By Jennifer Butler
I must have opened the drawer to look at them a thousand times right after my divorce. Beautiful symbols of a love, supposed to last forever, that I wore so proudly, allowing the whole world to know that I was a part of something bigger than just me. I loved staring down at those rings, watching them sparkle as they picked up the light, soaking in the memories they held and the future they promised would be mine. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would one day choose to take them off and place them hidden in a drawer, no longer basking in the joy of what they represented, but instead overwhelmed with the anguish they now triggered.
I must have opened that drawer to look at them a thousand times after my divorce. Hoping to find answers that my heart longed to know and somehow make sense of what had happened to the life I was so sure was mine. After all, those rings were sacred and never to be taken off, never were taken off. They held secrets, tears, and laughter and they held memories that even I could not remember. If I stared long enough would it all start to make sense and could I somehow move forward into this unplanned future on my own?
I must have opened that drawer to look at them a thousand times after my divorce. Until one day I didn’t. As days went by and my grief transformed, so did my perception of those rings. What was once a symbol of beauty had now become a symbol of pain. I didn’t want to stare at these rings over and over, in fact, I never wanted to see them again. I had moved past the wisdom they provided for me and disconnected from the meaning they had once given to my life. And so, I put them in a box in the back of my safe and forgot they had ever even existed.
As it goes, my life went on, and I created new memories and new meaning. As I loved and laughed, cried and succeeded, I started to realize that I needed to make space for the new symbols that represented my life now. Those long forgotten about rings were taking up a sort of energetic space in my life and it was time to let them go. After all, I believe that in order to welcome the new, one must release the old, and it was absolutely beyond time to release my old. But what was I to do?
I must have opened that drawer to look at them a thousand times after my divorce, and now, they were an afterthought and a problem to be solved. As with anything in life, if you are present in the process and open to receiving, there are lessons to be learned in it all. Apparently, these rings had a lot to teach me before I would let them go.
The weights we carry that hold us down:
I wish I could count all the times that guilt held me back in my life. The adventures I didn’t go on, people I didn’t connect with, and passions I didn’t follow. Over and over I chose to allow my guilt to have power over my actions, thinking that I was responsible for the way my loved ones felt.
Except, what I had long since learned is that people feel the way they feel because of their own perception of the world, and not because of anything I could ever do or say in an effort to live out my journey. The lesson was here to be learned again, that keeping the rings because I felt like a bad person to sell them was not a choice that did anyone any good. In fact, it was a choice that would only serve to weigh me down.
At some point, you need to make the choice to move forward and have faith in your own journey that where you end up will be exactly where you are meant to be.
2. Fear of failure
As a perfectionist living in recovery, I can tell you that being afraid of making mistakes and not succeeding were at one point the focal point of all my decisions. I couldn’t bear to be seen as stupid or incapable, and for that reason, many times I didn’t even allow myself to try.
Here I was again, experiencing this moment of being frozen in this process of selling my rings because I didn’t know how to do it and was terrified I would do it wrong. Making the choice to not take action out of fear was not serving my greater good, and was really only keeping me stuck in a space that I did not want to be in. At some point, with this as with everything else, you need to make the choice to move forward and have faith in your own journey that where you end up will be exactly where you are meant to be.
3. Needing approval
As someone who married extremely young, I never really learned what it meant to make decisions on my own. Growing up, I had my parents to answer to and then straight away, there was my husband. Every decision I made, even if it was ultimately mine to make, went through a filter of opinions, and if I am being honest, an approval process. I guess you could say, I had a built-in safety net, especially when it came to making big life decisions.
As I held the rings, questioning what to do, I realized that I no longer had a single person in my life to seek approval from. My decisions were mine to make, and as freeing and empowering as that was, it was also a bit terrifying. But here’s the thing, terrifying is good, it means I am living and expanding. It means I am becoming that which I am meant to be.
I must have opened that drawer to look at them a thousand times after my divorce, and I am grateful that I did because in the end, those rings became a symbol of my freedom, my own journey and the choices I had made to live life on my terms and create the future I desired. I ended up selling the rings, creating a more amazing experience than I could have dreamed of with Worthy, and will use that money over time to travel to the places I dream about. Life serves us gifts in many forms, and when we are present and open to receiving, they are right there in front of us waiting to be seen.
About the Author
Jennifer Butler is a writer and transformation coach, currently working as a community leader for DivorceForce. Beyond an extensive education, Jennifer also went through a life transformation as a result of her own divorce and has dedicated her work to supporting others. You can connect with Jennifer at JennJoyCoaching and on Instagram.