Next week I will be returning to study to train as a counsellor. It’s been 18 years since I graduated and ever since then I never really knew what I wanted to ‘be’. I had jobs, I became a wife and a mother, then a single mother. It used to frustrate me that other people knew their career path and I didn’t. Then, through the experience of divorce and healing from it, I found my purpose. A part of me wondered “why didn’t I do this years ago?”. But here’s why.
Almost 20 years ago I sat in a counselling lecture, as part of my degree course, and felt a real sense that I could be good at this. I found it absorbing, challenging and I certainly knew it would be fulfilling. But something stopped me from pursuing it as a career. Possibly fear, or lack of self-confidence. But most likely, looking back, an inner knowing that it wasn’t the right time for me. I hadn’t experienced enough to show others the way. I couldn’t counsel with any depth of knowledge of what it was like to heal from real emotional trauma. Not that I hadn’t faced some pretty harsh pain, it was just that my 20-year-old self had just not learned the lessons from it at that point.
And it’s the lessons you learn in life, not the pain you’ve been through, that defines you.
Emotional trauma and big life change serve a purpose. However cruel and hopeless the loss feels at the time, there is a reason for it. The lessons may not be immediately apparent, it may take a lot of work on yourself to find them; but if you are willing to see even the possibility of an opportunity in a terrible situation, you are already on your way to healing.
If you’ve recently broken up, look at where the end of this relationship fits into the timescale of your life. The end of a relationship is a turning point. A chance for change within you. A chance to show yourself what you’re made of and follow your heart towards a far better life than you thought was possible.
Allow yourself to grieve. Then allow yourself to know that this isn’t the end of your life, simply a change in direction. Little by little expand the limits of what you feel is possible for you. You will begin to see that, in the bigger picture, this has happened because the time is right for you to change your life.
And here are two things which may help you with the pain. Because, despite the fact that there is a purpose to the heartbreak, it still desperately hurts.
1.Break Up and Shine Chapter One The 5 stages of grief and beyond This is the first chapter of my book, available to download as a free pdf.
2.When Everything Changes, Change Everything by Neale Donald Walsch This is a book which I have recommended many times. It was a huge perspective shifter for me when my marriage ended.