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The Divine Romance—Developing a Loving Relationship With Yourself

I married for the first time when I was 21.

I entered that union earnestly, not able to see that the push toward the alter had more to do with societal pressure than a true connection of the heart.

I just wanted to be MARRIED.

I had an idea that marriage would ensure my happiness and security forever.

It didn't.

I was in the kitchen washing dishes when a love song came on the radio. Instead of feeling warmth for my husband, I was gripped by an unexplainable grief that dropped me to my knees.

A greater love was calling to mea love I couldn't explainand the ache was so big I thought it would kill me.

This will pass, I told myself. But it never did.

So I bought art supplies. Because maybe the ache was a painting trying to express itself. Maybe I was an artist?

I moved the paint around with my brush, waiting for an image to appear, but when I stood back, all I saw was chaos on canvas, gorilla strokes that went nowhere.

The embarrassment nearly swallowed me whole.

Did I really think I was special?

I wrapped the painting in a plastic tablecloth and threw it into a dumpster.

Then I ran away from that marriage, just as I had run away from home at the age of 16, to follow an inner yearning for something more.

"That yearning is God," someone told me. "It's God calling you back to the fold."

I was quite certain it wasn't.

God was a twisted mass of contradiction and hypocrisy. If the ache in my heart was THAT, I was determined to keep running forever.

It was only in quiet moments when I allowed myself to remember the presence I'd felt as a girla tender, loving, invisible something that accepted me exactly as I was.

Ah, but that was just the innocence of childhood.

No. What I needed to do was find Mr. Right.

And I did. Several times over.

It took me awhile to realize that each relationship, each man, was part of a higher orchestration designed to reveal ME to ME.

By the time I met my second husband, I was sure I had it all figured out.

I was wrong.

I still hadn't looked at the undeveloped parts of myself, or taken responsibility for my childhood wounds.

The journey from trauma to emotional maturity is a hard one, my friend. I wanted a shortcut to happiness.

Isn't that what the fairytales promise us? A significant other who will replace our pain with a sense of worth and security?

It never occurred to me that my husband had his own wounds to heal—that he was facing the meat-grinder of Life like everybody else.

I saw him as super-human. A saviour who could meet all my needs.

I didn't notice how weary he was from shouldering the weight of my emotional baggage.

That dawning came one morning while we were building our dream house together.

I was cleaning the bathroom and found a note in the garbage that stopped my heart.

He had met someone else.

I wouldn't learn the extent of his unhappiness (or his affairs) until later.

But that day, the day of the note, I knew life as I'd known it was over.

It was time to wake up.

And oh, I could have ruined him, if I'd chosen to. That was certainly the popular advice at the time.

My twenty-something self would have blazed the war path without question.

But my thirty-something self was tired of the battlefield and sensed, on a deeper level, that the betrayal could be a gift leading to an ultimate good.

Katherine Woodward Thomas, author of Conscious Uncoupling says it best.

"A breakup is a rare, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a whole-hearted awakening."

She hadn't written her book at the time of my revelation, but I'm certain I was being guided by the same force that whispered those words into her ear only a few years later.

This wisdom inspired Katherine to create a new way of handling heartache that's anchored in conscious awareness rather than hatred and blame.

"As long as your attention stays fixated on what someone else did (or didn’t do), you’re not looking to discover all of the subtle, covert and toxic ways that you yourself co-created what happened."

As I read my husband's note, I somehow knew this. I was aware of the crossroads I stood atone direction leading to self discovery and wholeness, the other to bitterness, sorrow and victimization.

"Okay," I said, putting myself into Life's hands. "I'm willing. Teach me everything I need to learn."

And it did.

I wish I could say this happened gently, the inner veil inched back bit by bit, but it honestly felt more like a hammer to the bone.

In one particularly painful moment, as I stood outside the new house I would never move into, I saw a woman 12 years younger than me, making breakfast for my husband.

I barely made it back to my car.

"Are you trying to break me?" I cried out to the Universe.

The answer was yes.

Life WAS trying to break me—the false me, filled with mistaken ideas about love and security and self-worth.

It was trying to break my unhealthy dependence on outside approval, and it would hit as hard and as often as necessary to reach the golden centre of my essential self. Yes, it was painful. But as I continued to turn toward truth, I was met with the same overwhelming grace and love I'd known in childhood.

Was this God? A Universal Intelligence? A Higher Self?

I couldn't say. It just felt like home.

When I was there, I felt connected to MYSELF. And I discovered the real me is made from the mysterious, eternal strands of an indestructible force.

The circumstances of my life COULD NOT BREAK ME.

This was my moment of enlightenment.

One my fearful mind kept pulling me from.

I had to learn how to separate myself from the voice in my head so I could feel the stillness beneath the noise.

That's where I found the great love of my life, the one my twenty-something self felt all those years ago as she knelt crying on the kitchen floor.

Everything I wanted was waiting for me in the cave of my own powerful heart.

It turns out I am an artist, after all. A painter, a writer, a decorator, a CREATOR.

Not a helpless damsel in distress. Not a sinner, or a hopeless cause.

The Divine Romance for me, has been the discovery of my own light, my own love, my own wholeness. It isn't split into tiny fragments that exist somewhere outside myself. It flows from an internal source that's fed by my attention to it.

And the quality of this experience is determined by my willingness to face my fears, feel my feelings, and own my darkness.

If you're standing at a crossroads of your own, I encourage you to open your heart and walk towards the truth of yourself.

Emotional intensity is your inner waving flag, marking buried treasure.

Glennon Dole Melton said that everything you need to know in order to become the person you're meant to be, is IN THE PAIN, and she was right.

When you take responsibility for your feelings and question the thoughts that cause them (instead of blaming the person who revealed them to you) you'll find a wealth of gold.

Not precious metal. Not bars or coins. But the purest romance and greatest joy you'll ever know.

A loving, honest, unconditional, HEALTHY relationship with yourself.

Sending you so much love,


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