One of the greatest all-time teachings for me, that booted me into maturity (but not before diving into being a total baby) was my divorce.
Ahhhh, the list of “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts” about relationships was magnificently long. I had a whole book, documented with evidence and case notes from other people’s situations and my own, about what long-term relationships are supposed to look like.
Since this one didn’t look like MY ideal, I thought it was a tragedy.
I also thought that SINCE I didn’t have a “good” relationship, and what I had was ending, I would be going down in terms of money, livelihood, having a home, supporting myself, and having connection, a best friend, and fun.
I believed that none of those things could now happen….now that my marriage appeared over. I was stunned.
I had no idea my sense of myself was so small. That I did not feel I could manage, or support myself, or succeed, or thrive, or take care of my children and my home.
Good thing that marriage ended, because I had to learn the fast and hard way (or maybe it was the quick and easy way, now that I think about it) how to truly love my own company and believe in myself, as someone who didn’t need outside support.
It was in the end, the gift of a lifetime.
If anyone could have given me the most precious, amazing, life-changing event that would require me to become fierce, strong and powerful….it would have been my marriage ending just the way it did.
Relationships are said to be, for many, the heart of where we learn about ourselves and grow up and awaken.
We can clearly see where we grovel for love, approval and appreciation. We can see where we are dependent, or untrustworthy, or fake, or ingratiating. We can see clearly how critical we are, or impatient.
If we use these experiences with someone else to open and learn….there’s no stopping us from growing in deep wisdom. The most important thing is to stay, be present with the strong feelings, and remain connected to ourselves, as imperfect as we are.
Back then, during my divorce, I realized for the first time how strongly I held the belief “I am worthy of being left, I am worthy of being abandoned”.
That’s why it was happening, obviously! Otherwise, it wouldn’t be happening.
But that is the twisty-turvy logic of the little mind that is very critical and doesn’t want to sit with FEAR.
Truly, the turnaround was truer for me. I was worthy of never being left and never being abandoned, because I myself am here, with me, through all of it.
There is something actually beyond this little bitty separate self, that has always been here, watching and observing. Always rooted in love and power. Like a mysterious current, an electromagnetic kind of force field. Presence, aliveness.
This powerful energy seems to know so deeply that all is very, very well, and that some little relationship change is nothing in the great scheme of things.
What-ever, it says. There is simply no problem.
In a couple of weeks on March 29, we’ll start the teleclass Turning Relationship Hell to Heaven on Fridays 8-9:30 am Pacific time. This certainly does not have to be a romantic or committed partnership…this can be dedicated time for The Work on your mother, father, sibling, co-worker, boss, neighbor, friend.
This work is about looking at the judgments and pain and suffering we feel most acutely, that seems to be coming from OVER THERE, from that other person’s actions, and understanding the meaning we create about ourselves. The meaning that hurts.
“Failure is an opportunity. If you blame someone else, there is no end to the blame. Therefore the Master fulfills her own obligations and corrects her own mistakes. She does what she needs to do and demands nothing of others.”~Tao Te Ching #79
I question my thinking about myself when someone does or says something surprising in my life. When I am scared, or sad, or angry, or disappointed and I think THEY need to change so that I can be happy, I KNOW there is no end to waiting, and to blame.
Now I am so grateful for the experience of something ending or changing with someone I know, its mind-blowing. That’s what it took for me to find out how powerful, strong and steady I am, how I am the perfect partner for myself.
Now, every relationship in my life is icing on the cake. Until it isn’t, and then I do The Work!
P.S. The next Horrible Food Wonderful Food begins June 11th.