The Most Important Lessons

Often, the lessons we need most are the ones we are most resistant to. I never wanted to be divorced. In fact, losing my husband, through any means, was my greatest fear in life. So, when I found myself suddenly single at the age of 32 after being betrayed by my best friend and partner of 16 years, I was lost.

The best lessons can often be found when we are facing unanticipated change and loss. It is a window where we are lost and searching, broken and vulnerable, wanting and open. It is a time when the ego has been forcefully stripped away and we are able to face those challenging lessons that we may usually avoid. In those moments, we learn who we really are and what we are capable of.

The following are some of the lessons I learned on the heels of my divorce:

1) When gratitude is your wrapping paper, everything is a gift.

You cannot always change your circumstances, but you can always change your attitude. I wasted time after the divorce being angry and playing victim. Slowly, ever so slowly, I began to soften and to look at the bigger picture. The divorce and its associated trauma happened; I could not alter that reality. I could, however, choose to change my reaction. I have begun to practice radical gratitude — being thankful for the man who deceived and abandoned me. I began by writing a list of ten reasons I am thankful for him and I continue to write a note of gratitude every time I make a payment on the debt he left behind. The situation hasn’t changed, but I now can view my divorce as a springboard for better things.

2) Happiness is my choice.

Read the rest on The Huffington Post.

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8 thoughts on “The Most Important Lessons

  1. Lisa, your blogs often resonate with me, as I have gone through the pain of the end of a marriage, in addition to being on a journey to find “my happy”. These wise lessons are applicable to every day life, and reading them first thing this morning was a nice addition to a cold, foggy morning, as it helped to clear the mental fog from my mind. Many thanks!

  2. I wouldn’t say that ‘being angry and playing victim’ was a waste of time. Firstly, it was inevitable considering the manner in which you were left. To have not felt like that would have meant you were a machine, inhuman. Secondly, to have felt like that gave you the sheer tenacity to not just survive but thrive, and ultimately where you are today. One does not go straight from being thrown into a deep dark cavern to being on top of the world. One has to climb the mountain. And it is the climbing that makes us who we are, not the view from the top.
    Thirdly, having been there and now being ‘on top of the mountain’ is inspirational to others. This helps others (like myself) who are still trudging to keep going. There is this empowerment you give to us all – that we can get there too.

    1. It wasn’t a waste of time to be there, but it would have been a waste of time to stay there. I think sometimes I deny that part because I don’t want to be that woman anymore.

      Thanks!

  3. thanks for sharing the article. much of what is mentioned really sticks out to me, especially relating to the feeling of being lost and knowing that even though there is so much positive rebuilding that comes after a divorce, it’s hard to start that rebuilding when everything in your life is turned upside down.

  4. Sadly, I am largely stuck on angry & victimised. I thought I was further along than that but recently, I was confronted by the truth; I am still bitterly, hateful angry for what she has done and I am in full victim mode. I’m also very badly hurt that she can move one so quickly. That shouldn’t shock me as I know she checked out of our marriage years ago.

    It still completely sucks.

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