divorced women, false comparisons, GateWay of Hope, hope, leftover souvenirs, life coaching, marital mistakes, RJ Thesman, setting boundaries, single moms, single women, starting over single, support groups, unconditional love, understanding the single life, unpacking emotional baggage
As we continue our alphabet series, let’s focus on the letter “U.”
Now that we have survived several months or years post-divorce, we understand so much more about the process of growth.
Survival has morphed into thriving. We know more about ourselves and we’re amazed at the strength we’ve shown.
We can look back now and understand more about what the marriage relationship is supposed to look like, because we can see where and how it failed – our own mistakes and failures as well as those of our ex-mate.
We seek to understand, because understanding growth will help us in the next relationship and also in other relationships around us.
We understand more about manipulation and toxic people, so we know how to avoid them.
We understand the plight of single moms because we are now living in that demographic.
We understand how important it is to take care of ourselves and de-stress from all the messiness of life.
We understand how addiction can destroy a marriage and how forgiveness can keep us from bitterness.
We understand more than ever before the need for support groups and for those who will walk beside us in the grief journey.
We understand how to be that person who walks beside others.
We understand the value of our giftings and how we add beauty to the world.
We continue to learn understanding as a branch of unconditional love.
We nurture the understanding we have learned and seek to understand more.
Although it may be difficult to define, we know unconditional love when we experience it.
This incredible quality includes being totally accepted and totally understood without any pretense of having to perform.
With unconditional love, we don’t have to obey any rules and we don’t have to measure up to someone else’s comparative qualities.
We are simply ourselves in all our messiness and with all our flaws. We are loved without condition.
When we define ourselves as “divorced women” or as “single moms,” unconditional love will not accept those labels.
It looks beyond the mental name tags and instead asks, “How can I help you?” or “May I give you a hug?”
Unconditional love never looks back at where we’ve come from and never asks those ugly questions about what happened.
Instead, this pure form of love accepts where we are in the present and helps us move forward with confidence.
Unconditional love is what we seek to give to others and also what we hope to receive.
We cannot move into unconditional love or into understanding until we unpack the baggage of the past.
And unpacking doesn’t happen in a day.
It requires thought and personal reflection, a folding and putting away of those memories we need to keep and a throwing away of what we must let go.
Unpacking usually isn’t as much fun as packing. When we’re planning to go somewhere, we have hope and anticipation.
But unpacking means the event is passed, the vacation is over. It feels a bit sad.
Yet with the unpacking, we clean up. The suitcase is made ready for the next trip; the future represents joy.
How awful it would be to prepare for a new trip and open the suitcase to find old smelly clothes and leftover souvenirs.
So let’s unpack everything from the past relationship, let our souls rest in an understanding mode and seek the unconditional love that’s just around the corner.
©2016 Starting Over Single