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A failed marriage and divorce was the rock bottom of my life, but it taught me some hard but essential lessons that have changed my life for the better.
Sometimes it takes the relationships that do not last forever to teach us the life lessons that DO last… The pain that breaks us is the one that makes us stronger and ultimately sets us free.
I learnt this the hard way, like most of us often do. Often, our relationships are the reason we grow emotionally and spiritually, and my experience was no exception.
Today, as I dwell upon my failed marriage, it has been instrumental in teaching me some important life lessons, leaving me empowered in many ways.
I had grown up in an overprotected environment, where as the youngest kid I often was accompanied by an elder family member wherever I went during all of my growing up years.
My 7 years of marriage taught me to be on my own, without relying on anyone. Even during medical emergencies, even labour, I was alone, and although the learning has been painful and difficult sometimes, it has taught me to stand on my own two feet. Today, I am stronger both for myself and my child. Although I lean on my family for support, I am confident that I would do well, even if left on my own.
I learnt to be sensitive to the people around me.
I grew in a priviledged environment, where I had not given much thought to those around me. I was always kind and sensitive, but I had never truly connected to the suffering of those around me.
After my relationship hit rock bottom, I was more sensitive to those around me. Pain made me more compassionate, more grounded and more connected. I relate to people much better today, and my relationships are more genuine than need based.
I learnt to enjoy my own company.
From someone who thought twice about eating alone, I’ve grown to be a person raising my child on my own. I no longer feel the need to get along with people just to blend in; I am comfortable to stand out even if I’m the only one. I learnt to say NO to people who drain me and to set boundaries with those who are always negative and critical. I learnt to value both my space and my time.
The most important thing I’ve learnt was to love myself and accept myself completely. A person can rarely give out what they basically lack from within.
Early after my separation, when I was blaming myself for my perceived failure, I read a book Love Yourself And It Doesn’t Matter Whom You Marry where the author says it’s not possible for others to betray you, unless you’ve betrayed yourself before. As quoted from the book, “The one betrayed may be someone who doesn’t really stand up for themselves and their beliefs. Someone who has often been feeling dependent on their partner in one way or another but not dared to challenge that dependency, to courageously follow their own truth and to trust their own strength”.
This hit me hard; I felt that someone had punched me on my face. I reflected back on all of the times I had suppressed my feelings, not stood up for myself, fearing what other people would ‘think’ of me, if I spoke my true opinions. It all came back like flashes of a movie. You only get what you tolerate. I had not considered myself important, to stand up for myself and my beliefs.
This shook me up. As Gabrielle Bernstein says, “Obstacles are detours in the right direction.” My divorce taught me to love myself more. It taught me to be stronger for myself and to set a better example for my child who was constantly learning from me. Today, I strive to be more authentic as a person. Although, it is still difficult to share my trust with people, I consciously try to be more forthcoming in my views and opinions.
Love yourself. Respect yourself. Because, if you love yourself, you will never let anyone else treat you like anything less than what you deserve. When you love yourself, you give the same kind of love to others. You are giving the love from a place of strength, not from a place of lack. It is not possible to pour from an empty cup. Similarly, unless you love yourself first, you cannot love another completely.
Everything in our life happens for a reason – the good, the bad and the ugly. Every experience we go through in our journey aids us to grow, if you are willing to learn the lesson. Also, it is crucial to know that the lesson keeps repeating itself unless you learn from it. Let go of the fears that hold you back, and believe in yourself and in your dreams.
Lastly, when you lose, don’t lose the lesson… No failure is a failure, if you’ve learnt from it.
Published here earlier.
Image source: pexels
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I am Anjali, from Bangalore. Mother to a six year old boy. A one-liner
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