Self-care + Divorce: Feelings Won't Break Me
The truest fact I've come to know is that we are never prepared for disaster, but we aren't helpless. I don't know about you, but divorce is prevalent among my friends, and it's not from a lack of trying. A divorce may culminate for years before the finality of it ever sets in. But life goes on--and my feelings about it won't break me.
Speaking truth really does set us free. It's been almost a month now that my marriage officially fell apart. It has been doing so (falling apart) since the very beginning, but there is nothing quite like the verbal recognition--THE SPEAKING OF TRUTH--to confirm what the body and heart has known for so many years. And yet, it is still incredibly painful. It still hurts to think of all the ways I wanted it to be yet never were. It hurts to think about dreams not realized and sacrifices made. And it still hurts to think of disentangling myself from a promise that was never meant to be fulfilled. But, affirming to myself that this death also means new life is just as valid as a truth. I can mourn and also know that every garden needs a hefty amount of shit in order to bloom.
Self-care is like a vaccination toward spiritual resilience. It's only clear to me now how important my work in self-care actually is. Because when I started ruminating, my heart is breaking and how is it I could have been with someone who didn't love me reciprocally, I had to check myself and correct my thoughts. No, Nova...THE LOVE I CULTIVATE HEALS ME (July 2018 meditation). His love doesn't heal me and never did. Me hating him doesn't heal me. Only the love I cultivate within me, for me, will heal me. You see, I actually wrote that lesson out August 2017 for this year. I've written out all of 2018's lessons and sometimes, they are so very fucking annoying. But, my 2017 intuition knew my 2017 self needed to reaffirm this principle: I am my own love spring.
Self-care isn't only for the easy days...face masks, vitamins and long baths are just the daily maintenance of keeping up with health and wellness. Self-care is about engaging with what needs to be experienced. When I could feel my pulse racing and felt the sensations of anger stressing my body, I start asking myself am I about to have a heart attack? I had to continue to remind myself, my body and spirit are strong enough to FEEL this. If this had been any other year, I would have reached for a joint, inhaling relief, exhaling numbness. But last year--after months of hearing the word TRANSFORM in my head, my body told me to quit and I finally listened. So now, I'm not numb and I feel it and it hurts. But feelings won't break me. They just don't fucking feel good.
Self-care allows us to grieve and release so that we don't get stuck in a season for longer than necessary. It is the tuning in with what you are able to emotionally and physically pass through you without it getting stuck in any one place. Seasons aren't meant to be permanent. I can say this because I've held onto to physical pain in my shoulder for 8 years, stemming from a miscarriage from a marriage that wasn't ever really present. But ya'll, my shoulder hasn't hurt one time in the last month. And then I read Rupi Kaur's poetry where she says:
i think my body knew you would not stay
Self-care allows us to let go. But...real talk here, it's damn near impossible to feel the feelings, move the grief, and entertain the idea of a new season when we live in a constant state of numbing. What helps us to let go is to move the stagnation. Uncover it, shine a light into the darkness and then ask those we love to shine their light, too.
Speak the meditations of your heart. Talk to yourself--out loud. Talk to your closest friends and family. Communicate with those who support you. Make a counseling appointment and follow through. Keeping quiet builds shame and creates a well of festering poison and judgement. Judgement is a bitter pill of resentment. There's no need for you to hold onto that. It can only be purified with movement. Lastly, talk to your Creator--never underestimate the power of requesting peace amidst a tsunami of heartache.
If you are going through divorce or the possibility of it, I hope you know this:
- You deserve to be angry, but you don't deserve to feel unworthy.
- Your body is strong enough to handle the stress of sadness. But, also, drink enough water, eat nourishing food, and consider extra supportive herbal tea, tinctures like Motherwort and adaptogenic herbs like holy basil daily.
- Breath--your oxygen is sacred. Download a meditation app (I've been using Simple Habit) or use a mala bracelet to be intentional with your breath.
- Movement will make you feel better. Take a long walk, 20 minutes of yoga, or dance for 3 songs. Movement moves grief.
- It's ok to talk about your feelings. Your friends, family, counselor and even the partner from whom your splitting (most likely) can handle your genuine feelings.
- You are hurting, but you aren't broken. You weren't created to break. You were created with resilience as the foundation of your framework. But self-care--whatever that looks like for you--is what will support you and give you strength.
- The love you cultivate is your own responsibility. Your own love heals you and in time, when you are ready, you'll shift into a new season. You DO deserve love.
May our Creator bless you and keep you, shining it's light upon you. Amen.