My kids are one of the many who live in a divorced family, their childhood vision of loving parents together forever taken from them, as a permanent change that will forever impact them. I thought I had made peace with my decision until boom, my oldest son turns 14 and becomes an instant teen. Glued to his phone and interested in everything but talking to me.
As I sit with the guilt, grief and a fear of the unknown (after all, letting go of control is still something I am working on) -- I realize that many of his struggles are the same as mine:
Courage to seek independence (him from me and me from what society (or the narrative as I call it) tells me I should be;
Both trying to define our inner self and what we truly stand for; and
Trying to find that balanced space of self and independence with our real needs, and the ability to express those as we go.
Mix that in with the guilt of divorce and boom, talk about some dark nights.
Grateful to my closet friend Anni for always reminding me of the courage it takes to follow my soul's path, which one of my favorite poets David Whyte described so beautifully in his piece "Just Beyond Yourself" (if you haven't yet, check out his new book The Bell and the Blackbird):
"There is a road always beckoning.
When you see the two sides of it closing in together
At that far horizon and deep in the foundations of your own heart
At exactly the same time
That's how you know it's the road you have to follow.
That's how you know it's where you have to go.
That's how you know you have to go.
That's how you know."
For all of you raising kids of divorce, I see you and honor you for the courage it takes.
To always love your kids no matter what, because love is all they truly need
To realize you can only do your best and be ok with not always getting it right
To know its ok that you can't make them happy all the time, and that your happiness is just as important as theirs
To beVulnerable and lean in and have real conversations with them about your feelings, not just theirs, instead of trying to protect them
To follow the path closing on that far horizon that is deep in the foundation of your heart.