It surprises me how my ex-husband’s “song” with his girlfriend somehow can serve as an anthem to the progress I have made in healing from divorce. I elected to “not sink like a stone” despite the numbers reflected on my bank account. Guess what peeps? I have carried on. Interestingly, HE and HER are not having any Fun as the band they’ve selected as their herald of the deep love they feel for one another. HE and HER have discovered the fantasy ends, the emotional tornados still wreak havoc on their hearts, and life after the affair remains just as complicated as it was prior to the divorce. And I am constantly told to celebrate HIS misery.
People often ask me how I muster the patience to show kindness towards my ex. It’s easy really. I choose to live a life of compassion. Kent M. Keith, author of the Life Commandments, states, “People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway.” My ex-husband demonstrates no rhyme or reason for HIS choices; our son sees his father a total of five weeks a year. HE opted to leave a high paying position here in Colorado to return to Washington to take less money, live two hours from HER, and tackle solitude whilst waiting for a deep commitment from HER. He took a risk and it’s not paying off in regards to HIS relationship with HIS son. But it isn’t my place to remind HIM to eat crow.
Parents with partners still encounter issues wherein the other spouse contributes little or behaves in a self-centered way. I cannot tell you how often I hear married women lament on the lack of utility they find in their husbands. By being single I am afforded the opportunity of not having to argue over whose turn it is to change the poopy diaper, find the missing sippy cup of milk, or fight the baddies keeping the tot awake. I can get to the dishes in my own time and battle with the laundry later. I do not miss petty arguments…not in the slightest.
My life, my purpose, stands firmly rooted in love. I struggle to feel malice and disdain for those who have hurt me; I simply do not see the point. Do not get me wrong…I notice when others cause me harm or speak poorly about me, my nature, and my ability to always be kind is often tested. But when HE calls me in tears, sobbing for HIS child, I do not take the opportunity to tell HIM he deserves the pain. I listen. And as a result we seem to cooperate effectively in most issues aside from money. We’ve learned to see one another as people again as opposed to monsters seeking retribution for past hurts.
In parenting alone, one must recognize while many of the duties and tears fall in my lap it is NOT completely alone. HE is a parent…no matter how far away HE resides or how little HE contributes. I have a minimum of 18 years standing parallel to HIM. Not as HIS partner in love, but in parenting. I take the role seriously. Mark Twain tells us, “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” Often I feel Holden’s father wanders blindly in a whirl of self-imposed tragedy unable to hear the supports around HIM begging HIM to embrace a life less dramatically paced.
I can’t quite place where or to whom I must place the credit to my discovery of continuing compassionately in my care for HIM and others. I gained this maturity in awkward phases like a teenager acquiring boobs and dealing with acne infested skin— I suffered embarrassment. It was I who learned to eat the metaphorical crow… I dined alone without the good silver. The band Fun chants “May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground Carry on.” I choose to Carry On without the hate that filled my heart and the hurt that infiltrated my daily interactions with others. For two years friends showered me with sympathy as I learned to cope with the loss of my husband and the arrival of my son. It is my turn to lend a listening ear, practice patience, and stomach the knowledge someone I care for is consistently making mistake after mistake. I do not want to hear the pounding of my feet striking the ground as I make peace with the past. No. I want to hear the sound of the breeze as it floats through my wings, I want to hear the hum of the wires I balance upon as I observe the world below, and I want to sing the mission of loving others with grace and kindness. I will encounter turbulent winds or people who do not understand my song. I serve as the composer of the melody to which my soul beats, “The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mole, but true beauty in a Woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives, the passion that she knows” (Audrey Hepburn). I am the crow embracing the spirit of its totem—gaining perspective, intuition with nature’s magic, and personal transformation. My black wings flit through the air as I call to the universe “I am listening. I am here. I am changing.” A black bird trying to FLY bravely beyond what I know. The sky is blue, my heart keeps time, and I feel amazing.