Today’s blog marks my journey has a newly single woman as my divorce was finalized a few days ago.
My revolution all started earlier this year when I read JD Roth’s update about his divorce and another article of his about personal transformation. A few things stood out as they centered around his decision to say yes while on a journey towards personal transformation as well as exploring healthy relationships.
The first key to transforming your life is to be open to new experiences, to let your environment change you. But most of us are too complacent. Or we’re afraid to try new things. I know that was certainly true in my case. – JD Roth
Right now, I’m there. I am simply at a point in my life where I am saying yes to all the things I’ve resisted over the last 10 years because deep down I questioned whether or not I deserved it. Case and point Ramit Sethi spoke at FINCON12 this year and he dared us to go home and do something that we’ve been afraid to do for some time. For me that was public speaking and I accepted an opportunity (that I’d normally turn down) to speak at a conference next year. But that challenge also fell in line with a theme I’d already been investigating within my personal life:
What if I gave myself permission to be happy? What if I gave myself the permission to do the things that I’ve long wanted to do but didn’t for a variety of reasons?
And it all centers around the permission I’ve denied myself to be happy. I’d been so consumed with taking care of everyone else that I put myself and my needs to the side. I tried for a really long time to accept the cards that I’d been dealt in my marriage but my breaking point came and God had other plans. I surrendered and allowed Him to lead the way.
Hi- My name is Ginger and I am saying YES!
The following is an excerpt from JD’s article about the power of saying yes and little does he know that it changed my life! I remember reading it earlier this year and then reflecting upon how many things I’ve denied myself simply because I didn’t deserve it. I wanted more out of my marriage and telling myself that I needed to be OK with what I had sitting before me. I wanted a deeper relationship with God but I had so many personal issues going on this year that I didn’t feel that He cared about me because I was so busy putting out fires in my personal life. I wanted to lose weight but because of everything else I just mentioned, I was never consistent enough to move towards the final goal. Read: I didn’t love myself enough to make it a priority.
Here’s an excerpt from JD’s article on personal transformation:
I was particularly impressed by the need for improvisational actors to accept whatever is offered to them on stage. In order for a scene to flow, an actor has to accept whatever situation arises and just go with it. Here’s how the author explains it:
Once you learn to accept offers, then accidents can no longer interrupt the action. […] This attitude makes for something really amazing in the theater. The actor who will accept anything that happens seems supernatural; it’s the most marvelous thing about improvisation: you are suddenly in contact with people who are unbounded, whose imagination seems to function without limit.
These ‘Offer-block-accept’ games have a use quite apart from actor training. People with dull lives often think that their lives are dull by chance. In reality everyone chooses more or less what kind of events will happen to them by their conscious patterns of blocking and yielding.
That passage had a profound effect on me. I thought about it for days. “What if I did this in real life?” I wondered. “What if I accepted offers and stopped blocking them? Could this help me overcome my fears?” I began to note the things that I blocked and accepted. To my surprise, I blocked things constantly — I made excuses not to do things because I was afraid of what might happen if I accepted.
I made a resolution. I decided that instead of saying “no” to things because I was afraid of them, I’d “just say yes”. That became my working motto: “Just say yes”. Any time someone asked me to do something, I agreed (as long as it wasn’t illegal and didn’t violate my own personal code of conduct). I began to put this philosophy into practice in lots of little ways.
After reading that I surrendered, gave up and decided that I would say yes. Why? Because every turning point in your life starts with a decision. In my case the decision to say yes. Yes to happiness and yes to giving myself the permission to feel good about doing so.
I want epic love within the bounds of a healthy relationship and I now have the chance to do so. Toxic relationships – romantic and platonic now have no place in my life and those people simply have no access – not even the peanut gallery. My relationship with God now has no bounds and I know now that I can’t look for someone else to give me what God Himself should and can provide for me. Over the last few months I’ve also lost weight, close to 30lbs and kept it off. I’ve given myself the permission to want the things that I felt that maybe I didn’t deserve and that in and of itself created a shift within me that made all of this OK.
I am not at all heart broken about my divorce. Not in the least. It’s actually turning out to be one of the best life lessons I could have asked for thus far. And, I say that with all due respect to my ex. Our divorce was actually very amicable and civil unlike many in progress.
I left this marriage better than I entered it – on all 4 feet: spiritually, emotionally and financially. No debt with the ability to support myself financially and not skip a beat in doing so. And that was incredibly important to me because I never wanted to be trapped in a situation where I wouldn’t be able to make a decision about my livelihood because of limited finances. Dare I say, that very notion underscores the reason why I started Girls Just Wanna Have Funds. My new financial position also means that I am:
- Living on one income
- Securing my own health insurance
- Buying a new car
- Locking down a new place of my own
People don’t tell you about what marriage is really like before you walk down the aisle and the same goes for divorce. Except now, I’m not looking for a handbook or self help guide about how to do it right.
I really look at this as a chance to get to know the woman I’ve become over the last 10 years because she is very much different than the insecure 20 year old I am not today. I get to write this new chapter the based on knowing what I want for my life and allowing God to guide my path along the way. Too many people approach this new chapter of my life as if it’s a funeral and it isn’t. Trust me.
When I read – “I got a divorce, which has allowed me to explore healthy relationships.” – that statement allowed me to reframe how I would see my own divorce. It gave me permission to see this as a chance to move away from something that no longer served me. And yes, I’m sure there will be some judgmental comments about the end of my marriage but I’m totally OK with that possibility. I’ve had several months to come to terms with all of this and the final decree was just a formality. We had our moment in time – 8 years together and 6 married – and that shipped has sailed. My new chapter is here and I’ve jumped in head first already.
I’ll also say this: I am in no way at all against marriage. It’s a beautiful thing – with the right person – and I fully expect to be married again. But right now, I am exploring the things that make me happy while learning how to take care of myself in a way that honors my soul.