I am almost too embarrassed to write these words given what I know and what I teach, but my divorce helped me to better experience and understand my feelings. I have known/done this for years, but the intensity of the feelings I had (and sometimes still have) during my divorce were like nothing I had ever experienced before. I had to keep coming back to letting myself be with and acknowledge my feelings, watch them and BREATHE. I did a lot of breathing.
Do you let yourself feel your feelings? I didn’t; I stuffed many of them away. I wasn’t able to express them and when I did they weren’t received in a way that was supportive. Not feeling my feelings in my marriage contributed to my not being able to ask for what I needed and to ignore what I was feeling. Now I know this resulted in increased allergic reactions, suppressed immune function, fatigue and tiredness and much more.
I am still learning, but have become much better at taking care of me and asking for what I need. It still isn’t easy and it sure isn’t second nature, but I am practicing all the time. Part of this practice is celebrating me – the baby steps and the big jumps.
I start by asking myself what I need – physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. I am also putting myself first. This allows me to become clear with myself, and be authentic with myself so I can show up with love to everyone else in my life.
During my marriage, I gave, gave and gave some more. I was a fixer, feeling if I just did this it would be better. I had enormous guilt for traveling so much for work and loving my work. At work, I was authentic in my work and my love of what I practice and teach but I would make-up stories to myself about how good my personal/family life was; it wasn’t. It was as if I was living two different lives.
Today, I am living a more authentic life. I am more true to me. It’s not perfect, but I don’t actually believe in perfect. I am showing up and being with what shows up and making decisions and choices based on what is best for me.
Maybe you’d like to try some of this on yourself?
Start with this short meditation to celebrate you – who you are, how you show up in the world and how you take care of yourself. This isn’t always an easy task as we often put everyone else’s needs before our own.