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Release The Parachute & Soar

By now, you’ve prayed, cried, created a soundtrack, found support and gotten busy. And hopefully you’re experiencing some clarity to determine your destination.

In the separation phase, I began to feel that I was being held back. While I wanted my marriage to work, the uncertainty was difficult to deal with. There was no concrete plans being made and the communication was still strained. I felt that I couldn’t completely embrace anything that came my way. I was truly in limbo. I began to realize that I couldn’t truly live that way and receive all that was intended for me.

I remember waking up and thinking to myself today is the day. I wanted to be fully able to accept the things that were coming to me, without the doubt. So I took the step and I jumped. I released the parachute and began to soar. If you’re in between two doors, you have to close one before you can truly take the step through the new one.

I can’t tell you how relieved I am that I took the step. My life has changed tremendously, for the better I’m certain. I don’t live in fear anymore. I know that whatever comes my way, I’m going to be better for it. And I know that you will too! A friend of mine asked me what was the indicator for me to pull the trigger and move forward with finalizing the divorce. And in all honesty, the key was the peace that I felt when I woke up that morning. I knew it was time. I understood that I could only move forward. And I’m still soaring. So when you feel that comfort and your fear has subsided, release the parachute and you’ll find yourself soaring too!

There is a silver-lining in all things and I know that the divorce has taught me so much more that I will certainly use, when I’m sent the man that I was truly destined to be with forever. Stay tuned for my new series, entitled, “Lessons Learned!” to find out what those things are.

Did you release the parachute? Are you soaring? If so, please share. I’d love to hear more about it. Until next week…

Much love,

Tanisha

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Posted by on April 28, 2010 in Separation & Divorce

 

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Go Head! Get Busy!

Recently, several people have been reaching out to me about their troubled relationship problems. I assume it’s because they appreciate my empathy, and feel extremely comfortable with me. For that, I’m deeply honored to be able to provide a positive support system to so many who feel that they are in despair. But as I have stated in my previous posts, “I am in no way an expert!

However, as a result of my divorce, I’ve learned to become a better listener and extremely observant. So after listening to all of the ladies and men tell me how frustrated they are with their ex’s and soon-to-be ex’s, I noticed the one thing they all had in common. They all had an abundance of time available that they could use more productively.

The old adage, “An idle mind is a devil’s playground” still holds true. If you don’t have enough things to productively occupy your time, you have too, too much time to focus on the people who make it all so easy to work on your nerves. I attribute staying positively busy to being the greatest medicine to aid my grief. I filled my time with consistent bible studies and playing taxi to those who didn’t have cars to run errands. But most importantly, I filled my time setting goals and trying to implement the plans I laid out for myself.

So for those who are feeling angry and focused on the other persons’ weaknesses, remember that happiness is a choice. You have to decide to be happy! Only you can make that decision. Here are a few questions you should ask yourself. 

1. What am I blessed with today? Be specific. In addition to your life, strive to find at least one new thing that you consider a blessing everyday. Create a journal entry about it.

2. Why am I allowing someone to steal my joy? People can only hurt them if you allow them to. So choose to be happy even when things are tough.

3. What can I do today that will put a smile on my face? (Be nice! Those nasty things that you’re thinking may put a smile on your face today, but leave you with serious consequences later.) For me, painting my toe nails a different color put a smile on my face. It doesn’t always have to be big.

4. Lastly, if my marriage ends in divorce, what are somethings I can do to make my life as a single person manageable? This is quite thought provoking. You should consider the best case scenario and the worst case scenario. Example: Upon entering separation, I was in between jobs. So I had to focus on gaining employment that would allow me to be able to handle my finances on my own. So, I set a goal of a specific number of  jobs to apply for daily. After applying for them, I set myself on a schedule to contact those that I applied for consistently. Additionally, I formed a weekly ladies bible study group. I also wanted to lose 10lbs, so I devised a plan to lose the weight to make me healthier.

It’s natural to want to focus on the other person. But in time, your lessons from all of the pain will be revealed. You should use every experience in your life, as a learning one. So go ahead! Get busy working toward your goals!  Go head! Get Busy! (Fist pumping and bobbing my head for you!) And watch things unfold in a less stressful way!

God bless you,

Tanisha

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2010 in Separation & Divorce

 

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S.O.S. Seeking Out Support

One of the most difficult things for me to admit was that I was going through a divorce. Initially, I sought out support from people who had never experienced it. They were my friends and I’m certain they honestly thought all the things they said to me would help. But it really made things worse for me. This is partly because while they were sympathetic to my situation, they couldn’t emphathize with it. They didn’t know what it was like to be torn apart from a unit. Sure many will argue that if you’ve experienced a breakup, you should be able to handle a divorce. But I had been through several breakups and nothing compared to the feeling of losing a spouse.

My minister recommended that I join a Christian support group, Divorcecare, which was dedicated to helping people heal from divorce and separation in a healthy way. While living in MS, I took his advise.  On my first visit, I was completely nervous. I didn’t know what to truly expect. To my surprise, there were men and women. For some reason, I didn’t think there were men who wanted their marriages to work. Nor, did I think about the fact that men suffer from a divorce or separation also. As the facilitator started to talk about the program I began to feel more at ease. The first step was to state your name and admit that you were going through a divorce or separation. There were so many emotions that poured out from just the first step. There were some who cried, some who smiled, and some who chose not to say it yet. But for those who couldn’t admit it, there was no pressure. It’s a difficult thing to admit. But because it consisted of people who were going through it, the pain seemed a little lessened for me.

It was a 12 week program. Each session consisted of discussions on footage from real people in various phases of the divorce/separation. In addition to the discussion at the meetings, there were assignments for us to take home and complete before the following meeting. While the program was 12 weeks, you’re not expected to be completely healed by its conclusion. But they provide you with a tools and the group support that makes you aware that you’re not alone. It’s really what I needed to know.

When you’re going through divorce, it’s important to understand that you’re not the only one. Divorcecare was the place that those who were going through divorce/separation could meet and help each other cope, free from speculation and embarrassment. And because it’s a Christian-based support group, you’re provided with scriptures of encouragement to also ease the pain. It was a refuge for me, because when I expressed what I was feeling I wasn’t being told to just get over it. The people there empathized with me. They didn’t uphold me in my wrongs, but did admit that the feelings I had were ones they once felt. The men in the program shared their feelings, which was truly enlightening. It was great to get a man’s perspective on the subject.

There’s so much greatness and beauty in the support group. I contribute a great portion of  my healing success to the support group. We cried together. We laughed together. We checked on each other throughout the week. I actually took  the program twice. And it was even better the second time around. I was able to share more freely with new members and be an even greater supporter. I highly recommend this support group. For more information about it, go to www.divorcecare.com. You will be able to find your local support group, and the dates/times they meet. The program is completely confidential, so you don’t have to worry about what you share being discussed outside of the program. God bless you in your healing endeavors.

Sincerely,

Tanisha

 
 

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Consider That New Path

I think I’ve explained before that I live in a very small town. It’s nearly the equivalent to Mayberry. So as you can imagine, there’s not many secrets that can be kept. My divorce was nothing different. The news spread around like wildfire. It was quite difficult to go out with out speculation, ridicule, and just plain old nosiness!

I was approached by those who did and didn’t know me, all wanting explanations to the five major questions: Who, what, when, where, and how? The odd thing was…I didn’t have all the answers to those questions myself. So I consided one of  the greatest blessings I received to be when I saw a friend in town who mentioned a great career opportunity available. She told me the salary and what the job entailed. But she did tell me there was one glitch to the opportunity. It was in a city and state about 2 1/2 hours away.  Most people would have disregarded the opportunity, finding all type of reasons to stay. But all it took was 15 minutes for me to make arrangements to rent a room from a distant cousin, so I could start on Friday. (Did I mention that she brought the opportunity to me on Wednesday afternoon?)

When my mom heard about the opportunity, initially she was disappointed. I think part of her felt that I was being way too hasty in my decision. But nonetheless, she accepted it and supported me anyway. However, the word at the rumor mill was that I was running away from the situation at hand, which was my divorce. The fact was, I didn’t really think about the situation at all. Amazingly, God had laid out a plan for me to heal that I would have never considered on my own. People will often make you feel that when you flee from certain things, that it makes you a coward. But the Bible even tells us to flee from all appearance of evil.

The gossip and the speculation were definitely evil. But honestly, I don’t think I was running from anything. I think God sent me on a retreat that would be necessary to gain the strength I’d need to get through. It’s amazing….no, remarkable, how quick he can change things. So let me say this to you, if you are approached with an opportunity that others may feel isn’t feasible, consider this. Faith is believing in the things unseen. Sometimes we just have to step out on faith and trust in God.  Just because others may not be able to see the path, doesn’t mean God didn’t intend for you to take it. Don’t be afraid to try something or some place new. Surprisingly, I have returned to live in the small town that used to cause me much grief. But because of the change in my path, I gained so much that has enabled me the ability to exist unphased by the gossip anymore. Stay tuned next week as I share lessons learned on my new path.

Separation and divorce isn’t an easy thing. But it’s my prayer that you’re gaining strength every day as you start life anew!

Much love,

Tanisha

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2010 in Separation & Divorce

 

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No Worries, Man…Or Woman!

As I explained in my previous blogs, I had suffered tremendous stress from my dad’s death, a grieving mother, and the death of my marriage. Despite all the cries, prayers, and singing of power songs, the spiral of my failing marriage still managed to get the best of me…or so it seemed. As time went by, I thought I was getting over it. But subconsciously, it was still there. I grew weary and sluggish most of the time. I’d go to work, but not be all there. My short term memory was impacted and I’d forget small things. No doubt about it, I was obsessed with the whereabouts of my husband. You see, I figured that if he wasn’t with me, there had to have been someone else. Let me save you some grief if any of this sounds familiar to you: STOP WORRYING ABOUT WHERE THEY ARE! I know you’re thinking it’s easier said than done. But the truth is, whatever is done in the dark will definitely come to light and stressing over there whereabouts won’t reveal it any sooner. Trust me…worrying about it only causes YOU harm, not your spouse.

My warning almost came too late. It was March 2008 and I had been suffering pretty chronic headaches for about 3 months. I’d pop an Advil or Aleve and keep moving. But one day while visiting my mom, my headache wouldn’t go away. I started to get dizzy and my vision was blurred. My mom booked me an appointment at a family doctor. When they took my vitals, the nurse seemed to be a bit startled. So she tried taking it again. But the numbers still registered the same, 201/130. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking! And you’re right! The doctor gave me pretty high dose meds to take and warned me that I had entered into stage two hypertension. I didn’t really want to be dependent on medicines. But he felt because of the advancement of my condition, I needed to take it to regulate it right away. He also suggested that I do at least 30 minutes of cardio for at least 3 days a week as a means to possibly wein myself from the medicines. I took the meds and went home. I changed my diet, exercised 5 days a week on the elliptical machine for 30 minutes, and took my meds. For the first few weeks, things were great! I even managed to lose around 15lbs, much of course was fluids. But all of a sudden my headaches returned and I found myself going back to the doctor’s office with my blood pressure back up to 199/129. This is when reality sat in for me. My doctor told me that I needed to find a way to deal with the stress or that I wouldn’t be around much longer. He told me that I was threatening a stroke. He had given me the highest dose meds possible. I was eating better and exercising. And despite all of those things, I was still allowing the stress to rule me!

I thought about what he said on the way home and I realized that I really needed to let it go for ME! The fact is…what consumes you owns you! Don’t let the potential or already ex-spouse become your ruler. If you choose to stop living because you’re so focused on them, they essentially win. They have the power. And trust me, they will use it. You have to realize that while you’re stressing over them, they are typically not stressing over you at that very moment. You’re beautiful and amazing, so you shouldn’t be so quick to give up your power to someone who’s clearly proven unworthy! I say that in the most loving way possible. Life will go on and I want you to be here to live it too!

God bless,

Tanisha

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2010 in Separation & Divorce

 

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The Identity Thief

On my wedding day, I remember being so proud of finally being able to take my husband’s last name. Occasionally my maiden name would creep back into my mind, when prompted for my signature. But just as I became accustomed to writing a new year, I became used to writing my new last name and even more proud to say it. So it’s only normal that you may have some difficulty detaching from it when you are faced with divorce.

I mean, honestly, how was I to return to being single after all these years? What role was I to play now? How was I to give up the title of wife, one that I absolutely loved and honored? These may all be questions that you may find yourself asking. I remember after the papers had been filed, thinking about all the social networks that I had created, classifying myself as married. How was I going to actually be honest with myself and change it to what the truth was? A close friend of mine who knew what I was going through, made a what- she- thought- was- not- so- harmless joke about my status. I didn’t let her know that it bothered me. But inside I was crushed. Because I really didn’t want her to know that I was having a hard time with changing my identity.

However one morning on my way to work, I stopped by the local Wal-Mart. I had done all I could to mask the pain, but the truth always shines through. I was getting some thicker socks, because I was going to be wearing wet boots for a project I was working on (another day, another story). A gentleman walked up behind me and he said “You’re an amazing and beautiful woman and whatever you’re going through, you are still loved!” I stood still and I honestly think I had an out-of-body experience for a minute. I saw his face, but no words could come out! I turned away from him to process what he’d said to me. Then after about 15 seconds, I turned around to tell him about how much those words meant, and he wasn’t anywhere to be found. I went up and down aisles to see if I could find him, but there wasn’t a trace of him left.

After paying for my socks, I got into my car and reflected on the words once more that the gentleman had said to me. Tears flowed like water over the banks of the Mississippi River. It was so, so clear. The identity that matters the most is the one that God gives you and that is the title, His child. I’m a Christian and that is only title that truly matters to me. The core of who I am is still the same.  Whether single or married, I am a lover of God. Whether single or married, I continuously strive to be a better person, a giver, a warrior and I will be pressing on.  And you have to know that too!Whether your spouse has love for you or not, you have to be grounded in God. His love is unchanging.  I changed my statuses that day. Many of my friends sent messages of concern. And I appreciated it. But I knew that I was taken care of, because God’s love is most important.

So if you find yourself feeling out-of-place because you feel your title of wife or husband has been robbed, remember that “You are beautiful and God still loves you!”

 
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Posted by on February 12, 2010 in Separation & Divorce

 

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With These Words:Put It In Writing

In the sixth grade, I was introduced to the wonderful world of sharing your secrets. Surprisingly, it wasn’t to the best friend that I had grown to know and love. It was Mrs. Baas who had insisted that we keep a journal for one semester as a means to communicate our thoughts on paper. As an assignment, I wasn’t interested. But what I realized was that after the semester was over, I continued to express my deepest thoughts with God, by way of the pen & paper.

From the simplest to the most complex of my innermost thoughts, I’d write down every detail. While writing and making sure that I covered everything was so fascinating to me, it would be later on when I realized how much impact keeping a journal/diary would be…after divorce recovery.

It was about 6 months ago, when I came across an entry that I’d had during the roughest part of my tribulation. This was during the time that my husband and I were separated and my dad was dying right before my eyes. I wasn’t even working, due to assisting my mom with caring for my dad. So recap, I had lost my career, my dad was slipping away from me, and my husband was pretty much gone too. Imagine my devastation! Throughout life, my journal was written to God. I pretty much laid out all of my frustrations on him. Initially,  I wrote once a day, but due to the circumstances, I found myself writing all throughout the day, carrying God with me wherever I went. Whether it be to the Dr.’s office or the grocery store, wherever I went God was surely there with me. I’d go to the park and he was there. I refused to be departed from God. I’d be angry with him, (as you could clearly tell by my strong strokes and all capital letters). I’d be relaxed with him (noted by my smooth, neat strokes). And sometimes, I’d fall asleep with him (as shown by the words that start out written crisp and clear and end up leaning).

Keeping a journal/diary/letters to God, serves as a testament to how strong you truly are. You’re able to reflect on where you were throughout life and how you came to your present situation(s). For me, it was totally empowering. Amidst what seemed to be the worst possible time in my life, I am able to see what God has delivered me from. Initially, it may be quite intimidating to put all of your thoughts down. But try to be as honest with the writings as possible. Besides, it’s for your eyes only. No one has to know what or how you feel. So it should be the one place that you can be free. Here are a few things that may help you, when writing in your journal/diary…

  1. Does your journal reflect you? For instance, consider purchasing a journal that reflects your personality. It actually should help inspire you to write. There are many types of journals; from leather bound, to the most colorful, with/without locks. Check out some bookstores or discount stores to look at what options are available. 
  2. What is currently taking place in your life? Think about what events may be presently happening or about to occur.
  3. What thoughts are going on in your head? Be honest! How do you feel? What made you feel that way? The more detailed and honest you are with yourself, the better you will begin to feel and aid in the healing process.
  4. What are your dreams? Write about what you’d like to see happen in the next year, 5 years, or 10 years.

 

Don’t get upset if you miss a day. Remember, anything you’re not used to doing takes time. Just try to be as consistent as possible. It’ll help when you’re ready to self reflect. When I look back at various entries into my journal, it makes me smile. It’s amazing to see how many times, that I’ve felt abandoned and that I couldn’t bear anymore pain. And yet I’m still standing, with the widest smile and the largest laugh. And I’m sure this can happen for you too!

God Bless!

Tanisha

 
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Posted by on February 11, 2010 in Separation & Divorce

 

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