*Author's Note: There are several linked articles to past posts where I process my divorce. If you're going through a shift, I highly suggest you read those.
You can't get something new doing something old. We've heard this adage time and time again. Yet most of us are holding on to the past because we fear "losing" when we take new steps. We are afraid that taking a step is a gamble and Vegas has taught us that the gambles are always rigged against us. The house always wins. What I do know is that taking a step in spite of fear is an investment with a 100% return. Keep reading.
Holding on Past the Expiration Date
Here's the thing, every single experience is here to teach you a lesson that will elevate you to the next stage in your life. The problem becomes when we hold on to the experience after the lesson is over. It may not seem detrimental at first. When you hold on the familiar, after all, you know what to expect and life is predictable. It feels like you're shielded from pain because predictable means controllable. There's another side of the coin, however. When you hold on to yesterday's blessings, you prevent the new ones from coming. My life has definitely been a testimony to this truth.
When I Decided to Live Beyond Fear
When I decided to get married at 29, I thought I was doing it for the right reasons. I had someone I loved and was compatible with. I had a stable career and had purchased my first home. I was ready to be a mother, so marriage seemed logical. There were so many things I didn't know about myself that I spent the next several years floundering in relationship with unhealthy boundaries and a façade of communication.
In 2012, I made the decision to live an authentic life with integrity. That meant that no matter the fear, I was going to be sure that my actions aligned with the truth of who I was. I wouldn’t have one life or belief system in my head and then interact in the world as something else. I committed myself to the lessons instead of blaming people for my fate. That meant that my marriage could no longer be (or so I thought). I made the decision to divorce and it was the scariest thing I ever dealt with. I faced immense guilt about hurting and disappointing everyone in my life. The story of my life was no longer so clear. I had no idea what would happen next, as I could only concentrate on one step at a time instead of a detailed master plan.
But you know what happened as a result? Sheer beauty and a life more extraordinary than I could imagine.
- I received a job offer for a position I hadn't applied for.
- I became clear about my beauty, my power and my voice. I learned to communicate without manipulation and how to be direct without being cruel. I learned to make choices lovingly.
- I became confident with saying no when situations no longer serve me.
- I began a new relationship with my ex based on respect, care, healthy boundaries, celebration, and joy.
- My family is reunited but not as a continuation of the old. Breaking the pattern allowed each of us to actively choose love, compassion, and all the things that go along with it.
- I've been able to share my lessons learned via my life coaching for other women with a gap between their resume and the life they've dreamed.
- I wrote Pieces of Her, a novel about a woman's journey through fear.
- I became a whole, integrated woman.
As I write this post, I'm contemplating another major life decision that I've been avoiding for the past several months. I've written before how teachers teach the lessons that they themselves need to learn. Perhaps, I needed to write this post as a reminder to myself that it's more than okay to close a certain chapter of my life and be an active creator of the next.