Today let's talk about how you prepare your life when you've had major crap happen.
Those of you who know me quite well, know that I went through a separation recently. It was a big deal for me. I was constructively dismissed from our marriage. Ultimately I pulled the pin because it was unbearable, but at the same time he left me years ago in his heart and I just couldn't live that way anymore.
I lived a certain life or way of being for 18 years. No matter how much pain we caused eachother, or how hurt we were in the end, or how much we have our own narrative, one thing I can say for sure is that I know when I met my husband and for the first 11 years or so, there's no question that he was my soulmate. I loved him deeply, and there was a profound incredible amazing connection there.
When I say it was a big deal to separate from my husband, it was a BIG deal. It took 8 years of my relationship being terrible before I could actually take the step to leave (and that's a whole other story!)
The thing is, even though my marriage wasn't happy, I had a certain way of living my life. There was a certain movement in our house, and social connections, extended family connection, Christmas, Easter dinners, etc. What I couldn't believe is that I thought ironically as a divorce lawyer I didn't se this coming, but I thought, "Oh we're still a family it jus tlooks different now" thinking I'd still be a part of all these things. BUt guess what I wasn't!
I found that I had this big hole in my life. I thought, "Could it be any more lonely than it has been?!" I truly thought this. And then it got more lonely than it was.
So what do you about that? When you've had your butt kicked, your life has fallen apart, and you have a big gaping hole in your heart.
Human beings are social creatures. It's unfortunate, but in our Westernized culture, you'll see that when people are "successful", or young people are broke, poor, and students truggling for money, they end up living with other students. Then when they get their first jobs or move into their careers and become more "successful", they end up moving into these small condos on their own, by themselves.
What a disaster in terms of how humans are meant to live.
We're social creatures and they've done the studies - we biochemically change when we're around other people. We're not supposed to spend all our time alone. Being on Facebook and social media
So we're meant to be with other people. Even though I thought I was a pretty social person, when you loose 33% of the people you live with, there's going to be a big hole in your social environment.
What I see is that when we purposefully weave the fabric of our social relationships, that hole in our heart starts to change for the better.
So what did I do and what can YOU do?
Think about bits and pieces that you can do everyday to start building your social fabric. If you imagine there's a thread in your heart that goes to all the people that you connect with. It could be your child or your bestie that's a big thread. Even the barista at Starbucks who you say "Thank you" to for your grande latte is a thread. People you work with are also threads. If you see you life as weaving a social fabric of all your connections, eventually you start to build your life up again.
As I record this, this is less than a year from when my husband and I separated and yet the first few months I ahd lots of empty holes in my heart. Then as time marched on, it was a Friday night and there was no work to distract me on the weekend, I didn't have my colleagues to distract me. Friday night just seemed like this big giant 72 stretch of a big empty feeling.
A few months ago, I realized that before I would walk alone with my dog. Well, I started calling my girlfriends to see if they wanted to meet me for a walk. I'd meet with them at 9am on Saturday and Sunday. I have a friend that we make soup together. She comes over only once a month! Last summer a few friends made jam together and all of a sudden we have this jam factory going.
Do I have moments now where I'm lonely? Almost never. I realized my life has been transitioning. The transition fromt his big empty hole in my heart to a life that's full and happy and joyful and silly and ridiculous and fun.
As I record this, I don't have any date yet. But will I have a new boyfriend at some point? Sure! Am I ready? No, not yet.
I want to say that I"m creating that life and social fabric and that's what I want for you too.
If you don't or can't imagine going to a 7 hour long party, then don't. But what about just popping in for half an hour? Or meeting that friend for a walk? Or having a game night?
Think about all the things that you can do to create your social fabric. Then all of a sudden, the empty hole in your heart isn't there anymore. Life is awesome.
This is Val,