Today I want to share something that I posted on my personal Facebook page earlier this week, because it seemed to resonate with a lot of people.
To give some background – my husband and I separated last year, and are now divorcing. A couple of weeks prior to the post I’m about to share, I had announced on Facebook that I was going through a difficult time, and why. Some people didn’t know about the divorce or separation, because I had never made it known publicly. I received an outpouring of support from people, which was really touching. I also felt that finally talking about it helped me move forward. I am no longer living in denial of the situation, and making a public announcement turned out to be important. By speaking my reality and not just living it, I felt better about it.
My follow-up post went as follows:
My separation and divorce have been a shock to the system that lasts for months until I’m not sure how long. Difficult, yes. Impossible, no.
The shock dies down a little more every day, and even though it spikes sometimes, the overall trend is progress. In many ways, the new reality is more beautiful than it was. I learned so many things and grew in ways I couldn’t have imagined.
First, I learned more about what I’m capable of. If I can get through this, what else am I capable of getting through? A lot of the time I feel unstoppable, and this momentum has carried over into other areas of my life that needed attention.
I learned that extended periods of alone time can lead to tremendous creativity, growth, and healing. I started a weekly blog with the mission to help people feel better, stretched myself by performing improv, went to therapy for a few months, started a daily video journal (I talk to a camera about my life, and only I see it), worked on myself a lot otherwise, and have been really focused on what I want to do in life – what kind of person I want to be.
I want to be a person who writes like this every now and then. 🙂
I learned that it’s possible to keep someone in your heart, but not necessarily as an active participant in your life (paraphrased from a quote I saw but now rings extremely true, where it wouldn’t have before). To love someone AND not want to see them in person, because you need to move in a different direction. There’s no contradiction there.
I knew it before, but now understand more fully about how life circumstances truly shape people, because I have a different awareness because of this.
I also now understand why people have exclusive groups for their specific issues, even though they have many friends and allies. Support of any kind is great, but to interact with someone who has been through something extremely similar? There’s nothing like it. One of the silver linings of traumatic experiences is that it can bring people together in that way. It also makes us more compassionate toward others in general.
I learned that success is whatever I define it as. To me, it was a successful marriage because it lasted exactly as long as it should have (as does everything else in life). So the word success bears no real meaning, outside of a prediction or hope coming true. From now on, my success is defined by my intentions… and my intentions are not predictions. It’s stuff that I do because it feels right. Being right with myself = success.
Last but certainly not least, I learned that it’s okay and even welcomed to express vulnerability in a semi-public place like Facebook. Thank you to all who support others, especially when they are being genuine and vulnerable. You are awesome, and you make the world better.