Ever since my divorce, I have found myself taking on challenges to grow spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically. I have crossed off more items on my Bucket List since going through my divorce, than ever in my entire life.
This year, I took on a challenge out of Mark Zuckerburg’s playbook. He sent a note to someone each day, for a year, to say thank you. I liked the idea but didn’t want to set myself up for failure. I needed something that I could commit to.
The challenge was to write a thank you, daily, to someone in my life (alive or dead, known or from afar) who has brightened my path. When I first started, “brightened” was more in the realm of made happier. As I continued to write and post, my friends seemed to lean in towards ‘thank you’s’ that came from hard lessons.
Below is my, ‘thank you,’ to Divorce. While it is not a person who can receive it, I knew from my previous articles (see Huffington Post ‘My Light Went Out’) that others were going through very similar experiences.
If I could have avoided my divorce, I would have, for the sole purpose of not having to spend time away from my children. The universe knows I tried for years to make my marriage work. That is an entirely different article, but what I can say is that if I focus on what I no longer have, I become sad and lost and baffled. When I focus on the gifts, I feel strong and empowered.
I have decided that I am going to send a message each day, for a year, to someone who has crossed my path and made my life brighter. Here is my message to divorce.
Thank you to my hardest teacher!
Today it’s you. When someone I don’t usually talk to reaches out to me and needs to talk it’s either for one of three categories. They have a kid with tough medical issues, alcoholism or divorce.
The first two seem like you’re all brave as you maneuver through them, but there is no real choice in being a parent to a kid with scary medical stuff. You just show up and advocate. And when it comes to alcoholism, late-stage leads you to life or death.
But divorce, divorce you are the hardest teacher I have ever had in all of my life. You’re also the best. You Fight Club style kicked my ass in the beginning.
The pain and the fear were almost too much. But the gifts just keep coming. In no special order, I am a better parent because of you. I found out how capable I am. I found my voice and get tons of opportunities to use it. I no longer live in a perfect home with a desperately lonely life. I found strength within that I truly did not know was available.
You have brought me soul friends.
You have forced me to be okay with myself regardless of what anyone else thinks.
You have shown me perspective and empathy.
You have taught me that no one actually knows what’s really going on in anyone’s marriage and not to judge.
You have helped me understand there is no such thing as, “who wanted the divorce,” because no one wants this and everything happens from both parties involvement or lack of involvement. No one is truly at fault except in extreme cases.
You have ingrained permission to be human, thank you, for the terrible moments and the missing my kid moments and the “I wish I had a partner at Curriculum night” and all the rest. But you are my thank you because I have become, I am unfolding, I am bursting open from your endless lessons. Thank you for believing in me more than I believe in myself.