I’m currently facing one of the biggest changes of my life: divorce.
Sometimes the feeling of loss is soul-shaking—even though I know it is for the best for both of us.
I wanted to write a letter to the bravest part of me, from my future self. I decided to call her Athena, after the Greek goddess of wisdom, courage, justice, strength, strategy, and arts. Athena is victory for the downtrodden.
By calling Athena, I remind myself that I can do this, even on the days when I feel like I’m falling on my face. These are my words:
Dear Athena, heart-warrior, brave stewardess,
I have come so far from where I was before. Not too long ago I was cowering in the cold cave, completely quiet. Everything felt dark and dismal. Hope and independence were so diminished that I nearly forgot that they existed.
Slowly a flame started to flicker. I found my voice. And the more I spoke, the more confident I became, the more I gradually fueled the light that was inside me all along. I found my feet. I found action. I found my way through the mists that formerly seemed so dangerous. I’d periodically check with my heart-compass to make sure I was going the right way, adjusting course whenever things went awry.
I have come so far.
Athena, I see it clear as day from where I am now. I came out of the hard, through the fire, and arose as a phoenix. I’ve rebuilt myself time and again and I know that I can do it as many times as I need in order to get to the truth of who I am.
I have loved and experienced loss. I have smiled in the rain and cried in the sun’s rays. I’ve learned from both what the world would call ugly and beautiful, but I understand there is no ugly as long as I keep my inner compass pointed to my heart.
No experiences are bad.
Yes, some experiences hurt like hell, but they too help me learn and grow into a kinder, more loving being. Because I am and always have been loved.
When I got frightened, sometimes I would cry into sweet release. I picked myself up again by remembering where I’ve already been and what I’ve already overcome. I remembered my compass of love and compassion. I loved myself hard.
I knew the best way to heal from heartbreak was to love with all my heart, mind, and strength. It was scary to put myself out there again. I was so afraid of getting hurt again, but I still learned more about the nature of love, which was the sweetest salve. I knew that as long as I had my own love that was enough. So I resolved to love myself fiercely and completely. Likewise, I resolved to love others in the space they resided.
I faced the abyss with a rare heart full of hope because I saw I had wings that could soar through the darkness to reach the other side.
Remember these lessons, dear one, while treading the path ahead:
1. Keep in tune with your conscience no matter what those around you may say. Only we can see the beauty of our own plans and dreams.
2. Turn to fellow warriors that understand certain parts of your plan when in need of guidance or reassurance, but mostly look within. The strength is there, it always has been. You are Athena: brave protectress of the heart and the downtrodden who will not suffer injustice.
3. Keep speaking the truth. By speaking, you’ll give permission for those who are struggling to find their voice, speak, and live in authenticity.
4. Everything is temporary. The knowledge of this helps us embrace the dark for its lessons and to enjoy beauty in our lives while it lasts.
5. Our art and words are magical, so use them to speak our truth, as we see it.
6. Laugh, live, love. Repeat.
7. Refresh in nature’s healing. Look for the beauty in the small things and be grateful for every little thing. Every moment is sacred.
8. Love all parts of yourself. Always. Yes, all of it.
Wait untiI you see what’s on the other side. You’ll be amazed by it. Maybe tear up a bit. And that’s okay too. Because remember:
“Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman.” ~ Maya Angelou
Author: Lindsay Lock
Image: Daryn Bartlett/ Unsplash
Editor: Sara Kärpänen