How to move beyond grief and find peace after divorce
I love living a spiritual life, and I love all of my spiritual practices, especially prayer.
I also love serving, celebrating, singing, and meditating. My spirituality has seen me through some of the best and worst times of my life. In fact, spiritual practice proved to be a lifeline for me during a most challenging period of my life—the end of my marriage in 2015.
Throughout the preceding three years, my wife and I had shared an abundance of love, plans, memories, laughter, tears, and everything in between … and then it was over. It was time for me to let go of the past, and in that season of my life, I just wasn’t ready.
I coped by burying myself in work, both in the private sector and my church. At the time of my divorce, it was a welcome distraction from the pain I had chosen to set aside. I didn’t make time to socialize with anyone, much less entertain the idea of a new relationship, because I knew I had formidable inner work to do.
From Busywork to Inner Work
I needed to face myself—and my feelings.
I made the conscious choice to truly know and understand myself. I set the intention to think, to peer inside my mind and discern the root of the personal hell I had been trying to escape by “busying it away.”
I knew I needed more than an intellectual understanding of what I was going through. I knew I had to be willing to feel the pain I was carrying.
I discovered deep feelings of guilt, disappointment, embarrassment, longing for what might have been, and self-loathing. I condemned myself for failing in what I believed to be the most fulfilling relationship I’d had; I questioned my ability to be a partner, a friend. Fear fueled these feelings of grief and loss, leaving me emotionally paralyzed.
I recalled that growing up, Unity teachings had been instilled in me through Daily Word. I knew, as I began to plunge into the murky waters of my soul, I was supported by Spirit and that the light within me is the power to dispel all darkness.
Empowered by this knowledge, I read material about overcoming feelings of grief, particularly after divorce. I explored Swiss psychoanalyst Carl Jung’s writings on the shadow—the unconscious, the unknown.
After Divorce: From Grief to Surrender
But deep down I knew I needed more than an intellectual understanding of what I was going through. I knew I had to be willing to feel the pain I was carrying. I accomplished this by participating in one-on-one prayer and spiritual counseling sessions with ministerial friends and acquaintances, and I will always be grateful for their guidance, prayers, and kind support.
I turned within and surrendered my wants and preferences to the Divine, the Christ within. My breathing became my mantra and helped to abate the swirling rabble of thoughts and keep me focused on the peace deep within me.
Time and distance have given me perspective. I see that the experience of marriage and divorce has been a catalyst for my personal growth and unfolding. I look back upon that time in my life as a precious gift. I would not be the person I am today if not for those experiences and the willingness to face my feelings.