I am sitting on the carpet of my new but very old apartment, receipts from everywhere are scattered next to me, a new set of keys, suitcases and bags spilling out onto the bedroom floor, a copy of my new job contract because I left a job that I love for a new job that I love and a pack of cigarettes that’s helping me pass the days. I'm in an apartment I can hardly afford living with my best friend trying to sort my finances.
I’m getting divorced.
There, I said it. I remember the first time I said it out loud when explaining my apartment hunting to a prospective Israeli Real Estate Agent, not quite believing myself, still certain that things wouldn’t reverse themselves and hoping that it is truly final. They’re not. There is so much to do surrounding this decision. The agent felt awkward, maybe sorry for me, at least he saw us as stable future tenants. We got the dog friendly apartment.
Now when I say it, I’m getting divorced, my stomach and heart both twitch, but I hear it as a statement of new beginnings, growth, and hope. Mostly. I try to, anyway.
That revised self-messaging isn’t happening overnight, I have stopped smoking the cigarettes that I thought would help me and my head still occasionally mis-translates it when I remember something meaningful, hear from his friends and family, or throw a pathetic pity party that no one takes part in because they are so happy for me and can’t see what’s there to pity.
I’ve never learned, ached, cried, hoped or grown so much in such a short period of time as in the 6 months leading up to my today. I continue to learn every day, and thankfully my family, dog, friends, sport and yoga practices have manifested throughout this painful experience that is the end of a marriage I didn’t want in the first place.
My experience, my self and my divorce are all works in progress, it is not easy, no-one really understands you especially when you want someone to just listen to you, and they are so happy that they don’t understand.
What I have learnt is that divorce makes me live in the present.
One of yoga’s hardest yet most basic principles, be here now, is becoming easier as I realized that living for a future, planning a family, preparing my home for anticipated celebrations, visitors, occasions, hopes and dreams was not only distracting me from my relationship but causing me to live tomorrow, next month, next year, instead of simply today.
Divorcing takes the rug out from under us so much that we truly only know today. It’s overwhelming, scary, unknown, exciting, a veritable overload to plan ahead beyond the immediate needs like self-care and finding a new place to live. My slate is now wiped so clean that the future is entirely unknown. I’m veering from the path that I’d planned with such care and precision. Divorce or not, I’m reminded that there is no guarantee for any of us as to what’s beyond this moment. It is devastating and exhilarating.
Divorce reminds me that I am not in control.
I cannot count the unexpected twists and turns that have accompanied this process of ending a marriage: Losing my baby at 4 months of pregnancy, shock, weight gain, violence I chose to ignore hoping for a better tomorrow all led to surprising blessings, new and deeper friendships, painful judgment, unexpected loss of friends and side-taking, unexpected opportunities and a greater dependence on myself than ever before.
Through it all, I’ve had to ride the waves, and this from someone who had to always take control in the marriage. I have no choice but to practice letting go now. I can’t control legal proceedings, misconceptions, others’ actions or words. I am along for the ride, trying trying trying to practice yoga of the heart and mind as it all unfolds in order to surrender, manage my responses and learn all the while.
This may be the hardest for me, being completely subject to what feels like whims of everyone and everything else. But today I’m grateful for the lesson, the practice, the feeling deep down that yes, I finally did it, and it was the right decision.
My body knew what was up before my head did.
My thyroid wasn’t working properly, at home where our most basic survival needs such as shelter, stability and home are met, started flaring up for the first time in my life and lasted for years causing weight gain that made it even harder. On reflection, of course it had. My world was being rocked in every possible way. Only after suitcases were packed, heart breaking, leaving my “home” after 4 and a half years, a veritable stability vacuum. My body knew; my unconscious knew. They had to scream for my head to finally listen, and it did.
I moved out. I found an apartment. The thyroid leveled. Then my heart fired, tightening and it was painful. I work on this one daily as my mind and body battle over the self-preservation of closing my heart to the world versus making it open, bare, visible, alive. This one is a work in progress as I heal, forgive, stay open, actively try to look for and see love, as I have so much love to give.
Divorce makes me discover, rediscover and honor my true self every day.
My divorce took me back to me in an instant, for better or worse. Now I feel no expectations, no compromises, no influence, no role within a marriage, just me. Straight up. I like it. I love to love myself.
I got a tattoo.
The light in me is beginning to see the light in me again. I bow to the process, and am sure this reeducation is only beginning.
To all the people who were effected by this process, were there to listen, were there to help, were there to ache and were there to be happy for me - thank you!