So, it’s been a rough summer. On top of a rough several months. On the heels of the fall/winter that brought me surgery and cancer. It’s been a slippery slope of a year, and most of all I am learning to just sit back and let it roll. What now, you ask?
Call it irony, call it whispers from the universe, call it God’s perfect (ridiculous) timing… the week I talked through my “perspective party” at LTYM Charleston, was the week that my husband told me some not so great news about the state of our marriage. The week that said talk came out on YouTube, he moved out. And the very next weekend one of my closest friends from forever, also the one witness to our legal marriage in Guatemala 7 ½ years ago, had planned to come months ago- her timing, yet again, impeccable.
I am someone who believes that things happen for a reason, that ultimately we are called to learn from all of the times we’re knocked down and have to get back up. I believe not in silver linings but in the connectedness and poignance of experiences. But, really, God? Universe? Mother Earth? REALLY?!
Watching that video of me, reading about my “perspective” situation and the “parachute you’re only kind of sure will open”– I see a person I am not sure I recognize today. I see a person trying to keep it together and show the world a HER that didn’t really exist. That’s the thing about these walls and facades we’ve all built, they are fragile. They are hard to keep solid. They start to weigh on us and if we can’t shake them off… well, they start to crush us. It’s so painfully ironic because I was on a stage full of truth tellers in front of an audience of people thinking they were hearing my truthiest parts– when in fact I didn’t even yet know that the truthiest of all was about to break free. It’s like, can I audition again next year? Cause now this story, THIS IS THE STORY.
But is that the thing? That the story is always unfolding? That you can’t just stop time and say OK this, this right here- THIS is my line in the sand and the cross that I’ll bear. This is the thing I’ll tell future lovers about; this is the scar I’ll point to and the “turning point” that I’ll share with new girlfriends over bottles of wine. In fact, there’s always another thing and the true juicy, treasure-filled bit is how you welcome and breathe through that next thing.
There’s a lot of shame associated with separation and divorce. Not only do you grieve the loss of what you thought your life would be, but you grieve the story: the way you met, the little mosaic you built, the future plans you shared with the world. You said it all out loud: the vows, the love, the kids, the STORY– and then poof, in a couple of sentences, it’s gone. While the shame shouldn’t be mine, it feels a little bit that way because I was clearly the author of this story that now appears to be wildly untrue.
I am clinging ferociously to the imagery of a heart broken wide open. The opposite of broken wide open (shattered unfixable ice cream and comfy pants broken heart) would probably feel a little better for a minute with it’s utter falling apart, but really that’s not me. And that’s not who my kids need, or the future me needs… or, frankly, who the world needs. I actually believe that I have something awesome to offer the world and me melted into puddles of angry, sticky, jagged, hurty parts won’t make the world a more loving and grace filled place. Which, in the face of it all, is what I want.
This image- my heart burst WIDE open into an even greater capacity to hold space for the hurting parts, to allow my pain in, plus my children’s pain, and the pain of others– to open it RIGHT UP and say “come on in and let’s hold each other, and then let’s do some awesome shit with this”- this is what feels like home today.
So friends, it’s with this heart broken open that I tell you that I am sitting here, on the floor mostly, open and ready for whatever may come next. I cannot thank enough those of you who have wrapped me and my kids in your love and light; in your drinks, food and desserts; runs, movie nights and girl talks; tears, laughs and promises of karaoke.
It’s like, this time, I might actually start finding out who I really am. Watch out world.