At this point in my life I’ve had my share of failures. I’d say each day there is probably something I fail at. Some failures are frustrating, like forgetting my laptop at home and not realizing I forgot it until I pull into the parking lot at work, (yeah that actually happened today). Some failures I tend to be a repeat offender, glance through my photo albums, or Facebook, the bad hairstyles and fashion misses just keep coming.
Outside of the poor fashion choices, I try to understand my failures and learn from them. I think we’ve all heard someone say you’ll learn more from your failures than your successes. I agree with this statement completely!
There’s one fail in life that many people face and for some reason this one seems like the fail is taken like it’s the final verdict, a failure. This failure comes burdened with guilt, not the type of guilt that lands you in jail, the useless emotional version of guilt. The BIG doozy, divorce.
The negative stigma that I associated with this failure initially kept me from realizing how important it was to pause and step back. I accepted this was a failure and that was all there was to be said about it. Even worse probably one I would repeat, because if I could be successful in a relationship, wouldn’t I have chosen to make it work??? What was wrong with me?!? These are the feelings that kept me from understanding what I was going through and why it was a significant time in my life.
I had to start somewhere so I started by spending some quality time reflecting. I’m not gonna sugar coat it, I was big ol’ hot mess! I felt lost because I was. To get through it, there were a few adult beverages, some tears and lots of phone calls to my friends who had the courage to stick with me. My most important lesson was be engaged. I needed to stop doing things because I thought other people wanted me to or expected me to. It was time to start participating in life with intent. Help others when I want to help, when I have the energy, not out of obligation. This choice alone was very empowering, it made me less resentful and improved my sunshiny disposition A LOT!
Being engaged helped me be present with my kids. It was devastating facing giving up 50% of my time. What time taught me is make the most of the time you have. Now when I have them, they have my full attention. I’m not too busy talking on the phone or cleaning the cabinets, I give them my time. In the past I had been there, but I wasn’t present. Now, we talk about important things like Fortnite and dance. (I’m kidding, my son thinks Fortnite is important, so important he lost his passport while in a foreign country because he was Snapchatting a picture of him with a llama to his friends. Apparently, llamas are a big deal in Fortnite, insert motherly eyeroll here.) While I don’t think the video game itself is important, understanding how he spends his time, knowing what he and his sister are doing and being a part of their daily is important and fun! My relationship with both my son and daughter has become stronger in their teen years, and that makes me proud.
In my personal relationship, I learned how to have a voice. Listening to my partner and understanding when he needs support makes me feel good. Having a partner who listens to me and supports me on my good and bad days is how I know I’ve grown. Sounds simple, but anyone who has been in a relationship where they aren’t heard by their partner will know how important and challenging this is, not to mention no fun! Sometimes I can’t believe how much I enjoy being in my relationship, its feels like the very first time, and in some ways, it is
The biggest mistake I could have made would have been not learning from this failure. I have learned who I am, how to forgive myself, and I’ve gained confidence in myself and my choices. Through the process I have become a better mom and am a much better partner because I own this failure. Knowing that what felt like my biggest failure could turn into me having a healthy, happy life filled with love makes me feel very blessed. I will always have room to keep improving, but over the last 6 years, I feel like I have traveled a million miles.
Life’s daily challenges can feel like walking a Lego covered path barefoot, but I’m telling you, it’s so worth it!
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