My divorce was divine.
Not in the delightful sense, but in the raw, soul-exposing kind of way.
When I knew my marriage was ending, one of the hardest things to overcome was accepting that my current reality didn’t match the story I had played out in my mind for so many years. This wasn’t how it was supposed to turn out. “How did I get here?” and “Now what?” were questions I could not stop obsessing over.
Going through a separation is one of the most difficult life changes. My heart broke for our young daughter, whose life was forever changed in that moment. But something shifted when I decided to let this experience change me for the better.
I got curious about what this experience was here to teach me.
Here are five spiritual lessons I learned from my life-altering divorce:
1. We are Not Alone.
Kind of ironic considering my partnership had ended, but when I fully surrendered, I was able to tap into the energy of a force greater than myself. With so many unknowns ahead, I wanted desperately to control the outcomes. But I had to learn to let it go and let things unfold as they were meant to. It was this unwavering knowing that I was being guided and looked after that carried me through.
A Course in Miracles has a quote, “If you knew who walked beside you on the path you have chosen, fear would be impossible.” I wrote this on a post-it note so I could read it every morning and remind myself that I was truly supported in this whole experience of moving forward. This awareness allowed me to face each day with a little more comfort and confidence.
2. Our Soul is Calling.
A crisis in life is an opportunity to turn inward. Our soul is calling our name. It wants us to attend to those parts of ourselves that were dismissed or ignored. Maybe it’s acts of self-care, reconnecting with friends, pursuing a life-long passion, or just spending some time in stillness, but I learned that the answers we seek are within us.
And when we tend to our soul, we begin to hear those answers loud and clear.
3. What we Focus on, we Find.
There were so many things I didn’t want to happen—a court battle, judgement from family and friends, a damaged child, fear of the unknown. This seemed normal and reasonable for me to feel, and it was. But it wasn’t reasonable for me to stay there.
When I truly understood the concept of “you get what you focus on,” it was time to change my way of thinking. Instead of focusing on what I didn’t want, I chose to focus on what I did want, which was cohesive interaction and support. It was still the act of focusing, but now my thoughts were aimed at the opposite, positive emotion.
4. The Power of Forgiveness
This is a tough one. I was reluctant to forgive because I believed that doing so would dismiss the pain inflicted. I felt empowered by holding onto anger and blame, but by not forgiving, I was allowing the wounds of my past to create the same wounds in the present moment. I was handing over my control. It’s not about letting the other person off the hook—it’s about deciding that our peace is more important.
I learned that forgiveness is a process, and we have to be ready and willing to forgive. It’s a moment-to-moment choice, and slowly that wound will close up.
5. We Always Have a Choice
“My circumstances do not define me, they reveal who I have chosen to be.”—I absolutely love this quote from the late Wayne Dyer. I could have chosen to tell the story that I was the victim, holding onto anger and participating in the ongoing drama of keeping that story alive. But that’s not the person I wanted to be. I wanted my circumstances to reveal someone different. I had to take full ownership of my part in all of this. So I Instead chose to be a woman who got divorced and committed herself to living to her fullest potential and shining her light on this world. Because to me, those are the kind of circumstances I can be proud of.
These lessons did not come right away, and some were easier to learn than others, but I believe the moment we decide we are going to make an experience mean something more, the lessons don’t seem so far-reaching after all.
The story I had told myself for so many years finally came to an end. And I realized I could write a new one. The beauty in this is that we can also write ourselves a happy ending.
Author: Jodie Owen
Image: Author’s own.
Editor: Nicole Cameron