I am not my divorce.
And yet … I am.
The divorce is an important part of my life, without a doubt. It’s just that it’s not the whole thing.
I am so many other things apart from divorced that I can hardly keep up with me.
Granted, I often see life through the lens of divorce – just like I once used to see life through the lens of what-seemed-to-be-a-really-promising, and then what-turned-out-to-be-a-failing, marriage. I suppose this is only natural. But after my initial ‘divorce stare’ at an issue, I make a concerted effort to subject the same issue to other perspectives, too. There is no point in letting marital status kick one out of balance.
I want to try and dwell on the positive ways in which divorce has shaped me, is shaping me.
I am no longer using my relationship with a marriage partner as an excuse not to dare to to have a life of my own.
I am no longer afraid of the idea of being alone,like I was prior to marriage.
There is a crack in everything, as this blog post reminds us: http://www.marydemuth.com/there-is-a-crack-in-everything-tedd-cadd/. That’s how the light gets in.
The ‘crack’ in my life that my divorce represents has let in light, no doubt. That light gives me the energy to strive and hope for good things now and in the future. And because I believe life is essentially good, I pledge the following:
I pledge not to lose my smile. To smile with my eyes and not just with my lips. To continue to smile often.
I pledge not to make my life all about me; to continue to take an interest in others. To be compassionate toward others.
I pledge to deliberately reach out to others – to not get so absorbed with my own set of circumstances that I forget just how much I still have to give to others.
I pledge to use my voice – but to try and remember to do so in a way that is gracious and edifying for others, rather than just plain hurtful.
I pledge to use my gifts, talents, abilities, and experiences to bless others. I already know that I won’t always feel like it. I also know that whether I feel like it or not at the time, in the end, it’s always worth it, and I end up feeling more blessed than those I was meant to bless.
I pledge to sincerely root for the troubled marriages that come my way to make it, the way others once rooted for mine. With a very different style, I suppose, but I’ll root for them nonetheless.
I pledge to give people a fair chance: to not judge anyone by my past experiences, but to give people time to show me who they are – and then (only then) make a decision as to where they belong in my life.
I pledge to stay grateful; to see my glass as half-full rather than half-empty.
I pledge to step out more, to try new things (not too many new things, but at least some!), to not stop trying at life in general.
I pledge to never drift too far away from joy. To find my way back when I do drift.
I make this pledge to myself.