What is the most honest thing I could write right now?
After not writing my newsletter for a few months, am I really going to write about my marital separation?
I have been in the midst of a deep transformation. As my husband and I, with our kids, move towards divorce, I have given myself time to be quiet, time to process the experience, to be with friends, and to grieve….
Ok, that’s what I’d like to believe. In reality, I’ve run like hell, kept busy, grieved spontaneously and in brief moments, allowed myself to feel it all. But, I have taken time before I’ve been willing to write about it.
Divorce is a death. It’s the death of a combined life and of shared dreams. It has to unravel and dissolve so that a new life can emerge. It is painful at times and challenging in many ways, but there have been silver linings. I feel close to my kids and we’re more honest with each other. These levels of honesty come hard and fast when “shit gets real.” There is a clarity about where my life may head next. Overall, there is a sense in our family the we will each emerge out of this transition more resilient, and ready to flourish in new ways.
Until now, I’ve been intentionally quiet, both here and on social media. One, I knew that anything I wrote might be reflected back to my family. I am fierce about my kiddos having a private life. I can choose to be public about mine, but I need to give them a choice in theirs.
But it’s not the only reason. Divorce, despite being inordinately common, still has shame attached to it. It inherently suggests a failure. While I don’t consider my marriage a failure (more on that in a moment), I was still lured into the ways we keep “bad” information quiet. You don’t talk about it in public. When I have talked about it, I’ve watched the air go out of the room, heard the sudden silence, felt the abrupt wobble in the space, and listened to the quick change of subject. Divorce is the thing that gets whispered about after the person leaves the room. In short, it is a very uncomfortable subject for a number of people. Somehow, I felt that I was sparing people discomfort in not talking about separation, when in fact I was denying an honest conversation.
My husband and I have been married for 18 years, much of it good. Like really good. And it’s ridiculous to me to feel that we have somehow failed. On the contrary, it feels like we should be giving each other a high-five. We had a great run. We created a beautiful life. And now, we are making the decision to continue to make beautiful lives with different compositions.
This journey makes me think a lot about sovereignty. Our own personal sovereignty. What does it mean to take ownership, no, not ownership, but rather rulership of our own lives? How does that feel?
We are always in choice, even when we feel like we have none. Without it, we become servants to our lives. We pretend we don’t have choices, when in fact, we are simply afraid to make the choices that we do have. In the case of my marriage, we had a choice to change the status quo – we could go all in or to step out. Both were viable. When we finally acknowledged that we had choices beyond the status quo, things became clear. And there is something that feels good in the sharp pain of that clarity, something that feels good even when the choice sucks the air out of me and threatens to never stop.
With choice there is sovereignty. The act of choosing is an act of integrity. It is different than passively letting life dictate our choices for us. Deliberately and consciously making choices means we start to have rulership over ourselves and our lives. Which begs the question, when we are not in rulership, who is?
in Sovereignty and Love,