I belong to a support group for divorced women, designed specifically to help rebuild life as a single person. It took me a long time to join up, as I am not a fan of support groups in general, simply because it is not my nature to share my troubles in a group. As I suspected, most of the sharing consists of complaints about the ex-husband and how they all feel betrayed, etc. I have to admit, that I am one of the rare ones on this planet who went through a very peaceful separation and amicable divorce, wherein I was the recipient of so much kindness and generosity – kindness being the governing factor in all this, without which the move to Berlin would not have even been possible. The lawyers were so baffled that they wondered up to the very last minute whether we were really sure about our decision! I mean, what couple exchanges gifts shortly before standing in front of the judge?
We remain good friends, will always consider one another as family, and most importantly, united parents for our one and only daughter.
Why am I telling you all this?
In the same manner that I do not shy away from life challenges and face obstacles head-on, I embrace all those who have showered me with love, affection, kindness, support, in every possible way, most especially SH. It is a rare gift to be connected to someone you have shared 25 years of your adult life with, and connected by a deep understanding of culture, faith and values that continue to govern our friendship.
Divorce taught me to walk away in time and re-invent myself while learning new life skills in the process. It is not just about self-preservation, but allowing yourself to become who you are really supposed to be, and along the way there will be people placed in your path for one reason or another. Do you remember my old blog entry about people showing up in our lives for a reason, season or lifetime? Well, since I wrote that entry, I have also learned the darker side of that “concept” – and boy did I have to learn it the hard way!
Reason – the people who bring you down and challenge your values, faith and perspectives, will do everything in their power to tear me apart. They were put in my life to teach me how to be a stronger person and learn when to walk away, ignore or fight back.
Season – there will be inevitable seasons that will be painful, some of them lasting 22 months, others 22 years, but the storms will pass and the person who entered the storm unknowingly is definitely not the same person emerging from it.
Lifetime – all the disasters and traumas that come my way are lifetime lessons that have opened my eyes to things I only read about happening to other people. I often wondered how many can remain in such toxic or abusive relationships and be so blind or afraid, until it happened to me.
Here is something I found that summarises the reason, season and lifetime all in one:
“Sometimes walking away has nothing to do with weakness and everything to do with strength. We walk away not because we want others to realise our worth and value, but because we finally realise our own” – author unknown