Tag Archives: Spiritual Divorce

MORNING LATTE

 

“Your relationship with God is the same as your relationship with the sun.  If you hid from the sun for years and then chose to come out of darkness, the sun would still be shining as if you had never left.  You don’t need to apologize.  You just pick your head up and look at the sun.  It’s the same way when you decide to turn toward God-you just do it.” -The Untethered Soul p. 179

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Being an absolute morning person I like to rise at 5 a.m. or sometimes earlier. Every day after the divorce, I would get out of bed, thanking God for the new day.  The first thing I would do was walk to the table next to my favorite overstuffed chair in the living room and light a single white taper candle, a tradition that began with Father A’s gratitude exercise.  My time in the morning solitude increased after returning from the women’s monastery.

In Greek Orthodoxy lighting candles represents Christ as the light. Every morning after I light the candle, I go make my latte. I look across the dark quiet living room from the kitchen at the flickering flame and I feel it’s God beckoning me to come and spend time together.

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Prayer Warriors

St-Paisius-Monastery

As I drove to the women’s monastery in Safford, Arizona, I realized the discomfort I felt in the quiet. Having resolved not to use any technology during my trip, I kept the radio off and my cell phone was buried deep in my duffel bag in the trunk. I was fidgety not being able to tamper with various electronic devices, much like a smoker must feel who has put down the cigarettes. I began to study my surroundings and converse with God, and soon I found myself truly immersed in the beautiful countryside. I have been in love with Arizona since the first time I set foot there.

As I drove towards Safford I found myself seeing things crisply and clearly through new eyes, really taking in the breathtaking beauty. I have heard this “being in the moment” described as living life in high definition. FP and I had always talked of retiring in Flagstaff, one of my favorite small towns in Arizona, and I found myself thinking I might still do that even without him by my side. I was pleased that I could see myself living out my life’s dreams. Continue reading

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In her book The Gifts of Imperfection author Brene Brown describes those living “wholeheartedly” as “consistently trying to feel the feelings, staying mindful about numbing behaviors, and trying to lean into the discomfort of hard emotions.” Once I started down the path to healing, I was stubbornly determined to do whatever it took to complete the mission.

My counseling duo, Sharon and Paul, both made it clear that if I were to enter into another relationship before I had learned what needed to be uncovered and healed, I would be heading into another disaster. To move on to a new person in one’s brokenness means you are bringing a wounded person to a relationship. And, wounded people often attract other wounded people. There would be no “Match.com” or other futile attempts to numb myself with someone new. I was going to “lean into the pain” as Sharon had put it.

I made sure I did not drink alcohol carelessly, and I increased my yoga classes and journaling. I had to be especially careful about over working, identifying work as my drug of choice. I love my clients and hearing people’s stories. I listened to them tell their pain in mediation and as often happens, there were insights into myself as I listened to them. Continue reading

A Steadfast Spirit

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Healing Through Ritual: Ascension

Piestewa Peak

Piestewa Peak, Arizona

My children’s father and I amicably worked out the settlement of our divorce in mediation without attorneys.  In Arizona where we lived, the mediator agreed to shepherd the papers through the courts.  Awhile after the mediation had concluded I went to my mailbox and opened an official looking letter. I discovered I’d been officially divorced by the Maricopa County court, four days earlier.

Although I’d known the final document was coming, I wasn’t emotionally prepared to receive the papers in such an impersonal way.  I became profoundly sad.  I called a divorced girlfriend who understood the swirl of emotions surrounding the finality and we talked it through.

My life moved on, and ultimately I moved back to my home state of Iowa to resume my practice of law and mediation. Three years later, I married FP. I loved my husband and we settled in to our life as a married couple.   I was so grateful that I’d been given a second chance. Continue reading

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Choose Happiness

If you ask my three young adult children to summarize my motherly advice  they would give you three words: “make good choices.” I could have easily dispensed other advice.“Don’t do drugs,” “Study hard,” “Eat your vegetables.” Instead, I concluded “make good choices” covered everything, and I made it my constant theme throughout their lives.

As they grew up, there were many opportunities to discuss choices with my two daughters and my son. There were also many opportunities to admit my own choices, good and bad, as I lived out the consequences of those choices right in front of their eyes.

The most important advice I can give to those involved with divorce is similar but more succinct: choose happiness.

I was divorced from my children’s father after 18 years of marriage. I entered into a second marriage but due to a series of devastating events, after only two years that second marriage also ended in divorce. I was so grief stricken that I could barely function. There were days I just chose to stay in bed. During that time, a friend called. “When your divorce is over, you’re going to SOAR,” she said to me. Continue reading

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