I’ve mentioned that Jon and I have been going to marital counseling, trying to learn how to be kinder, more honest and loving with each other (and ourselves). Over the last year, progress has been slow and somewhat unsteady and the real work of change didn’t start until a few months ago, when I made the decision to divorce my husband.
Not legally or even locationally, our divorce took place emotionally. A small thing happened that proved to be the proverbial back-breaking straw and I just couldn’t – wouldn’t – do it anymore. No more trying to be a “good Christian” no more trying to be a “good wife.” I essentially told God “I’m out.” Physically, emotionally, spiritually and every other kind of “ally,” I was just done. I think God threw up his hands at that moment and shouted with the angels: “FINALLY!” and then they threw a killer party. So rude.
Meanwhile, I simply stopped caring. I stopped caring about what Jon (and, to be honest, God) thought or what he did or what he said. I stopped caring about how he felt and what his opinions were. Every time I was tempted to get irritated or bothered or hurt by him, I reminded myself that what he did or said was no longer any of my concern. And then a funny thing started happening. I began to fall in love.
Through a power I’m only now beginning to understand, I began to observe my life, my thoughts, my emotions, my reactions and accept them as they were, not as I thought they should be. I began to accept Jon as he was, rather than working to change him. I stopped trying to protect myself from pain or hurt or offense and started living in the moment, rather than the fearful future my mind has always created for itself. I began to watch myself feel, instead of react to my feelings. I became willing to experience emotions without seeking to alleviate them, to love instead of defend, to observe rather than struggle. Although I didn’t know it at the time, this act of observation became my saving grace.
Soon after, I wrote the following in my journal:
“I feel like I’m falling in love [with Jon] for the first time. I find myself wishing he’d call and wondering if he’s falling in love with me the way I’m falling in love with him.”
(Side note: he was.)
Observing my thoughts, emotions and fears helped me begin to forge a new relationship with God and find the way back to my husband. It helped me take a long, deep, much needed breath and rest. It helped me (or I should say, is currently helping me) heal from things I’ve carried for virtually my entire life and love from a place of freedom.