5 Years Under The Microscope

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As of today, it’s been 5 years since my marriage ended, and I couldn’t be happier.  As strange as that may sound, let me explain why.

Separation and divorce are never wished upon anyone but if you are in the middle of one now, you need to find the silver lining and blessings it has for you and your new life because trust me, they’re there.  That’s not to say you have to skip the grieving process, in fact, you must go through it to get over it, that I know for sure.  Everyone grieves differently and takes their own amount of time to do so and my one piece of advice is to be patient during the process.  Once you do accept that it happened, you are able to move onto the silver lining stage.

In the beginning for some, an amicable conversation can take place where both sides agree to separate and live their own lives.  On the other hand for some, it’s often a total shock you didn’t see coming.  This is exactly what happened to me; I was blindsided.  However, the day he left was the day I arrived.  This was the part where I found out who I was and what I was made of.  Divorce has put my life under the microscope for the past 5 years and I had no choice but to examine it closely.

Relationships are like a microscope looking into our emotional wellbeing.  These relationships shine a light on the old and open wounds still begging for closure.  Once I was on my own, it was time for me to take a long, hard look at myself and where I came from.  What did I have to do to become the person I was meant to be?  On the flip side, what did I have to let go of in unbecoming the person I thought I was?  I went from being shut down and pleasing to a woman who became vocal with boundaries.  This led me to let go of toxicity and hang on to love so that healing could take place.

I’m a firm believer that anything you lose comes around in another form, whether that’s through friendship, a love relationship, partnership, or even self-love.  Basically, you get to genuinely meet yourself for the very first time, once and for all. This is the greatest silver lining and blessing in disguise because that’s where you discover what you truly want and need in life.  What makes you happy, how, who, and why.  It also shines a light on what are your dealbreakers now.  All that time under the microscope finally paid off, and I think I gained some years back in my life.  How fantastic is that?  Time to celebrate, cheers!

“Leave some room in your heart for the unimaginable”  ~ Mary Oliver

Much Love ❤

Jen
XO

~ Dare to live courageously…

**I recently wrote an article that was published in the online magazine Thought Catalog and it is titled “An Open Letter To Pain:  I Think I’m Ready To Let You Go”  Have a wonderful weekend everyone 🙂

**As always, copies of “Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak” are available in all formats at online bookstores worldwide.  All my gratitude to YOU xx

A Letter To Pain

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In the past, as some of you know, I wrote different letters to myself and recently, after reflecting on how far I’ve come, I think it’s time to write a letter to Pain.  Instead of blaming Pain for all the heartache it caused me over time, I’m going to look at Pain from a spiritual point of view and how it changed me into the woman I am today.

One thing I know for sure is that we always have a choice in our lives, for every decision that comes our way which makes us accountable for ourselves.  If things are decided for us, then we get to decide how to handle it.  What we decide becomes our new life path and leads us to exactly where we need to be in order to learn what we don’t know yet.  Even if it’s the second, third or hundredth time around.

Author Caroline Myss says there is no wrong path, we are all on the right path; but here’s the thing, we just might not be managing it very well.  We may have taken a detour along the way.  Therefore, in knowing we have a choice to get back on track and more aligned with who we really are; the path we are on always leads us home.  Back to ourselves and to our purpose.

 

Dear Pain,

Unfortunately, I know you well.  A little too well, actually.  I’ve seen you come and go throughout my life, sometimes disguised as pleasure, and I have to say, it is never easy or comfortable when you come to visit me.  Most of the time you appear without warning out of nowhere and end up making me feel scared, angry, disappointed, confused, upset, and hurt.  Your timing is incredible because it’s always inconvenient with my plans, forcing me to stop what I’m doing or take another detour.

However, these stops and detours have served a purpose while you were here.  All because of you, Pain, I found ways to handle you, heal you, and let you go.  There is no strength if there is no struggle and if there’s any silver lining to be found within you, Pain, this is it.  You’ve given my emotional muscles a real workout.

You see, Pain turned up the volume of the unworthy voices in my head and I believed them.  Pain knocked me down, but I fought to live.  Pain was my best teacher and worst nightmare all rolled into one.  I’ll never forget the lessons learned in the classroom outside the classroom.  Pain tried to make me fail but after a while, I passed the tests and received the blessing of insight.  Looking back, I see what needed to be learned and why.  So many rich meanings and a spiritual awakening occurred.

Pain, I can’t carry you around on my back anymore, you are too heavy and dark for me.  Not only do I need light, but I also need to feel light.  I finally realize Pain is a reverse role model of what not to do.

Here are some examples of what Pain brought me on the left, and on the right are some things Pain taught me:

Lies = Honesty

Mean = Kindness

Revenge = Walking Away

Selfish = Giving

Stealing = Generosity

Negative = Positive

Self-Righteous = Forgiving

Betrayal = Setting Boundaries

Quiet = Vocal

Closed Minded = Open-Minded

Ignoring Myself = Self-Care

Physical Symptoms = Exercise

Emotional Symptoms = Asking For Help

Holding On = Letting Go

Old Me = New Me

Thanks to you, Pain, I found new hobbies, interests, friends, work, perspective on life, parenting skills, awareness, and a new life.  Everything got better.  I even taught my kids how to handle you because unfortunately, they have seen you too.  Now I have more compassion, empathy, strength, understanding for others dealing with loss, suffering, and divorce.

Thanks again to you, I discovered the power of music, reading, writing, practicing mindfulness, living in the moment, accepting truths, and forgiveness is a gift I give to myself.

Writing is a big part of who I am, it leads me back to myself.  It is my life purpose, so much so that I wrote a book about you, Pain, and I still can’t believe it.  Don’t get too excited, just because I write about you doesn’t mean I like you.  I’m simply trying to understand and decode you for myself and others.  Happiness doesn’t come to me, it comes from me.  It is a choice and how I perceive life experiences.  Writing makes me happy.

You taught me the hard way to put the relationship with myself first, so I don’t put myself second with others.  I question what real love is, what do I want, need, from a meaningful relationship.  You showed me dealbreakers, pitfalls, narcissism, toxicity, and wove red flags in my face.  Now I ask more questions, and I’m careful with who I trust.  You’ve sent me difficult/selfish people, heartbreak, loss, tragic events, unfortunate circumstances to handle which taught me many things about myself and life.  Because of being cheated and deceived, I’ve become more vigilant and discerning.  Respect is a 2-way street, I  accept nothing less.  You certainly tested my patience and my ability to control my emotions.  Now I can see one of the reasons why you showed up was to protect me from other forms of pain.

At the moment,  I am practicing gratitude on a daily basis, my heart feels lighter, more peaceful.  I’m finished hiding behind you Pain, now I’m more obvious.  I found the courage to stand up and live my best life, imperfections and all.  What I’ve learned is this: if you focus on the hurt, you will continue to suffer.  If you focus on the lessons, you will continue to grow.  All because of you, Pain, I grew, learned, discovered, and even avoided you.  People came and went thanks to you.  I also apologize for being just like you at times, a royal pain in the A**!

The new me feels free, empowered, happy with myself,  and never gives up.  I can walk away from you, but with a grateful heart for all the life lessons.  I know I can’t live my life “Pain-free” but the next time you do arrive, I aim to be more prepared.

I never thought I would say this, but thank you Pain for showing up in my life, and for everything you’ve taught and brought me.   I’m exactly where I need to be in my life with my work, friends, family, love, and myself.  No experience goes unwasted, no mud, no lotus.  If it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t be me, right here, right now.

Dare to live courageously…

Much Love ❤

Jen
XO

One of my favorite songs Never Give Up, by Sia is what I listen to while I go for my walks down by the river.  I love it, I hope you do too.

**Hello Everyone and Happy September!  Copies of Winning While Losing:  The Upside of Heartbreak are still available at all online bookstores worldwide.  All my gratitude to YOU ❤

From Sea To Sky…

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It’s 4 a.m and the waves of the blue sea are subtly heard crashing against the shoreline

Sleeping is nearly impossible at this hour

Each morning sunrise, colors run into each other

Like my inner strength unexpectedly does to me

Some days are brighter and others seem to fade

Clouds contain feelings and prayers the same way they hold the rain

It’s strange how not being able to let out any feelings and wanting to remove them at the same time can hold me, hostage

All I can do is breathe, let it all go and see what stays

White clouds turn dark and thunder pounds to the beat of my heart

I feel so fragile right now…

Emotions come pouring out with the downpour of rain, washing my fears away

I realize you broke my heart but opened my eyes

I am somehow grateful for all this pain and grief

Suddenly, the sun comes out behind the same clouds that blocked it

It shines a light on everything, including me

Everything makes sense now

I feel the wind, wrapping around my shoulders, and running through my hair

As if a Higher Power brushes all the toxicity away

It’s a new start now, I can’t lose me to keep you

As time goes on, sunsets are a reminder to lay it all down once and for all

Healing is not linear and I believe this to be true

At night, the waves of the blue sea subtly crash against the shoreline again

I look up and ask the moon and stars for yet another miracle

That’s what people do when needing guidance

I realize you are like the moon and stars, loved and out of reach

However, I trust the force that guides them also guides me too

Now it’s time to close my eyes to old ends

And open my heart to new beginnings

From sea to sky…

 

 “For a star to be born, there is one thing that must happen; a gaseous nebula must collapse.  So collapse.  Crumble.  This is not your destruction.  This is your birth” ~ Zoe Skylar

This blog is dedicated to one of my close friends, Caroline Gilbert who is going through a difficult time but she is a strong woman who can get through this.  We have all been heartbroken before so you are not alone my friend.  One day you will wake up and be in a new place of peace and calm.  Where everything feels right.  For now, be at peace with where you’ve been and know that you are being guided to something even better.  Please have a listen to the song Fragile by Sting and have a great weekend ❤

Much Love,

Jen ❤
XO