My life was turned completely upside-down and inside-out in mid-life. The events would leave me feeling broken and diminished for a long time. There would be long term upheaval for my family and children. And, there was a huge amount of financial stress. I remember at the time a friend commenting, “I don’t know how you recover from something like this”. I didn’t know either. Some events change the course of our lives and for me, it was the break-up of my long-term marriage.
Apart from the emotional pain and heartbreak that comes with a marriage breakup, I had other stresses. What seemed to be in an instant, I no longer knew where I would live, where I would work, how I would survive and provide the best for my children.
I have written about it in previous blog posts and the way I worked through it. Because, of the nature of the relationship and the way the marriage had ended, there was a lot of trauma. I have come a long way, but healing is an ongoing process. I know that I am not alone in the healing process. I had to be curious and open-minded about my approach.
Being open-minded would lead me to study in different areas. These were areas that I would not have considered in the past. It started with a course in energetic healing and it grew from there.
Discovering the work of Dr Joe Dispenza (and many others), was a blessing in my healing. In Dr Dispenza’s book, Becoming Supernatural he writes about highly emotionally charged events and their impact –
“If in the past you were shocked, betrayed, or traumatized by an event with a high emotional charge that has left you feeling pain or sadness or fear, chances are that experience has branded in your biology in numerous ways. It’s also possible that the genes that were activated by this experience might keep your body from healing.“
I would highly recommend this book as it was so helpful to me and although I found it to be quite spiritual in nature, his work is backed up by science.
If you find yourself suffering, healing can be slow and arduous. There is no straight path. One day you can find it easy enough. You can be making such great progress one day only to be triggered by the smallest incident or memory and find yourself back where you started.
I found the way through is often in the simplest of things. Simplifying my life, out of necessity, allowed a new way of being to unfold. Stripping my life of unnecessary material items also helped. But, all of this ‘newness’ took an open mind and courage at this vulnerable time.
I am sharing the ways I worked through the most difficult of days. They are simple suggestions, but not always easy to apply. I hope that these might help you.
-Surrender – When you don’t have control, when you don’t have the answers, when you don’t know what direction to turn, when you don’t know who to trust – I discovered that it’s actually ok to surrender.
In my life, I was so used to being in control and so fearful of not having immediate answers, but at that point in time, I didn’t. What’s more, I didn’t know who to trust. I just surrendered. I threw my hands up in the air and declared, “I simply don’t know what to do”. This declaration didn’t free me of the pain of the situation, but in a way, it was so liberating. It released the heavy load I was carrying.
One simple action gave me some breathing space when difficult decisions had to be made. It allowed me to ‘be’ and not have to take action every minute of the day.
-Acceptance – Following on from surrender, for me, was acceptance. There was so much resistance about the unfairness of the situation at the time. Along with the unfairness package came self-pity.
You can’t rush into acceptance, but don’t hold onto resistance any longer than you have to, especially if you might be overlooking the opportunity to move forward. Accept what is and be kind and compassionate with yourself in this process. Also, at this stage it is so important not to compare yourself with others.
Accept what has ended and where you are at, for now. This doesn’t mean to condone or accept any form of abusive behaviour, at all. This is to do with the inner turmoil and any resistance to where you are and the changes that now lie ahead of you.
At the end of my marriage, I required answers. I needed closure. But, neither were forthcoming. I suspect now that if I had received these there would have been so many mistruths that it would have been meaningless anyway. I would have just languished in inner torment trying to separate the wheat from the chaff. Choosing to accept what was and expending no more energy on the situation was the way forward.
-Being Present. Try to live as much as possible in the moment.
Living as much as possible in the moment really helped me. The discovery of Eckhart Tolle’s book, The Power of Now, was life-changing and supported me in this. This book on mindfulness, spiritual enlightenment and brought me an awareness of the power of now. Respite from stress and worry came when I could appreciate the simplicity of life in the present moment. In each given moment, I found that I was ok. Breaking life down moment by moment eased my anxiety. I didn’t project into the future as much. I began paying attention to the small things that I had previously overlooked.
-Opportunity for growth. Recognise that despite any pain and discomfort there is an opportunity for growth.
After feeling so diminished by my experience, I got so tired of being a victim that I started to appreciate what I had endured and overcome. I was a survivor. I certainly became a much stronger person because of my experience. I found an inner strength that I didn’t know existed. Perhaps, this was part of my soul’s journey to open up to other ways of being. I reconnected with my gut feeling and intuition that I had been ignoring for too long.
When something falls away it can really make way for other things to find their way into your life. But, you have to be open to it, even if it is just a little each day. For me, I would find information, knowledge and wisdom as I needed it, if I was open to receiving it. It would come in the form of books, courses, blog posts, podcasts or people. The quote, which has been attributed to Buddha, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear“, has certainly been my experience.
Be strong, have hope, trust and know that there will be brighter times ahead.
If you would like to learn more, please head to coaching-i-am.com. You can find out about my coaching services, programmes and creative workshops.
Clare Lavender is a mother, creative entrepreneur, a mosaic artist, an accredited life coach, and facilitator of workshops on personal development, The Desire Map (by Danielle LaPorte) and mosaics. As well as offering workshops, Clare offers one on one sessions to women. These are available to women all around the globe.
Clare has also created her own ‘Daring, Divorced and Divine’ coaching programme for women. This programme is aimed at inspiring, empowering and supporting women to move on to greater well-being following divorce.
In 2013, Clare was privileged to be invited to be part of a compilation book, ‘In the Spirit of Abundance’. A number of inspiring authors including best-selling authors, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen from the highly successful ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ book series, were involved, as well as Brian Tracy, Arielle Ford and local Sandy Forster.
Clare has a strong business background, having worked as a PA/EA and Practice Manager. She is also trained in human resources management. Clare has worked in several small to medium legal practices in her local area as well as ‘temping’ in larger practices based in Sydney. Clare assisted in the set-up and management of (a family business) and one of the first specialist family law practices in the region before moving on to work in a more creative field.
Clare is a Reiki practitioner.