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Today is a five-year relationship anniversary that I celebrate on my own.
18 months ago, I left my husband. Today, I am not mourning the loss of a love that was promised to be forever. Instead, I’m celebrating the gifts I’ve received from having loved and been loved. I’m embracing the transformative lessons I’ve learned from that broken promise and from a heart that I’ve made a new promise to—my own.
In the wake of the recent blood moon, the universe instilled in me a sense of gratitude, energy and transformation I’ve never experienced before. I slept in the bed of a pick-up truck lovingly named “Ron Burgundy” deep in the desert of southern Utah, surrounded by the stars, a quirky cast of characters, good vibrations, and the biggest, most beautiful, most powerful moon I’ve ever witnessed. I gazed up at that big ol’ moon and I made a promise that will not be broken.
I made a promise to myself to be at peace with what was, be at peace with what is, and be at peace with what is to be.
As I stared at the moon, the moon stared back at me. On that night, the moon taught me that transformation is powerful and purposeful. As I witnessed the moon itself transform, that moon encouraged me to recall all that I’ve learned since I started this journey over a year ago. The moon reminded me to reflect.
So I spent time the other day going through wedding photos. I laughed, I cried a little bit, and through the process I found myself thankful. Thankful because it helped me to remember the good. It reminded me of a moment that was among the most blissful I’ve ever had. And that means something.
That, to me, means it was real. And true. And purposeful.
Because other people saw and felt this truth, our wedding graced the pages of wedding magazines and blogs. Walk with me, back in time, for a few minutes with a photo montage that will be my wedding’s final feature.
This time of year is always transformative, and the universal shift is overwhelming.
But this year, I welcome the shift—because I know I can handle it. I know I can move with it. So today I share with you the greatest lessons I’ve learned, from a broken promise and a broken heart, and a meditation that I use daily to get through challenging moments.
1. Life is a collection of moments that we must embrace and let go.
People. Places. Experiences. They enter your life at the time they do for a reason. So, embrace them when they do. Learn from them. And, learn to let go of them when they leave. Give yourself the permission to open your heart and mind, love big and feel your feelings. No, I mean really. Feel them. And, in the end, allow yourself to look at these moments as blessings from which you can learn and grow.
I think back to my wedding day, 10/09/10, and my heart is whole. I find comfort in the fact that I know I was happy that day, and that—five years later—I am even happier today. On that day, it was true. And I am thankful to have had that moment and had that man in my life when I did.
Daily Meditation: “I am open to receiving God’s love, finest gifts, and blessings.”
2. It’s better to feel pain than nothing at all.
Pain reminds you that you’re alive. Just over one year ago when I walked away from my marriage, my biggest fear was that no one would ever be enough for me. I constantly though to myself, “Self: he’s a brilliant man. Dynamic. Driven. Accomplished. What more could you want?!” I was convinced my path would be a path traveled solo. In reality, my heart chakra wasn’t open to love, and soon enough I’d learn that anything that entered my life would only give me as much as I could give them.
I did, however, fall in love again, and learned greater lessons than I ever imagined. I learned that the first love and heartbreak after a divorce can feel more painful and heavier than you ever conceived…more so, even, than divorce itself. But through it all, I learned that I am able to feel love again. That nervous, butterflies-in-my-stomach childlike giddy feeling. Oh how I adore that. Heartbreak can be a heavy, overwhelming feeling. The deepest and most confusing I’ve ever felt.
I remember sitting there, on the bathroom floor, staring at my shower curtain, sobbing. Sitting, on the laundry room floor, against the dryer in confusion asking “Why?!” I have cried and cried and cried. I have shed 1,789 teardrops and I don’t feel like I have any left. But there are always more. I have lost sleep.
But, I know I’m blessed. I’m blessed to experience love again. Because that love taught me four of the biggest lessons I could have learned at this point in my journey, and lessons that were foreign to me in my previous relationship: 1. I learned that I am able to prioritize someone before myself in a relationship, 2. I learned an extremely valuable lesson in patience, and 3. I learned I am open and able to receive love again. Even if he didn’t use the words “I love you,” I felt loved, and 4. Above all else, I’ve learned to stay true to myself.
When you’re going through the hell of a heartbreak it is sometimes difficult to see through the muck and find clarity and purpose. But, for me, it was very clear. My lover taught me lessons I was unable to learn from the last, which will be appreciated by the next.
Daily Meditation: “I am open to receiving my lover, partner and friend.”
3. I’ve learned to trust myself, be true to myself and love myself.
Finding and acknowledging these as truths has helped me to look forward with intention and purpose. Even if that means ending something that may seem beautiful and right…you must listen to your gut. And, in being true to yourself, you have to be comfortable with the fact that when you tell someone you love that this love isn’t right for you, you may never be held by that person again. That they may miss you, but they probably won’t. And that your relationship will not ever feel the same again. That is f*cking hard. But life is a series of adventures in impermanence, and this too shall pass.
I start my day, every day, with the following meditation: “What I know is: I am loved beyond measure, I am a divine daughter of God, I am not alone.” And even though I may not be able to make it through this meditation without tears spilling from my eyes, I continue on this path. Because it is the path to truth.
4. The universe will never give you more than you can handle.
In June I traveled to India on a solo sojourn, and I was reminded of this fact every single day. At times life is painful and confusing and it’s difficult to see clearly what you’re supposed to take from a situation, but I’ve learned that I can always handle what I’m given. And I always walk away stronger and more resilient.
If you aren’t happy, find ways to change your situation. Find healing. For me, the mountains always heal. So does time spent in nature. Or a hot bubble bath. Whatever that healing looks like for you, remember that it is a blessing to feel pain and all part of the journey to something bigger and better.
As R.M. Drake said, “Tragedies will always be found in the things we love. And if we are not willing to see the beauty in losing something that means the world to us, then imagine how terrible it will be to live for them. We must always welcome the end of all things. For sometimes, knowing nothing lasts forever, is the only way we can learn to fall in love with all the moments and all the people that are meant to take our breath away.”
5. If you have a big energy, others will attempt to find a way to tap into that energy.
I am an open book. I feel everything. This is simultaneously my biggest strength and weakness. Where I often get into trouble is when I approach a situation with too open a mind and heart, and end up confusing someone else’s negative energy with my own. Remember to be gentle with yourself. Surround yourself with a tribe that gives you energy and does not take your energy. And, work to find awareness so you find a healthy balance of giving and receiving that doesn’t entail you taking on everyone’s negative energy.
Daily Meditation: “I ask the angels to restore, repair, and reinforce my aura.”
If all else fails, listen to Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song.” It’s damn cheesy. And amazing. Now go and be strong. Breathe. Be gentle with yourself. Take back your life. Believe.
I may never marry again, but you can bet I’ll love deeply again. I do not feel anger toward my ex husband or my ex lover. I do not feel envy. I do not feel resentment. I do feel a bit of sadness. I do feel gratitude. I do feel freedom. I do feel blessed. And, the biggest blessing of all is that I feel at all.
I am at peace with what was, I am at peace with what is, I am at peace with what is to be.
Author: Megan Harrod
Editor: Catherine Monkman
Photos: Cat Norman (used with permission)