We all hear a lot these days about how we create our own realities, and that we have the power of choice in how we feel. For many divorced moms, this seems like hogwash, including me at times. But an experience yesterday showed me I have more choice about how I feel in life after divorce than I sometimes think. Perhaps it will inspire other divorced moms to look for their own small windows of choice in daily life, too.
Here’s what happened:
We currently have two cars and four drivers. Yesterday morning there was a last minute need for three of us to be in three different places at the same time, so I agreed to be dropped off and picked up for my Sunday morning commitment and allow the kids to use the cars. One of my sons was going to drop me off, and my daughter would pick me up.
While we were on our way to my meeting, my son asked the best way to get to the gym (our normal location was closed that day, so he had to go across town). I gave him a few options, including a route that would allow him to fill up the gas tank and get the car washed.
Then I mentioned the next turn he needed to take to get me to my location, and I got a very snide “Mom, I know how to get to Woodmen Road.”
I immediately felt small, belittled and stupid. I opened my mouth to begin explaining myself, but stopped.
It would have been easy to close down and feel sorry for myself or to feel angry and self-righteous. Those are habitual responses, especially since those were my normal reactions to my former husband’s similar behavior.
But something stopped me. At that moment I realized I had a choice: I could go to the usual and familiar place of self-pity and playing small, or I could choose something different.
I thought to myself, I’m not that woman anymore. I don’t want to be that woman anymore. What if I choose a different reaction? But I don’t know how to react differently. I guess I need to ask for help. Because I really don’t want to let my feelings be dictated by the words of my son – or anyone.
So I prayed, “Please help me. I don’t want to feel like this. I want to maintain peace of mind and awareness of the divine love and light in me. Please remove these feelings of unworthiness and self-pity and any meaning I have attached to them, and fill me with Your love and Your way of seeing. Thanks.”
I didn’t have to say anything out loud at that point, and within minutes I noticed that something had changed. I was no longer feeling small, sorrowful, or stupid.
I went on to my meeting in a good frame of mind and was able to participate fully without being preoccupied by the events of the ride over.
The topic was “intentions,” and as I reflected on the experience of the morning and the choice I made to feel differently, I realized that the only intention I want to have today is an intention to bring light and love and allow myself to be a channel for divine grace.
My experience raised my awareness of how it’s possible to choose a different feeling, right in the moment, and to ask the Universe for help in changing – to show me the truth about myself, rather than my default beliefs and patterns of behavior.
So when I say divorced moms CAN choose how they feel, I don’t mean forcing it or pretending to feel other than what you do. I mean surrendering to the feelings, desiring to feel different and recognizing the beauty of the women you are, and then asking for divine help to see yourself that way and to find your true power, rather than give it away to the words or actions of others.
Perhaps this would be a good practice for 2015 – looking for ways to choose better feelings to create a life you love after divorce.