Moving Forward and Reassessing In The Moment
So, how am I doing? (The photo represents my current location on the path of life. Each day we have an opportunity to travel down the path of GOOD (San Juan = Saint John) or the path of MAD (De Vaca = Cow Path). Each day I make a conscious choice to find the good side is a day that I am happier, my kids are happier, and by extension, even my ex-wife is happier.
I wanted to take a moment of pause to look back over three years of processing my divorce through The Off Parent and see what I can learn about myself, about the changes I’ve made, and the growth I still need to keep aspiring towards. Self-observation has been the most powerful tool I’ve had in my healing and recovery. This blog is a reflection of that process, and thus a good opportunity for illumination.
Intention: I am not here to make you feel better. I am here to get it out. I am here to share my journey. To make me feel better. But mostly to FEEL THROUGH this bitter, enlightening, transformative experience. (from my about statement)
Major Topics Content Mix:
Anger – 44
Dating – 92
Depression – 39
Divorce – 115
Kids – 41
Love – 43
Marriage – 35
Money – 26
Poetry – 41
Self-care – 34
Single Parenting – 30
Stepping back the progression and change seems clear. I can see how this blog afforded me a sort of Divorce Recovery Roadmap.
As I began to ascend from the darkness of depression and anger, the energy also opened up and allowed more hopeful ideas to enter my daily activities. My recovery and my kids health became priorities in my life by year two, and more recently, in this last year I have found myself ever more arching towards a next relationship and the imagining of what that might look like.
So, according to me, I’ve moved from the darker parts of divorce toward the hopefulness of dating again, and aspiring towards simpler and healthier relationships with my ex-wife. I don’t think I will leave any of the elements along this path behind. There will be days when I’m angry or sad. But as I can direct my life and thoughts more towards the aspirational parts of the process, the happier I will become.
Without this blog I don’t know that I would’ve had the outlet for the anger. And for me, that’s one of the issues I struggled with during my marriage. I was “too nice” most of the time. And I sublimated my own needs and desire in the name of being a loving husband and good father. But the anger is power, in some circumstances. And even pushing it somewhere else (overeating, acting out, rage) doesn’t really get rid of it.
There’s a great phrase from Reshad Feild that often helps me remember to deal and open up to the anger.
“There is no time to slay the dragon. The dragon is your friend.”
In fact, during a highly creative and emotional time, about six months ago I went through a “tattoo desire” phase. I was certain that some ink would help establish my new creative promise, and my own promise to myself, never to sublimate my joy, sadness, or any other emotion. Ultimately I purchased a package of temporary tattoos of the design I created from a drawing off the web. Here’s what it would’ve looked like.
The beautiful part is, I can have the tattoo anytime I want. To make the statement. But on days when I’m no longer in that mode, I am just fine with the fade and loss of the tattoo dragon.
To summarize: I have moved from anger and bitter darkness towards dreams of doing it all again. Better, smarter, and with more self-awareness, but getting back out there and giving my heart another chance to connect and soar. That’s what most of the poetry is about. Imagining poetry on the left side of the recovery path would yeild a very different voice. I prefer aspirational love poems. And with that The Off Parent has been transformed into the Poet of #Desire.
So yes, I’d say, this has been an amazing journey. Goal setting for Year 4 is next.
The Off Parent
Reference: Steps to Freedom by Reshad Feild
- The Divorce Library (reading list)
- Songs of Divorce (free listening library – youtube sourced songs)
- Laugh It Off (building a resource library of funny videos and other diversions)
- Facebook (follow us on Facebook and keep up with all the conversations)
- The 5 Love Languages (a book on love styles by Gary Chapman)