I write this column from the shores of the Atlantic, watching the crashing waves from the warm protection of my sturdy cottage, witnessing winter’s last gusts before spring takes firm hold of a New England April once again. It’s cold and rainy today, but the forsythia are in bloom and there is no doubt that after a long, dreary winter, a bright hopeful world is about to explode into being.
It reminds me of the journey our clients take when they first come to the Journey of Divorce Base Camp program. I remember one woman in particular — I’ll call her ‘Vicki’. When Vicki first came to Base Camp about nine months ago, her husband had just left, suddenly, to be with another woman, leaving Vicki alone with their three kids, a house to run, not enough money, and an ocean of anger and grief. It was a long, tough winter for Vicki, with her emotional weather mirroring the bitter cold and raging nor’easters outside.
But Vicki had found our program through a trusted friend, and over the fall and winter Di and I witnessed her courage as she began to shift. She realized that even though she had a lot to be angry about, she didn’t want her anger to define her. What she really wanted was to rediscover her own sense of personal power. She wanted to move forward. So, step by step, she “did the work” of the journey – she allowed herself to feel her feelings without stuffing them or venting them at her ex. She took a long hard look at her part of the dance of the marriage, what she was proud of and what she wanted to learn to do differently. She shifted her attention away from blaming him and instead began to focus on creating a better future for herself and her children.
Today, she is moving towards peace with her ex as they learn to co-parent the children they both love. She is happy, vibrant, and beginning to date again. She has weathered her emotional winter with courage, grace and compassion.
I am reminded of the Camus quote: In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.
If you or someone you know is struggling through a divorce journey, I hope you will join us for our next Base Camp beginning on April 29. Let us help you rediscover your invincible summer.