The Journey to Embracing Love after Divorce is a bit Like Dark Chocolate because it is Bittersweet.
Dear fierce ones,
It's the holiday season...
I am always incredibly happy during the holidays.
I love the food.
The time with family.
As a kid, I remember playing cribbage and a crazy card game that included a giant wooden board and marbles. We played these games with my Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins. My Grandma always chose the black marbles. We had fun playing those games. We loved it. My grandpa taught me how to play a good game of cribbage.
15-2, 15-4, 15-6 and a pair are 8!
When I think back to my childhood I realize that gifts were pretty minimal. I remember one year receiving the entire Little House on Prairie book set, and that was it.
If that seems harsh...do not be fooled by my "poor" childhood.
That book series remains my favorite gift of all time. (Honestly, I read those books over and over, and I literally wanted to change my name to Laura) I LOVED those books.
One year, times were REALLY tight. I was only getting one present. That year, it was a pair of pajamas that I opened prior to Christmas morning. In my excitement, I had peeked under the wrapper the night before. The major disappointment that year was in me...for peeking ahead of time and spoiling the surprise. I have never forgotten the "sick tummy" feeling of that entire day. That Christmas will always remind me of what it feels like to "cheat" yourself.
NOT WORTH IT.
A lifetime of marriage and kids and family has created many treasured memories and traditions and gifts. I have many wonderful Christmas memories, of sledding with the kids, and spending time with extended family. One year, Grandpa dressed up as "Santa" and "fooled" the kids. Every year we watched "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens (the original Black and white version).
My absolute WORST Christmas was the year of the divorce. I can't fully describe it, but these words come to mind...
My insides were just squeezing so hard on my throat (it ached).
My chest was constantly tight and heavy (making it hard to breathe).
It hurt so bad...I couldn't even believe it.
Divorce is no joke.
Today, a little piece of heartache accompanies every major event in my life.
You understand what I mean.
When life changes. When someone dear is no longer in your life, for whatever reason...
My heart remembers.
It is bittersweet.
It is tender.
It is the sacred places in my heart that will always ache for the ones that are no longer there...The shared moments of connection. The good times. Sweet memories created over a lifetime. Bittersweet in their remembrance.
I feel that sharp pang...ouch...it squeezes my chest and it is painful, and it aches. I see it in the faces of the kids...the pain. Someone is always "left out" and it feels incomplete. A piece is missing or torn and it hurts. It hurts BAD.
Sometimes, it feels like it will never end, because a heart full of love always remembers.
The result is that my sweetest and happiest times are always bittersweet.
I have learned to embrace it fully. To enjoy it. To feel blessed. To feel the fear of loss in the moment and defy it with courage by choosing to love fiercely with all my heart even though it scares me. I don't want to hurt like that ever again.
Present within every moment of joy is a tiny drop of sadness or heartache. These are the sacred tender moments held deep within my soul. These moments of remembrance are exquisitely tender. They are woven into my heart inextricably. They are part of me. This is what it means to love and be loved. To know and be known. To risk it all. To lose it all.
All the sweet and tender parts of me are exposed in those pangs of pain I feel in my happiest moments.
So I feel happy and sad simultaneously.
and I cry.
It is the greatest feeling sometimes...by great...I mean...I can't contain it.
I am overwhelmed by my emotions and they spill over and drip down my cheeks and sometimes I even need to sob and get really passionate about releasing it and it freaks people out.
It is OK.
This is HEALING.
Emotional pain is REAL. It needs to be expressed and acknowledged and shared and respected.
Understand that it isn't the end of the world, but that it feels like it.
Understand that others have made it through and you will too...
Can anyone ever be happy after a heartbreaking loss?
In the midst of the rain...a rainbow will appear.
After the storm...the sun will shine again.
That is where the happiness lies...
When my focus is on the pain. I feel pain...
When my focus is on the blessings...I feel blessed...
I AM VERY BLESSED
Remember Tiny Tim? The crippled and sickly young boy in the 1843 Charles Dickens story A Christmas Carol.
Despite his illness and poverty, Tiny Tim is cheerful and positive and his plucky prayer “God bless us every one!” is exactly opposite to Scrooge’s nasty attitude and exclamations of “Bah, humbug!”
Scrooge had every physical possession required to be successful and "happy" and yet he was MISERABLE.
He lacked spiritual possessions.
He was cynical and distrustful of everyone.
In contrast, Tiny Tim's character was RICH with the spiritual possessions of faith, hope, and love.
These spiritual possessions are our greatest ones...they mean EVERYTHING to us.
Without them...nothing really matters.
A crippled and sickly child with a heart of faith, hope, and LOVE was what melted the hate, the anger, and the judgement and cynicism in Scrooge (it is incredible to realize that the ONLY thing that initially changed was his own perspective and feelings about life) but the ripple effect of his changed attitude was that EVERYTHING in his life followed suit.
You have the power to change your life by adjusting your focus.
I wish you all a very blessed Christmas filled with Faith, Hope, and Love.
God Bless us...Everyone.
find your fierce
take the journey