If you’re like me you’re probably glad the holidays are coming to an end and you survived another year of accepting your redefined life after divorce. You’re also hopeful for what the new year can bring, but you are SO sick of the cliché saying “New Year New You” clogging up your social media and the harsh reality that another year went by, but not much has changed. This year I vowed to stop making empty new year’s resolutions and make a conscious effort to make real changes in my life and not rely on wishful thinking. Sure, it starts with wishful thinking and a positive attitude, but you have to take steps to move forward. When a family dissolves, we spend years holding on so tightly to the past that we forget that we have the ability to move forward and start a new chapter in our lives.
We wallow in self-pity, we lament about the family we once were and we stay stuck in the pain of our broken hearts. We forget to live. We forget that this happened, so that we could move on to what comes next and what is meant for us. I promised myself as hard as it is to let go of the resentment I feel at times; I’m going to create the life that I know I am meant to live. It can only happen when you decide to truly move forward and stop blaming your past for your unhappiness. Everyone is in different stages in their grief and I understand that more than anyone, but if I could help in any way to help you accelerate the painful process then that is what this is all about.
I started this blog almost two years ago as a way for me to process my feelings and help others move through their own journey. The journey is never simple and the process in never linear. There are detours and pitfalls along the way that set us back, but we learn from each experience how to grow deeper in our healing and how to let go of the past. You can’t move forward if all you’re doing is looking behind you. You have to make the choice to look towards the future with a new perspective and not allow the pain to define you.
Quite honestly, I’m sick of feeling stuck. I’m sick of resenting my ex for everything that is going right in his life and everything that’s going wrong in mine. He doesn’t hold that power…I do. Only I can dig deep and climb through the dirt and mud to get myself out of this hole I’ve been in and I’m ready to lift myself out of the misery and find true happiness again. Things will shift for me this year, because I’m going to make it happen. I can’t depend on anyone but me. That is the harsh reality for most single parents doing it on their own and my situation was no exception. No one is going to swoop in and rescue you and fill your life with butterflies and rainbows. Another person isn’t going to make you happy again. Only YOU can do that. You have to find the happiness within, so that another person can share it with you. Do you honestly think you’ll find someone to make you happy if your miserable? Sorry honey, it doesn’t work that way.
For years I was perfectly happy being single and loved my independence–until the floor collapsed from under me. I realize now that all of this had to happen to help me realize that closing myself off from love and relationships wasn’t the answer. That was my defense mechanism. It kept me safe from being hurt again. What I realized when I’m alone on New Year’s Eve (for yet another year) is that to feel truly happy, I need to rebuild a life that makes me happy in order to attract the love and trust I’ve always desired. No one deserves to be miserable. No one deserves to be lied to and mistreated, but how many people stay in toxic relationships or careers believing there’s nothing better out there for them? I was so foolishly loyal that I would have stuck through anything even if it was damaging my soul. That was true of my marriage and my career. These turn of events had to happen so that I could find my voice and demand better for my life. And for that I am truly grateful.
I’m finding it in my heart to accept and forgive and be grateful for everything that’s happened in my life because every trial, every bump and every disappointment is bringing me more clarity and closer to a life of true happiness. Embrace those tough lessons because you will look back someday and see them for the gifts they really are. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and take action to make changes that will move you forward instead of grasping on to the past that causes you nothing but pain. It takes courage and dedication but the rewards will be worth all the struggle. That isn’t wishful thinking…that’s how the universe answers your prayers.