When I was going through the process of my divorce people would say to me, “Just think how strong this will make you.”
Strong? I would think.
I AM strong. I’m plenty strong enough. I’m sure of my strength. Those who know me are convinced that I am strong. You, readers of The Girl Revolution and those I coach, can speak to my strength. Strong, I am. Strength, I’ve got.
See, I had to be strong to survive a 12-year marriage of struggle. I had to be strong to walk away from addictions that lured me like Delilah lured Samson. I had to develop strength to learn how to live and mother and not drown in it during my post 9/11 post-partum depression. I had to be strong to survive relationships with abusive men and addicts. And I had to be strong to walk away from them. Strength is something I’ve been developing for the first half of my life.
What I intended for myself as the outcome of my divorce, instead, was to become soft.
See, too much strong has a tendency to become hard and rigid. Steel is strong, but it takes fire to bend it. To wish for strength, it has seemed to me, is to wish for the fire. It’s like wishing for patience – the only way to become patient is to put yourself in circumstances which require it.
I’ve had my share of the fire. I called forth easier, gentler, softer lessons for myself as I went through my divorce.
Ask and you shall receive.
I’m a few months out of my divorce, and now that the financial terror has subsided, and the grief has been grieved, and the fear of the unknown has dissipated, I find myself becoming soft.
I weep. Not like heart-wrenching cries, sobbing or fits of hysteria. No, through the whole thing I’ve done little actual crying. I have grieved, but it has been a soft, quiet, gentle grief that has washed over my soul like a cleansing hot bath. I have allowed the grief to wash away my resentments, bitterness, and yes, that same strength that got me through the marriage.
The weeping is more of a gentle opening up of my heart. A gentle expanding of my soul. Like watching a sunset and wondering why you’ve never noticed a sunset become a silent, holy night. It’s been like witnessing a sunrise and wondering if the world really has been bright and shiny all along.
I weep at the slightest provocation: the final episode of iCarly, Oprah’s Favorite Things for Military Wives, almost any mention at all of God, every time something wonderful happens to someone I know, reading Facebook posts, during commercials and movies, when I give away boots, the sight of our Christmas tree . . .
It feels delicious. It feels soft and gentle, like a mother’s womb, a pillow, a cloud. It feels delightful, like a bathtub full of money. It is restful and sweet, like a long-awaited and well-deserved afternoon nap.
How did I miss it? Are you missing it? Let me help you find it with Life Coaching. There are a trillion ways to live a life, some gentler and softer than others.