I read somewhere once that the only way to know true happiness is to experience deep sorrow. I’ve had my share of pain. I watched my parents die and suffered profound grief. With the wretched events that plagued my marriage came a myriad of other negative emotions—sadness, despair, and utter loneliness. I don’t think I’ve ever been so lonely as I was during that marriage. Anger, too, was eating me alive. The pain was so deep, at times I’d burst like Fourth of July—an explosion inside my head—and I’d run to lock myself in the bathroom alone where I could succumb to tears and cry like a baby.
It was all the sadder knowing my little ones were on the other side of the door wanting to know, “Mommy, you OK?” I learned quickly to deal with my anger, tears, and fears. I learned to pretend that everything was OK—to suffer in silence—for the sake of my children. I realize now there are some circumstances over which we have no control; and, though we cannot control the actions of others, we CAN control our reaction to them. Lesson learned? Maybe. I’ve grown much in the five years since my divorce, and I like to think I’m a smart woman; but then again, I did waste the better part of last year beating myself senseless over a man who didn’t care a hill of beans about me.
I believe the past is important only inasmuch as it explains WHY we are WHERE we are in our lives. I feel blessed for a lot of reasons. The pain I’ve experienced in the past helped bring me to this place. I’m a better person for it . . . stronger, more capable than ever and confident. I’m now able to recognize and better appreciate the blessings surrounding me. I’ve learned I can love completely and deeply, and be hurt without hate or bitterness. This was an important lesson. Forgiveness was the key. When we can forgive others for being only human, we can forgive ourselves, too . . . thus allowing the healing to take hold, the heart to open, and happiness to enter.