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.