… is that it’s one of those topics no one wants to talk about — like Suzanne’s miscarriages, like Heidi’s Postpartum Depression (or any sort of depression). It’s hidden under shame. It’s filed under F for failure. It’s a blemish on your permanent record — broken marriage, broken family, broken home.
Here I am, a blogger, writing and sharing for and with other moms for the last three years and not once have I addressed the subject of my divorce directly! I’ve often thought that I don’t want to use this space to throw myself a big pity party but instead, focus on the ways that my experiences can be helpful to other moms. For this reason, I’ve shied away from the subject, because I just didn’t trust myself to bring both honestly and growth to it until now. And to be honest, there were times when either the circumstances or the things I learned about myself through them were just too raw and painful.
I’ve met other divorced moms. And moms going through divorce. And moms considering divorce. I have gotten phone calls or DM’s from people I barely knew, who wanted to talk about their struggles or meet for coffee. I listen. I tell them my stories. I am sure to say, “This is my story — it’s not pretty. It’s not comfortable. It’s not easy. But I couldn’t NOT do it, and I’m here. Everyone’s story is different and whatever decision you make is the one that’s best for you. Regardless, know that you’re not alone.”
To reinforce this message, I was drawn as if by fate, to connect online with three other divorced moms who are also talented authors and artists. Each are spiritually-oriented women and loving mothers who have made the conscious decision like me, that for themselves and their families, divorce was the best option. We discovered the treasure of each others’ stories… on the phone, on skype, via email and during a long soul-nurturing weekend in St. Louis. What we discovered through sharing is that we were learning more about ourselves through this ongoing journey of divorce, and this gave us a different perspective on the whole matter — a more hopeful one.
Although each of our narratives of marriage and divorce are different, there are common threads: we all have experienced a powerful and healing reclaiming of self. For us, the end of marriage marked the beginning of a new chapter of personal growth, renewal and integration. Often enough, I have shared this idea one-on-one with other moms. I feel it is time to share this supportive message with all the others (the 6.9 million moms in the U.S. alone) who are going through this important and often unexpected transition.
So for the past six months, I’ve been processing the best way to share my own divorce story — in a way that brings to light the lessons that have been incredibly transformational for me and also at the same time respects the privacy of my ex-husband and our children. I’ve decided to take tentative steps in this direction, to share my reflections here more regularly. If this subject hits home for you, I’m so glad you stopped by and hope you visit again.
I have also collaborated with Sage Cohen, Jen Lemen, and Jennifer New to create Hopeful Divorce — field notes from a friend, an online guided journey that offers the possibility of hope, healing and wholeness through divorce.
If this idea — hopeful divorce — speaks to you, whether because you are already a divorced mom, currently divorcing, or struggling in your marriage, consider Sage and Jennifer as your guides. If you are a friend to someone going through divorce right now, you could buy her a gift certificate to Hopeful Divorce.
Every weekday for an entire year, Hopeful Divorce provides practical, soul-fortifying support via email that holds your hand as it shares the insights you need to cultivate power, access inner wisdom, tap emotional truths, and navigate grace. Participants are invited to join the private hopeful divorce forum after the first month.
Registration is open now at www.hopefuldivorce.com. There are still a few spots left at the reduced rate of $40 for the year. Regular registration (after the first 100 sign-ups) for a full year of hopeful divorce — field notes from a friend is just $55. (That’s still less than $5/month.)
Hopeful Divorce is a product of Hopeful World, a global classroom where wisdom, knowledge and stories seed the ground of personal transformation and social change. Ten percent of revenue generated from hopeful divorce goes into a scholarship fund for single mothers in Rwanda in need of vocational training to support themselves and their children. Inspired by Hopeful World partner and single mother Odette Umurerwa, the Hopeful Divorce Turikumwe Scholarship Fund provides the chance young women need to learn a trade and economically gain independence – especially in situations where staying in a difficult marriage would compromise basic safety and sustenance.