Awesome Amy’s Burning Question: “The topics of your weekly posts always line up with my present needs/issues. I love that. This post hit home especially because my marriage has been pushing against resistance and we finally addressed (released?) the issue at hand.
Change is scary for us micromanagers who tend to trust and expect negative outcomes.
One question that came up after reading this post (following my marital upheaval) was: is easy/joyous change possible in a person’s life without the person’s participation? For example, can a person sit back and enjoy life, feel good and have a significant event take place because they want it to happen? An event such as a divorce?”
Dear Awesome Amy,
You really kind of pose two questions, with the second being hidden within the first.
You ask if it’s possible to experience an event, such as a divorce, without participating in it. Well, yes, and no, depending on how you look at it (and how much of a stickler for technicalities you are). Let me explain.
Do you have to participate in your manifestations?
Of course it’s possible to experience all kinds of events without directly participating in them. You can hear about an earthquake that you didn’t personally feel. You can watch a party from the sidelines. And your partner could divorce you without your participation, as long as you didn’t contest it and enough years had passed (also, I believe you’d have to disappear). Notice that I said you don’t have to directly participate in these events, as in, you may not physically be involved.
You will always, however, be energetically and emotionally involved. When you hear about the earthquake, you will have a reaction to it. If you have family in the stricken region, you may react with worry or fear. If you see a funny video on YouTube of a cat trying to keep its balance during the quake, you may react with laughter (someone PLEASE upload that video!).The event will bring up all kinds of memories and/or associations within you that will cause you to feel something. In fact, if you are aware of an event, you are, by default, participating in it. You are sharing in that energy in some way. So, can you get divorced without participating? No. You can’t experience anything in your reality without it being part of said reality. To put it another way: if you are in the room when someone farts, you’re going to participate in the experience, even though you “smelt” it rather than “dealt” it. That’s right. I made a fart joke. You’re welcome.
This brings us to the second, and what I consider to be the real question: Why would you NOT want to participate in your manifestations? The answer is pretty simple: because you think it will suck if you do. You think, and one can’t really blame you for doing so, that going through a split with your soon to be ex-husband will be a long, at least somewhat torturous process. The only reason you’d ever want to withdraw from participating in your life is because you’re trying to avoid something uncomfortable. So, the question I believe you really wanted to ask is: Is it possible to experience something such as a divorce in a positive and even joyful way? And of course, the answer is yes.
How to make your divorce fun
You see, you can make ANYTHING into a positive experience if you so choose. That includes divorces, office Christmas parties, a visit to the DMV and even funerals (go to an Irish wake. You’ll see what I mean). How is that possible, you may we wondering? Well, let me tell you.
Here are a few ground rules you’ll want to keep in mind to make any event fun:
- Always remember that how you experience any event is entirely up to you. This means that other people’s opinions cannot matter to you. Just because society accepts that divorce is an ugly process, doesn’t mean that you have to buy into that.
- You really, really, really can’t need anyone else to agree with you on this. Be prepared for the fact that most people will not get this. They won’t understand how you could possibly be happy when convention dictates that you should be miserable.
- There is no “right” or “wrong” way to do anything. There is no appropriate amount of time to grieve when a loved one transitions to non-physical (“dies”). There is no correct way to feel when you get laid off from work. There are no rules for how you’re supposed to conduct yourself throughout a divorce. The really weird thing is that in our current society, you’re more likely to get shit for being happy during your divorce than for losing your mind and crashing your car through your ex’s living room window. People understand rage better than they understand joy. *le sigh*
In other words, YOU get to decide if you want to have a happy divorce and no one else, not even the guy you’re divorcing, can force you to feel otherwise.
That being said, you can’t fake this happiness. You can’t just pretend to be totally Zen about the fact that your marriage is ending, and experience it as such. You actually have to feel that way. If you don’t, you need to be honest about how you feel and raise your vibration from there. Chances are that since you’re asking this question, you’re not currently ecstatic about the upcoming divorce proceedings, so here are a few tips on how to get into a better feeling place:
Focus on the benefit
You married this person once, and you must’ve had your reasons. What were they? You loved this person deeply and wanted to spend the rest of your life together. And while these feelings may have changed, that doesn’t negate the good times. You were good for each other, you learned from each other, you helped each other evolve. You wouldn’t be the person you are today had it not been for this relationship. As such, the marriage was not a failure just because it ended.
Don’t focus on what went wrong (it’s not wrong to evolve, even if that means you are no longer a match to each other), but rather on how you both benefited from each other. Let me put it another way: do you think that going to High School was a mistake just because you moved on to college? Did you fail at school because you graduated? Would it have been better if you’d stayed in school, repeating your freshman year over and over again? I’m not saying that relationships are like a school, where you learn your lessons and get out, but the idea that moving beyond something is a bad thing is ridiculous.
We are always changing and evolving. Of course, it’s possible for a relationship to last for many years, even until death, but in order for it to be a happy one for all of that time, both partners have to allow each other to change and evolve and simply become a match to each other over and over again. When this is not the case, both partners should allow themselves to continue to change and evolve instead of trying to force each other to stay the same (stunting growth never feels good) and them blaming their partner when they don’t comply with this ludicrous and impossible demand.
Focus on how you benefited from this marriage. Appreciate your husband for how he helped you to grow into who you’ve become today. And remember, just because you no longer want to share your life with someone, doesn’t mean you can’t love them anymore. In fact, a lot of people are way easier to love from afar. Being divorced from someone does not mean that you can’t still see what an awesome person they are.
Focus on what you’re gaining
If you’ve figured out that a divorce is the best feeling option for you, then you’re going to be gaining something from taking that step. You’re going to be leaving a situation that no longer serves you. To a lot of people, this will feel like freedom, especially if the relationship has gone way past its expiration date. Now, it’s quite common and even totally understandable to focus on this freedom in terms of what it is you’re being freed from. Most people will now spend a lot of time and energy justifying why it’s ok for them to feel good by way of slamming their ex-partner. After all, it’s ok to feel free if you’re leaving a prison, right? It’s ok to get divorced and even feel good about it if your husband was a total asshole.
These types of justifications, however, are only ever due to guilt about getting divorced in the first place. This is also what causes partners to feel the need to shine a horrible light on their ex, or to make it all their fault. This type of behavior stems from the belief that divorce is, in and of itself, wrong. But think about it: according to this belief, it’s more important to stay together than to be happy. In fact, you should stay together no matter how miserable you both become. And if you are miserable, it’s only because you didn’t try hard enough. What a bunch of bullshit.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating for a break up at the slightest sign of trouble. I’ve managed to help save several marriages in my career. But I also don’t believe that divorce is wrong. Each couple and each person has to figure out what’s best for them in the moment. Demonizing any action or outcome essentially takes away our ability to do that (and the people who advocate for that have no faith in people’s ability to govern their own lives).
You are allowed and totally able to feel good about your divorce and the life you’re now stepping into without demonizing your marriage or your partner. You can have had a great marriage and still get divorced. In fact, the less need you have to blame your partner (no blame is necessary. Nothing has gone wrong), the more chance you have of having a happy divorce.
Own your shit
And last, but not least, if you want to enjoy your divorce, you’ll have to own your shit. This means that you’ll not only have to be honest about how you really feel (remember, you can’t fake it), you’ll have to take responsibility for your emotions. Your partner is not and was not responsible for manifesting the life you wanted for you. You cannot blame him for the fact that you now feel as though you have no future (I’m not saying that you, Awesome Amy, are doing that, but most people going through a break up do). If you are choosing to focus that way and are feeling the pain that results from such a limited perspective, that’s on you.
But, you also don’t have to let your ex or anyone else (mother in law…) make you feel guilty for destroying your partner’s life (by staying and feeling miserable. Because their happiness is apparently more important than yours). You are, I’m assuming, divorcing an adult who can take care of himself. If they choose to sit on the couch for the rest of their lives and blame you for it, that’s on them. Own your shit, but ONLY your shit.
You can have the life you want. In fact, getting away from a partner who is no longer a match to you will move you closer to that manifestation than staying would have (staying in a bad feeling situation does not make you a match to something that feels good). Insisting that your partner has to be the delivery boy for that life is unfair and doesn’t work. Bless the relationship for what it was and how it benefited you, and look forward to what’s coming next. But also remember that if you have to honor how you feel. If you are sad, be sad. Feel the emotion and allow it to tell you what you’re really sad about (it could very well be one of the beliefs I addressed in this post).
Marriage is a big manifestation. And so is divorce. It’s bound to bring up a lot of emotions in both partners. But if you are conscious, if you own your shit and if you’re willing to see the benefit of both the marriage and the divorce, you’ll be well on your way to having a divorce you won’t mind participating in.