Single, unemployed, and suddenly myself? That was what happened to me in 2017 and created this change in mind, hovering, at the beginning of two tough years ahead. Divorce is not the end of the world. It is painful, it sucks but I got through it. Mainly, things fell into place when I started to love myself and figured out who I am and what I want. I sort of lost myself in all those years previously without even noticing. Self-love is notoriously difficult and I have been terrible at it. But this grief that my divorce caused opened my heart at a different level so I was able to begin this process of becoming more than I am and made self-love a reality in my life. Over the past three years, I have learned a great deal and how I can start to be kinder with myself. I know now what I want and don’t want, how to listen to my gut, communicate what bothers me and simply say “no” if it doesn’t feel right to me.
I stopped sabotaging myself. If you find yourself in a relationship with, for example, a rather dominant, ego-centered partner who conjures convincing arguments against yourself it may be time to get out. Because being with this type of partner is the easiest way to drown your potential and who you really are. In the long-run, this self-limiting behavior is destructive and programmed to prevent yourself from trying or even caring anymore. I had to learn to recognize this state of mind so I could begin to escape it. I also had to acknowledge that I was my own worst enemy for years. I was the greatest threat to my own happiness. And the quicker I recognized this fact, the less time I wasted on preparing myself for external harm. For years, I was perpetually in my own blind spot and hence caused the greatest injuries to my soul.
Another thing I learned is to not give in to doubt or fear. If it doesn’t feel right, it usually is not. There is a clear difference between being self-aware and cautious, and lacking conviction. When I found myself in a difficult situation, I forgot that all I have to do is simply to pause, think, reevaluate the situation, and make the next right move.
I took care of my physical and mental health. Stress is the worst. Stress can kill you. Stay out of arguments and clarify things. If you are not enough for yourself, you will never be enough for someone else. Throughout these crazy two years of getting a divorce, no matter how ambitious or driven I am, I had to remember that my life is a marathon, rather than a sprint. At times I grossly overestimated what I could do in a day or one week and underestimated what I could achieve over a couple of months. I learned to give myself the time I needed to realize my potential by taking care of myself. I approved of myself because my interests matter. This way, my ability to overcome challenges is limitless. I am always free and accept all circumstances, good or bad, as my teachers. I think that every fight or argument I had happened because of missing inner harmony.
Feel less guilty about pleasure, my friend. Whatever that may be and helps you through whatever tough times you are experiencing. You feel guilty about things that bring you joy because you either feel they are undeserved, inappropriate, or that there is still so much to be done? Time on this planet is fleeting, so I realized I have to make peace with this guilt if I must and give myself permission to experience life fully with whatever excites me. I allow myself to feel what I feel because everything I feel is justified and does not need to be explained.
I started to put myself first because this way I reclaimed control over the narrative of my life. This way, I did not longer live in the shadow of others and make compromises that take away from my joy. And unless I am happy, I cannot bring happiness to others. I needed to evolve from this fixed mindset to a growth mindset which was not easy but manageable.
I learned how to reflect deeper and more often. There were parts that I did not like about myself but never felt bad. This is who I am. I conversed with them until I understood to forgive and forsake them. I surrounded myself with people who genuinely care about me. People who valued my company. This way I learned how to appreciate the things that they love about me. They will act as my mirror and reveal the best and worst of me. This way I became and become the best possible version of myself because I am enough.
Slow life down whenever you need to so you can regain your breath. Spend time with people you love. Or alone. Or in the woods. You know best what you need. But choose yourself first. Walk away from toxic situations that make you feel bad. To let go means to be free. Free from the past. Free to believe that destinies may change. You are your own soulmate.
I was (and still am) on this self-discovery journey for quite some time. I won’t say it is easy. But, in the end, you may meet someone again who sings the same tune. Someone who makes time stand still while you are in awe.