When I started writing ‘Break Up and Shine’, I wanted to show others that a painful divorce need not be the end of everything good in your life, however horrendous it feels in the beginning. You can heal and move on, and it can also be the catalyst to make your life way better than it would ever have been, had you stayed in the relationship.
This week has resulted in one of the biggest testimonies to the changes my life took after my ex-husband left. My grief led to soul searching, which led to a lot of personal development work, which led to embarking on counselling training which ultimately, (after almost 4 years) has led to me finally becoming a qualified counsellor!
I always felt that there was some purpose to the devastating break-up of my marriage; that my life was waiting to be lived, and the only way to make sense of the pain was to create something better from it.
The work I do now would not have been possible on the same level, had I not been through my trauma and hardship. I could not be the therapist I am now, without having faced my fears, insecurities and previously unexpressed emotions. The break-up was the bombshell which made all of these come to the surface and require attention. Getting divorced pushed me out of my comfort zone and forced me to look at what my life had been up to that point.
Loss is uncomfortable, messy, frightening and torturous at times. But when you are at your lowest point you have a choice to either stay there and give up (which feels so tempting at times), or to haul yourself up and look for the gold when all you can see is carnage.
Turning a loss into a win doesn’t necessarily start with a big goal like a new career or relationship. I certainly didn’t think 7 years ago that I would be doing what I’m doing now! The shift starts with simply seeing the possibility to view your break-up as something other than utter devastation. Change happens through being kind to yourself and honouring your grief, but also being willing to believe that your divorce can actually be the best thing that could have happened to you.
By seeing things from a new perspective, I gave myself permission to have a life I would not have contemplated before, and I found some purpose. I have chosen to specialise in relationship counselling. No real surprises there; after all, they do say “teach what you know”. So now, the loss I suffered in my life has become a win, not only for me, but for others who might benefit from the lessons I learned.