Photo by Casey Fyfe on Unsplash

Dancing along in a world created by my mind. Hiding behind the smoke and mirrors. Losing myself to someone I thought better than I. Ignoring the rumblings deep within until they would be ignored no longer, demanding acknowledgment.

I never thought divorce would be the destruction of my life and of me, but it was. I now know that the upending of my life through divorce in the midst of my own complacency was long overdue. A necessary thing. It was time to let go of what wasn’t real. To acknowledge that none of it had ever been real for I created a life to be who I thought I should be.

Fear consumed everything as I tried to hold on to what was. I clung to old ways of filling the emptiness convinced I was nothing but for these things. And then it was all taken away. Everything.

There was nothing left to hold on to. I had to lose in order to find.

My children. Confused, stood at the entrance of the path calling to me. Inside I was spinning out of control. My heart ripped into a million little pieces for they had lost everything too. They didn’t understand me anymore. I didn’t understand myself. How do you walk a solitary and exposing journey with two babies looking to you for strength? The stress beat my body down. They propelled me forward. I wanted to hug them and tell them it would be okay. To stand tall, to make things right, to be strength in their eyes. I felt I was none of that.

How do I explain in the midst of so much uncertainty and pain that they must trust when I wasn’t sure I trusted myself?

Divorce is a solitary and lonely journey. A letting go. A loneliness in a sea of people who no longer fit. I was stripped of all pretenses and left raw to begin again. I had no idea who I was because I let her go a very long time ago. In this divorce journey I was gripped with fear. Who I had wanted to be, the character I made up, began to melt away. I was the emperor with no clothes. I fooled no one, least of all the soul within who whispered often. The deep gnawing and the pit in my stomach when I compromised myself for the sake of keeping the life I built intact. My soul writhing for a breath, for life, for a chance, for light long buried in a menagerie of nothingness I thought mattered.

I let go of my marriage and was tossed on the eventual path we must all walk at some point in our lives. I was exposed and found myself in a war against truth and insecurities. A war against learned behavior to acquiesce to a family of dysfunctions and addictions. For love. For acceptance. To appease a deep insecurity of unworthiness. The sharp edge of every choice pierced my nakedness as I was pushed forward along this overgrown path long ignored. There were no shortcuts and every step was felt deeply. The vulnerability was cutting. Crushing winds of change swept across the path littered with lost chances and missed opportunities unseen and hidden by the fog of naivete and ignorance. The wind spitting dirt and debris into my eyes brought me to my knees.

It was a necessary confrontation. Me versus me.

The horror of being stripped to nothing. Having nothing and left bare for all to see, I felt I was dying. I was dying. I no longer knew who I was as I looked into the eyes reflecting back at me in the mirror. I saw the sweet little girl of so long ago. That kind little girl. The strength of my illusions were revealed to me as the pain of loss wreaked havoc within. I cried from a place never gone before. I allowed myself to feel a pain I had never let myself feel to make peace with myself.

As I began to trust in a power greater than I for guidance just as I had when I was a very young girl, my perceptions shifted ever so gradually. As I embraced the silence within, I began to stand on my own and walk more steadily toward a light that now beckoned me forward. A light I could see more clearly. As I listened more, I began to trust myself. Born of this was a deep knowing that all would be well and a glimpse of what could be.

And now I find myself standing under the big top of life’s circus not knowing when exactly I bought the ticket to the show. This is where the real work begins and where it never ends. How do I live under the big top without becoming part of the show? I look back on the people I was close to then and see how all along they reflected back to me exactly what I needed to change.

And as my perception continues to shift, the silliness of what I thought life was, the dog chasing its tail in endless pointless pursuits, becomes more and more clear.

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