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.

With love

Marissa x

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Trust that things happen when they need to

4 thoughts on “Trust that things happen when they need to

  • September 3, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    Good for you! You will love being a therapist… it is so great!   Still really struggling with my relationship of 23 years and thinking that if I leave, I will never find someone else and will always be alone. Thinking about moving across the country by myself and will be on my own. I am so unsure that I will be able to make it there and find friends, a relationship and open up my practice there.   Would you mind giving me your thoughts? Thank you so much….

    Kim Cochrane, MA, dipTIRP, CEC, RYT Relational Psychotherapist, Transformational Leadership, Certified Coach, Yoga Therapist & Teacher ~ Allowing space for lasting growth and change to unfold ~ 647 222-3086   Office location: Ashgrove Medical Centre 6633 Hwy #7 @ Ninth Line Markham, Ontario Suite #012 – Down one flight of stairs and turn right


    • September 8, 2013 at 8:36 pm

      Hi Kim, thanks for getting in touch and for your lovely comments. I expect as a therapist yourself you probably coach people on exactly the kind of question you’re asking, but I’m happy to give you my thoughts! Is moving across the country something you feel in your heart is right? What’s your motivation for doing it? If it’s an urge, a calling, something you know is going to give you a better life in the long run, then all of those “what if…?” fears about making friends, and the success of your business will disappear, because your drive to make it a success will be so strong. I really believe that if we are doing things for our highest good then paths and opportunities open up that we couldn’t have imagined before. It takes a bit of faith, which is hard sometimes, but things have to change in order to move forward. There’s a saying I like which goes something like “If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always had”.

      If the move is for the wrong reasons, i.e, you are running away from something like a relationship, then you aren’t facing up to the real issues and wherever you go, those things will follow you until you resolve them. You can make a fresh start, but there will always be unfinished business inside of you.

      So I suppose my advice is to really look within, think hard about why you want what you want and make a decision based in love, and not fear of what may or may not happen in the future.

      Wishing you all the best,

      Marissa x

  • September 7, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    Excellent article, Marissa. Thanks so much. That actually reminded me a lot of myself, although I still am not sure what I really want to do with my life. I feel like I’ve been stuck for the last 9 months.

    • September 8, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      Thank you, I’m glad you liked the article! I found that what helped me get over the stuck feeling about not knowing what I wanted to do, was to simply decide that all I wanted to do was be happy! It took all of the pressure off for me. I decided to just be happy as a parent, happy in the part time job I have, and happy writing my blog and book. Then, because I wasn’t thinking so much about what I ‘should’ be doing in life, the answer came to me naturally!

      My tip is to use what you know, and are naturally good at as a starting point.

      Best wishes,

      Marissa x


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