And you? When will you begin that journey back into yourself? ~ Rumi
I can tell you the exact moment I fell out of love and my marriage died. I call it The Crumbling. After witnessing an interaction between Mina and her dad from across the room, I felt something crumble within my chest. I was done and that was my breaking point. I needed to go home and just be with my parents, no friends, no husband, no noise.
After a few days, I began to realize that my brain began to quiet down and open up and I began to think clearly again. I just needed the constant bickering, arguing, and the loud pressure of silent dinners to go away so I could figure out what to do next.
My friend gave me a book, 29 gifts, with the note: Read this, NOW! It will change your life. She was right. I needed to shift my thinking from what I was losing to what I could give. Little by little, doing things for others seem to lift me out of stagnation and pull me back to myself. I had made a difference in someone else’s life, even just a little bit. Giving to others gave me something to look forward to each day and helped me move forward.
By actively shifting toward more positive interactions with others, I was able to disengage from the death of my marriage, relate to my soon to be Ex more objectively, and be more aware of my feelings. I began keeping a gratitude and giving journal to refer to. This kept me grounded. And, as time went on, my emotional triggers lessoned. I could see the arguments as invitations away from my strength and was able to choose not to engage. There is saying that floats around: The more you give, the more you get. Giving is a self-less act of compassion. When you choose to live from a state of love and compassion for others, it’s hard to hold onto anger. Two strong feelings cannot co-exist at the same time. By choosing a compassionate path, anger and petty grievances fade away as we see outside ourselves.
Giving during a mourning period gives you strength to move on and release what no longer serves your story anymore. You are not defined by someone else anymore. You get to to define your life now, but how do you do that when there is so much loss and emptiness in your soul? Compounded with the internal struggle, visually it is balanced with empty picture frames, rooms, and closets. Do we just step away from what love was once and ignore the whispers that remind us of better days? Yes..and No. We step away to heal. We need to take time to shut the past off for a bit and take care of ourselves. Then, when we have moved through our feelings to the other side, we can open that door, allow the memories to come in and embrace the happy times again.
Where do you begin when that void is palatable when loves leaves? You can choose 2 ways to fill it: be a victim or learn what sparks your soul. If I chose to keep telling myself stories about how I was hurt and wronged, then I was stuck, spinning my wheels in stories I didn’t want to hear or be in anymore. I chose to figure out what I loved again. If I wasn’t in love anymore, what did I love and how could I learn to love myself again?
I began my journey back into myself by going back to the beginning. Who was I before I was married? What did I like to do? What made me happy? Re-reading The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho was point A and I allowed myself to be guided after that. After awhile I was able to reconnect with who I was and regained an awareness of what I needed to be happy again.
Stepping back in order to move forward helps to connect who you were with who you are. Little by little that void fills up. When you are able to release the hold of the past, your present bursts into color with so many possibilities at every turn. No longer do you have to hide who you are or what you love in order to preserve peace in the house. No longer do you have to apologize for playing loud funky music in the springtime with windows open, and dancing in the kitchen. Losing love is probably the hardest thing you will go through, but finding yourself as a result can bring you joy thousandfold.