Nicholas Sparks once wrote, “You can’t live your life for other people. You’ve got to do what’s right for you, even if it hurts people you love.”
This is a difficult article for me to write. But as a writer, I challenge myself to write about the hard stuff. The stuff that festers beneath the veneer of positivity and warrior affirmations and tough, Jersey Girl bravado I keep wrapped around me like a suit of armor.
Really, I’m just a girl like every other—human, flawed and finding my way.
And today, I find myself in an entirely difference place than where I was three years ago maybe when my husband left.
I could paint a picture to make myself look like the victim: the sweet, innocent, loving wife who was devastated when the man she considered to be her whole world chose to start a different life—one that didn’t include being married to her anymore.
But there’s another picture, one I see clearly now. It emerged out of a thousand tears and a hundred sleepless nights praying for answers and asking for peace. The paint slowly made its soft brushstrokes by itself while I relentlessly sought to heal from the pain and loss I felt and rebuild my life.
I encountered strangers at ceremonies and retreats who held me while I cried and offered a far different retelling of my story than the one I was telling myself.
There were friends who held space for me time and time again in my moments of anguish and sorrow, tentatively offering what they saw as the gifts of this situation—the flip side that may have been before my very eyes, but that I was unable and unwilling to see.
Spiritual teachers, therapists, family, and wise elders who had trudged the road I was walking all spoke of love and fate and destiny and soul contracts and healing and hope and happiness that would come when I was willing to take a closer look at the new painting quietly creating itself in the corner of my dark room. That painting held the answers about what had actually happened in my life.
Love had happened. True love that was too hard to turn away from.