The celebration of July 4th this year really got me thinking!
Last month, a 20 year old young man from my town was killed in Afghanistan while serving our country. Upon hearing the news, I was overwhelmed by the loss of such a young soldier and gratitude for his ultimate sacrifice for our freedom and independence.
As we moved into the July 4th holiday weekend, I found myself doing more than my usual reflecting on this celebration of independence and what that really means to me.
The more I thought, the more I found that there is a deep connection between independence, freedom and divorce. And that it all truly begins within ourselves.
From a bigger perspective, I am profoundly aware of what it means to be free and independent of a government or dictatorship that strips us of our rights to speak freely, choose freely and live the life we desire. The recent loss of this young man confirms just how fortunate I am to have this freedom and how grateful I am to have it protected.
But as the holiday weekend continued, I found myself reflecting on the freedoms I have in my own life and what exactly independence means to me.
To help me, I first looked up the true definition of independence, which is “freedom from control or influence of another or others” and from there a flood of thoughts entered my mind.
I want to share with you some of the reflections that I had as I spent time journaling and exploring the relationship between divorce and independence/freedom:
1. I am grateful to have the RIGHT to choose exactly how I want to live my life.
During the final stages of my marriage, I was often filled with an intense desire to break free of what I felt was a relationship and life that did not allow me to live the life I truly wanted. What I have learned since my divorce is that we all have the right to live the life we imagine and deserve, regardless of circumstance. And we have the power to do exactly that.
These years since my divorce have taught me just how fortunate I am to be able to choose and deliberately create the life I want to live. Not only is it my right, but it is a choice that I make each and every day remembering that there are people in the world who do not have that choice. I am grateful for this freedom.
2. Freedom sometimes comes at a cost.
Getting divorced eliminated the “excuse” that my marriage prevented me from living my ideal life and the freedom to create my next chapter. While my divorce gave me the freedom to choose and took away this excuse, it also put the power of “what comes next” directly into my hands. No more excuses.
Since my divorce, I have learned what it means to be free to choose and to make decisions that will shape the direction of my life. What I never anticipated was what it would mean to make these many decisions and the challenges that come with complete freedom. Having complete freedom can also come with fear, insecurity and doubt, which left me taking time to explore, understand and learn how to manage this incredible new independence.
3. Freedom can be overwhelming and frightening.
I was unprepared for the level of fear, insecurity and doubt that would come with my new freedom and independence. It was overwhelming. I felt “uneducated” for the decisions that I would need to now make, incompetent to make them, and insecure about how to move forward.
This “freedom” that once beckoned for me was now scaring me to death! Even these many years later, armed with the knowledge, confidence and skills as a coach, educator and author…I still have moments fear and doubt as I move to design my future. Only now I embrace these feelings and use them to face my fears and take control of my own destiny.
4. Independence is at the core of creating our new lives after divorce.
It wasn’t long after my divorce that I began to understand what “personal independence” meant to me. It was financial independence, social independence, parental independence, romantic independence, professional independence…in fact; this independence began to weave itself into self reliance.
While searching for support to understand and take control of this overwhelming transition, I decided to try out this thing called a “life coach”. And she changed my life. Instead of facing this daunting independence and self reliance alone and overwhelmed by fear and anxiety, I now began to face each piece of my new future with a plan for taking action towards designing my new life.
5. Independence can be taught and learned.
Working with my life coach was the first step towards my “education” in deliberate creation. Having never heard these words, I could not imagine what they meant? However, my journey began by appreciating, understanding and assuming responsibility for my freedom and independence. It was brilliant!
This “education” has not only allowed me to create the life I lead…a life of joy, happiness, fulfillment and purpose, but to share it with others through the D Spot.
My divorce was the catalyst for massive change in my life, but more than anything, it gave me the motivation to learn how to live an ideal life. And now I get to share this with you!
I know that you must be thinking that I have taking this July 4th, Independence Day thing to an entirely crazy level! And you may be right!
There are times in our lives when we find ourselves taking what has always been an ordinary and common place occurrence, and experiencing it in a whole new way. This is what happened to me this year over the long holiday weekend!
I felt obliged to share it with you in the off chance that you may be having or will have a similar experience.
If you did, I hope you will share it with me so that we can, together, move through the life changing transition of divorce and create our ultimate destiny!!!