“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned,
so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
Living Well Post-Divorce
Ah, the holiday season, chocked full of Hallmark commercials of holiday bliss. I’m trying to prepare myself for the onslaught of images of loving couples with perfectly mannered children. It’s too bad we can’t air brush reality.
Or is it?
I went with a friend recently to a noon day session at The Center for Women about living well post divorce. The speaker, a quote collector like myself, brimmed with positive reaffirming statements calling the period just after a divorce a “fertile void” that begs for recreation of yourself. It’s messy in the middle, she tells us. “You have to become lost enough to find yourself.”
She encouraged us to use reframing statements. Instead of happily ever after, it’s happily even after. It’s not a broken family. It’s a redefined family. I sigh inwardly, but have to admit how many people I know who have used divorce as a journey to authenticity and peace. I recently visited Jack London State Park in Sonoma Valley and looked at the picture of him with his second wife, who “got” him. Having had sad parts in his childhood, I rejoiced that in his short life he connected with someone with as an adventurous spirit as his own, who didn’t get burned by his meteoric glow.
(His quote in the photo above, in case it’s too hard to read:
“I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.”)
The walls were showing ten years of dings and dirt, ten years of a life full of teenagers, friends, and family gatherings. It was time for a spruce up. I scrubbed the walls down, cleaning off an absurd amount of dirt, dust and cat hair. I spackled a few scrapes and nail holes and then did some light sanding. Then - a new coat of paint. The walls looked fresh and better than new - unmarred, unblemished.
I often find myself in need of some spackle and sanding for my own self. How nice if it were that easy to clean the dings and dents out of our own hearts! I cling to old hurts and losses and spend too much time dwelling on past mistakes. I need to spackle the holes, sand down the mistakes and remember that with each new morning, I get a fresh start, a clean slate, a whole new wall to write on or paint anew and even ding up all over again.