New 3-d Collage – “Begin Again“
In my ideal world, true love would be eternal …
… and no one would experience the end of a relationship.
If this is your reality, I am shouting at the top of my lungs hallelujah, amen, and may your love last forever! I truly love happy endings and want them for YOU and everyone on the planet.
If this isn’t your reality, (and it certainly wasn’t mine), endings sometimes happen, whether by our choice or someone elses. And no matter the cause – illness, addiction, cheating, drifting apart, neglect, busyness, death, etc. –
I contend that endings are always for our highest good.
No doubt that the end of a relationship can devastate us to the core of our being. This was my personal experience. But endings can also be the beginning of a heart opening, joyful adventure, leaving us happier than we ever thought possible.
Let me explain by sharing my personal story of ending, and beginning again.
In 2007, after 31 years of what I thought was a “happy” marriage, I found myself suddenly single and walking on very unsteady ground.
The rug was literally pulled out from under me, shattering many beliefs about my world and self-worth. I started questioning things that I had taken for granted only days earlier. Would I spend the rest of my life alone? Was I lovable? Why did I stay so long, and put up with so much? Did I ever want to be married again? Where did I want to live? Who had my back? The list of questions seemed never ending, leaving me scared, full of self-doubt, and overwhelmed with tears.
This initial questioning turned into a year of intense soul searching, as well as many soul expanding adventures (aka dating), the likes of which had been out of my vocabulary for over 3o years.
During this time, I filled many journals with gut retching pain, but also with hope and excitement for an unknown future. In fact, my healing journey resembled the one Elizabeth Gilbert took in Eat, Pray and Love, except that mine mostly happened within miles of my home in North Carolina! I actually read her amazing book during this period, which gave me solace that someone else had walked in my shoes, and had come out healthier on the other end. With trust that it could only get better, I drudged forward, step by scary step.
Slowly over time, I excavated hidden parts of me that had been buried long ago for the sake of a “healthy” marriage.
I grew increasingly hopeful for the next chapter in my life, although I had no idea what that would look like, and if it would include anyone other than friends and family in it. I decided that no matter what happened down the road, I was completely committed to loving myself, which started with being honest with myself (and others), no matter the consequences. I even held a “marriage ceremony” where I married myself to myself, complete with a ring, to provide a constant reminder of what was now most important in my new, expanding life.
Once I realized that the one person I could always count on was ME, I had the safety net I needed to move forward into an unknown relationship future. And move on I did.
Jump forward to the present moment. I am happy to say that I have officially and very joyfully begun again. After dating my darling Robert for 7 years, I married this beautiful soul on July 18, 2015 in a romantic back yard wedding surrounded by our family and friends.
Am I scared that this too could end?
The reality is that life is full of beginnings and endings, some that we choose and others we don’t. Of course I am counting on my new marriage to be the “til death do us part” variety. However, I now know I have the bravery, self-love and resilience to embrace everything that life offers. With that self knowing, I have let my fear go, and have replaced it with trust that ALL outcomes are ultimately for my highest good. This has simply been my experience, over and over and over again.
This new 3-D collage, Begin Again, was created to shine a beckon of light for those that are 1) in the middle of an ending, or 2) who are on the other side of an ending and are rebuilding their world, or better yet, 3) are now celebrating a glorious new beginning.
I am now very grateful that I’ve experienced all three of these stages, and rejoice that the ending of my “fairy tale” happened in the first place!
I would love to hear about YOUR story of beginning again, or how you have been inspired by others who have walked this path and come out the other side better for having gone through it.