Changing your life is hard. I’m not going to pretend that its not. It takes courage, strength and determination. I believe so many people want to change the way they are living their lives – I believe that people want to do better, be better and to live their best life. But I also know the reality of change is extremely complex. Its hard to make changes when your faced with ongoing obstacles and when the people around you aren’t overly interested in also changing. You may have the motivation for a day, a week, a month, maybe even a year but then the reality hits you and you realise that change means living life in a way that you never have before. Its scary and often lonely, and most of the time it is easier to go straight back into your comfort zone- back into the life and way of being that you detest- no matter how horrible and uncomfortable that is.
I look back and I think about all of the times I made changes in my life and how hard and uncomfortable it really was- especially when I left my marriage 12 years ago and started over again with two young children. I think about the constant obstacles that were in my way- finding stable employment and a new home, limited finances, the loss of friendships, loneliness, exhaustion from parenting and running a house by myself, letting my children go so that they could spend equal amounts of time with both me and their dad, completing tertiary study while working and parenting, and feeling a general lack of support.
It took me 10 years to re-establish myself, to find my feet, to go back to Uni and work my way up the career ladder and secure a high paying job (I still struggled with money), to finally purchase a family home for myself and my two children. There were so many obstacles and battles that came my way but there were also so many moments of absolute joy and happiness that I know I would never have experienced had I of stayed in my marriage. I walked away from comfort and financial stability and the dream of raising my children in the way that I hadn’t been raised because deep inside me there was an emptiness and longing that was only continuing to grow. There were lots of reasons my marriage ended and we were both guilty of acting in ways that we shouldn’t have. But the underlying reason was that this relationship left me feeling invisible, like I didn’t matter. I knew I deserved more and I knew my children deserved to know that there was more to a relationship than just staying together because that was the easier thing to do (I did try for a long time and stayed a lot longer than I probably should have- this was not a spur of the minute decision). I knew by walking away I was also showing my children that staying true to yourself is the most valuable thing you can ever do.
I dont regret leaving my marriage, nor do I regret being in that marriage. It gave me what I needed it to. Two children whom I love and adore and the realisation that I deserved better. It seemed so cruel that almost 10 years after I left, when it finally felt like I had everything together, that my life would once again come crashing apart. My breakdown, my illness, my children leaving, no longer being able to look after myself all happened in the first 12 months of living in our new family home. I spent so long in absolute shock that things could unravel so quickly just when it felt like I had landed on my feet again. I was angry, inconsolable but mostly I was depleted. And funnily enough the only thing I wanted to do was go back in time and make the choice to stay in my marriage.
I was angry at myself for thinking that all I had to do was follow my intuition and everything would magically work out, I was angry at myself for thinking that I deserved something better than what I had, I was angry at myself for ruining my children’s lives, for subjecting them to living in 2 seperate homes with parents that couldn’t communicate, I was angry because almost everyone around me seemed to be living in some sort of relationship or marriage and I was still by myself, I was angry because my body had given up on me and I was angry because nobody could fix me. But most of all I was angry because I hadn’t done anything wrong- I was a good person who was trying to live a good life, who was committed to becoming the best person I could be. I couldn’t understand why it felt like I was being continually punished.
It took me some time before I realised that I wasn’t being punished, that I was actually being given the greatest gift of all. The opportunity to walk away from a life that no longer served me and instead create the life that I was destined for. I was given the opportunity to make peace with myself, to figure out what really matters in life and to return to love. I know that following my intuition- the deep knowing within me-has led me to where I was always intended to be. I had an idea in my mind that following your intuition means things work out perfectly and quickly, but its taken 12 years to get me here. I know that you can’t control the plan that the Universe has for you, you can’t say ‘come on, you owe me’, you can’t control what happens and what doesn’t. All you can do is look for the beauty amongst the chaos and know that the only thing you have to do is listen to yourself. You have the answers within you, just as I do. In the stillness these answers are relentless and come from deep within (not from your logical thinking mind). Intuition tells you what you need to know, but be warned its usually the last thing you want to do, its the harder option and it often means letting others down or makes you look as though you are being selfish, but its also the only option if you want to live the life you always dreamed of. Leaving my marriage was the first time I really listened and followed my intuition, it was the beginning of me re-aligning with my truth and despite everything I wouldn’t change it for the world.