Breathe in Freedom

The scariest decision I’ve ever made was to end my 15-year marriage. 

Correction–this was a decision my husband and I made together. To release each other to build two individual lives that can be the happiest they can be. 

The second scariest decision of my life was deciding to buy my dream home on my own.

So, what could be scary about the freedom to live your happiest life and buying your dream house, you ask? 

It’s freaking me out because I’m actually doing what’s in my heart instead of what’s expected. And frankly, that’s unexpected as far as I’m concerned because I’ve lived my whole life as a people pleaser

And I still battle every day to fight through the human experience of fear and doubt. 

Ironically, I’ve been afraid to write this piece–not because it’s my first public declaration of our impending ending–but because it means I’m going to have to admit to the abundance in my life. 

And I struggle with that big time. 

It’s the kind of thing I tiptoe around because I feel like I can’t get too excited, or I could lose everything in a flash (more on that big lesson later). 

That’s why this is a story about overcoming the fear-based mindset that blocks us from our abundance even when the Universe is conspiring to deliver us what we deserve.

I was able to nail down three specific things related to my divorce that were blocking me from my abundance and might be holding you back, too.

#1 – Not wanting everyone to know how good you feel.

I was afraid to tell people how good it felt to make the brave decision to end our marriage. People expect grief, anxiety, and struggle. They don’t expect joy. So for weeks, I suffered silently, experiencing those exact emotions. 

It wasn’t until I read the book, A Return To Love, by Marianne Williamson that I set myself free. It’s a book based on A Course in Miracles. The Course Workbooks says:

“A miracle is a correction. ²It does not create, nor really change at all. ³It merely looks on devastation, and reminds the mind that what it sees is false (ACIM, W-pII.13.1:1-3)”

Williamson, in her book, shares her opinion that when two people in a relationship have learned the lessons they need to from one another, they are free to release each other. 

And so we did. 

And according to the Course, this was a miracle. I was able to see our decision through the lens of love and release versus the false perception of fear.

But I was still stuck with whether to let people see how good I felt about this decision. 

The law of attraction says your energy and vibration will attract more of the same–so if you play small, you will continue to come up with reasons to keep yourself small and quiet.

But, I’m not going to lie. It seems strange to tell people I’m happy about a divorce. But honestly, anytime I admit how well my life is going, I feel guilty. Is this you, too?

The first thing you need to stop doing is apologizing, feeling guilty, or keeping your joy inside. 

I get it, you don’t want to seem cocky, or come off like you think you’re better than anyone else. Unfortunately, that’s other people’s problem, not yours. 

When you share gratitude for your blessings, than your intentions are pure and there’s no need to feel ashamed of your happiness. 

Once I started to accept that my life was unfolding the way we both intended, I let myself feel all my feelings.

This brings me to my second major observation. 

#2 – Feeling undeserving of happiness.

I worried I was undeserving of the happiness I was feeling. 

Where did this mindset come from? This idea that good feelings are temporary and can be lost at the simplest form of celebration? Why do we feel like we don’t deserve happiness, and when it manages to sneak it’s way into our heart, we have to be careful not to look it in the eye?

Well, I am here to tell you — you deserve it all. And you deserve to celebrate big when good things happen to you. Because it’s a sign that you are being cared for and that your support system, self-compassion, and love are flowing. 

Good things have been happening for me. But I feel guilty about them, because they were kicked off by a chain of events that is not societally approved to be considered fortunate.

It wasn’t until a dear friend told me, “Don’t block your abundance” that I really stopped to think about it. Was I really doing this? Was my fear, and self-doubt the emotional equivalent of a blockage?

Indeed it was.

Recently, I was searching for a home in this crazy real estate market. My realtor found me the perfect house. My dream house dare I say. But the first thing I said to myself is: “I can’t have that house. It’s too good for me.” 

I refused to let myself believe that I could afford it, but more so, I refused to let myself believe that I deserved it. 

I was blocking myself from this opportunity because of the reason behind my home search. 

I thought I lived in my dream home already. I spent years remodeling it to perfection. French country white kitchen, custom walk-in pantry, covered deck with custom masonry wood-burning fireplace overlooking the water feature on our property. 

I’ve lived a life of abundance and privilege, and it still didn’t make me happy. 

So, I decided my next home should be the opposite. I decided I should live in a smaller house. 

#3 – Inviting fear into your decision-making. 

I thought to myself, who am I to move on and live in my dream home after all of this? That’s why I felt I should scale back. 

Spoiler alert – these two words: “should” and “small,” are like poison. 

“Should’s” go against our intuition. It’s like hitting the override button when your brain and body are feeling in alignment. Instead of leaning into that heart space, we feel triggered — afraid of the powerful energy. 

Then we force a square peg into a round hole. We take our big heart energy and force it into a teensie little box. The box of societally accepted views. 

I did that. 

I forced myself not to consider a new home that was absolutely perfect for me because I was afraid of how it would “look” to people that knew we were getting a divorce to see me living my best life. 

“Mom, all day I was thinking to myself that you really deserve this house because you work so hard,” my son said as we were driving home from our showing on the dream house. 

And I felt that. For the first time, I felt like I could see myself through his eyes, through a filter of love and not fear. 

He sees all that I do, between my Fortune 100 leadership position, my writing, yoga teaching to marginalized communities, and local community service where I clean the toilets at a women’s crisis center. 

I am deserving. 

I called my realtor and said, I was tired of living small–that I wanted the house after all.

For a week I prayed about this home, and surrendered to the Universe to say that if this house was meant to be, than it will be. I submitted an offer, and it was accepted.

In this real estate market, I still have a long road ahead of me. But I hope to be able to write more from my happy new home very soon.

Final Thoughts

My husband and I have made the difficult decision to end our marriage after nearly two decades together. After spending weeks beating myself up over this decision, I shifted my mindset after recognizing these three behaviors. 

  1. I was living small
  2. I was avoiding joy
  3. I was inviting fear into the process

These three things have held me back, and caused me to self-retrain more times than I can count. 

If this is you, too, you need to STOP doing these three things right now. Your ability to end these thought patterns will inspire others to do the same. 

If you’re in the midst of a divorce or a healing journey, I am sending you all my peace, love, and wisdom. Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu–may all beings everywhere be happy and free.