Today summer ends and a new season begins to take shape, some of us are ready, some are not. Looking up at the darker fall clouds I am reminded of how sometimes changing seasons in our lives can be just as cold and dark as changing weather.
There was a comment left on yesterday’s post Imagine Your Change that spurred the energy for this post. It spoke about finding the joy in moving on and how sometimes that can be extremely difficult. There were several times in the last four years that I tried to or thought I had actually moved on from what had happened to me and that I was going to be able to put it behind me and be happy. I’m sure I even had a few posts that reflected those feelings at the time, but the reality is I may never actually totally put it behind me. My marriage was half of my life, and it included many pivotal and defining moments that has helped to make me who I am. I also know that in order to put some of that pain aside and heal from it there has to be forgiveness in your heart, not just on your lips.
Finding peace in your grief can be done but will actually be something that you have to practice, pray on, and really want. I have found that all the negative thoughts and moments of heavy sadness and grief were not very productive, but the nights where I started to look ahead and focus on positive changes in my life brought some comfort. So how do we forgive? That’s a question only you can answer. It will depend on how open your mind is and how ready you are to move forward and most important is to remember that forgiving doesn’t mean we forget, it means we simply acknowledge where we are in our life now and accept the challenge of this next life transition. Not every transition in our lives will be what we want, all we can do is deal with it the best way we know how.
So find something that gives you joy, for me it’s Butterflies of course and hold it close to your heart. When you find you are having a bad day or just need something to get you through a difficult moment cling to it, focus on it and let that person, object, scent, place, or insect guide you on your path for that day and your new tomorrow.
Can you welcome your season change and look ahead with hope? Please comment.
9 thoughts on “Looking Ahead With Hope”
How long is this going to last? It will be three years on November 15th since he left. He has been married to someone else for over a year. I have a new career and my life is going well but there is still this thing inside of me. This empty place that really makes me angry. It makes me angry for my kids and for myself. I still feel as though I was duped. I don’t ever speak to him and haven’t except in positive tones concerning our daughter. I won’t give him the satisfaction of thinking this tore me up. I haven’t since he left and it is getting easier to just smile and nod. But I hate him. I really do and I don’t want to. I want to view him as just the father of my kids and nothing more but I still have this pit in my stomach. When is it going to end? When am I going to stop cringing inside when my daughter talks about her father and his new wife? I have made a point of telling my 16 year old daughter that I want her to have a positive relationship with her step mother, but it is exhausting pretending it is all ok. I will do what ever is required for my children to feel like life is normal but I hate his guts for what he has put me through and I want to just look on him as a guy I used to f****. If it hadn’t been for my relationship with God and Jesus, I probably would have gone nuts on him by now. How long is this going to take??
Dear Someone, I can tell you a little bit of how I handled this exact situation and still am dealing with today. I also was like you in that I would cringe at the thought of him, if I had to speak on the phone I trembled and picking up and dropping off the kids was excruciating for me. At times when they spoke of his new wife I would politely say “that sounds nice and I’m happy you are enjoying yoursef”, then I would steer the conversation to a different topic. That was how I “faked” it. My advice to you now is to keep up the politeness you have with your daughter and the situation and one day when you least expect it, your attitude will change. This just happened very recently for me at a sporting event when something happened, that if we were still married, we would have talked about and even celebrated. I found myself after the game actually having a conversation about it. Though it was very brief, I celebrated a little to myself, saying “yep you just reached a moment of growth and healing, be proud”. Your moment will come just be patient, and in the meantime it may not hurt to pray for him, I know that sounds silly and I still grapple with it, but I’m told it works for your healing.
Blessings to you!
I know you wrote this because of my comment on your last post.
I admit to having to read it 3 times to not be “angry at you” for not understanding where I was coming from. I felt you were “judging me”.
In reality – I am judging myself!
I know that is why I am having the difficulty I am having.
I “forgave” him way too early. I tried to skip some of the other events that are supposed to occur. I think that is why I am now dealing with these present feelings. Then again – it may have to do with my impending birthday. Last year wasn’t so bad – but this years birthday – 65 – seems to be bringing up more of the thoughts of what “our” life was supposed to be like. That in turn brings up the anger – which in turn brings up the wanting bad things to happen to him.
The two counselors I had that I actually felt helped me the most always told me to stop concentrating on negatives and concentrate on the positives. Like Anonymous – I needed to make a list of the things I did that I was PROUD I had done. Encouraging my children to maintain a relationship with him – not badmouthing him to them – not putting them in the middle or making them choose – keeping my cool and actually laughing when during the divorce negotiations his lawyer/he made ridiculous comments – etc. Writing these positive things down did indeed help me to feel better. I think I again need to do this. I think I am putting way too much pressure on myself to “let it go”.
You said that half of your life you were married. Well – I was married at 22 and our marriage lasted a little over 40 years – 39 years 3 months before he told me he was involved and wanted out.
I need to realize that thinking of him is to be expected. he was part of my life for longer than he wasn’t. I believe if I give myself the ability to think of him I won’t follow it up with wishing him bad. I realized this morning that I don’t START our wishing him bad. The wishing him bad comes AFTER thinking about him.
This last Sunday the sermon was on fairness. Matthew 20:1-16. One of my more difficult passages. I think it is one that is quite difficult for most humans.
I think where I’m coming from is feeling that I want “fairness”!
I need to realize – I already have fairness. I have joys that he doesn’t have! God has already given me “what is right”.
Thank you and thank God for grace and love.
Phyllis thank you for being so honest with your comments. You know I did not intend to judge you if it came off that way I apologize. My goal was to offer a different side of what you were feeling in the hopes it would touch others as it has you. We are all in this together.
Kimberly, I know you did not intend to judge me.
I hope you understood where I was coming from in my response.
After I left today and thought about what I had written I hoped you didn’t take my response poorly. Thought – I wasn’t actually angry with you the first two times I read your response – more like disappointed that you didn’t choose “my side”.
As I said – I think really it is more that I judge myself for my failures to live up to what I expect of myself. To get to total forgiveness.
I know when we forgive it isn’t that we forget what happened – but merely that we understand we are not perfect so we cannot expect others to be perfect.
Sadly – when someone hurts us so deeply – we often find it difficult to forgive.
Not sure if it would be different if they asked to be forgiven – since that has not been the case for me. Or even if they recognized the hurt they caused – but God doesn’t expect us to forgive only those who ask for forgiveness – but everyone.
Forgiveness is an ongoing process – something we need to do each and every day.
Maybe now that I recognize that I will probably think of him daily – I can stop myself from the bad thoughts.
Keep up the good work my friend. I applaud your courage!!!
Have been having a few difficult days as of late. Much of it due to illness – but also because this month is a bad month for me – birthday ( I know that should be a wonderful day but because it is so different it is more difficult) and the month of my marriage.
I admit that this year seems easier than the last two but still difficult. Letting go little by little. Guess I need to give myself a break. Letting go of 40 years shouldn’t be an easy process – it should take TIME!
Today I was drawn to your Blog. Haven’t been here in a while. As I perused the page I landed on this post. I always feel God leads me where I NEED to go/be.
I was again chiding myself for still holding on to the past. I think perhaps that is why I have such a difficult time with this month. I chastise myself too much! I expect too much from ME! I don’t give myself a break. I judge others less harshly than myself.
I needed to read this today. It has helped me to forgive myself for not “getting over it” completely yet.
Hi Phyllis, I agree that you need to go easier on yourself. Especially this time of year, not only with your birthday but the holidays as well.
Your healing is going to take time and as you know there will be times when you feel like you are doing great and then other times when you feel like you’ve had a setback. Just remember what you perceive as a setback may actually be just another way you are healing.
I am also having a very hard time with the holidays approaching. Last year didn’t seem as hard as it is now which was very confusing to me. I would assume that as the years go by it will be easier, but each year will present itself with different circumstances, so I don’t think counting the years really matters.
Stay strong and true to you!
Thank you again for all your support.
Sorry you too are having a rougher time this year!
Looking forward to a time when we can truly leave our past behind and move forward with complete JOY!
Blessings! Hope you have a wonderful Holiday Season – starting today – Thanksgiving!