and use it to shine brighter than ever.
The gratitude I have to friends and family coming back into my life with full throttle support once I was finally honest with them about the massive dysfunction that had taken place has been the most overwhelmingly positive experience of my life. Reach out and ask for the help and support you need.
The support I've received has been humbling, nurturing, comforting, strengthening and an immense blessing. Thank you from the bottom of my heart to my inner circle – you know who you are.
I am certain that this past year and a half and the experiences it held will make me a much better mother to my sweet baby boy, who I know is my highest life blessing to date.
So to my former soul mate who became my greatest life teacher, I say “thank you, I forgive you, and I wish you the best”.
Know that it's okay to be compassionate and fierce at the same time. You don't need to have a former perpetrator in your life in order to forgive them.
I end this experience with a heart full of gratitude and optimism for the bright, happy future I am in the process of co-creating.
If you run into me or anyone else who's getting or has gotten divorced before you say “I'm sorry to hear that”, you might just consider adding, “and congratulations – the best is yet to come” because after all, everyone's entitled to a mulligan.
In Al-Anon and AA, they say the serenity prayer…
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
I would like to modify that a bit…
Only you can decide as to what is unacceptable to you, but when you do – honor that above all else.
“The woman (or man) you're becoming will cost you people, relationships, spaces, and material things. Choose her (or him) over everything.” ~ Unknown
Here are several resources that helped me tremendously as I navigated my way out of the darkness and back into the light throughout this “whole journey”.
There are also several amazing counselors that I can highly recommend. If you need a referral, you can email our team at [email protected] so they can point you in the right direction.
The Courage to Change
One Day at a Time in Al-Anon
Language of Letting Go – Daily Meditations on Codependency (this is an iphone app that I still read every day)
The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
Self-Compassion by Kristin Neff
How Al Anon Works
11 Warning Signs You're Being Gaslighted in a Relationship
How Alcohol Impacts Spirituality
10 Warning Signs of Alcoholism
Is He or She an Addict First or a Narcissist First?
Higher Self Meditations
My “Empowerment” Playlist on Spotify – (music can really raise your spiritual credit score and pull you up to a higher place of vibrating.)