By: Nicole Amaturo

December of 2016:

I have read people’s posts lately and some have even reached out to me knowing I’ve gone through a divorce. I see them struggling with the holidays in full swing whether they’re thinking about a divorce, in midst of a divorce, or post-divorce and I wanted to share something I wrote about a year ago to help. I read a blog that asked, “When was the last time you heard someone talk proudly of their divorce? They just don’t.” After reading this, I wrote the following blog because I was part of the small percentage that did speak proudly of her divorce. About a month after writing it, my soulmate found me unexpectedly, and we are now sharing the next part of life together. He is someone I love, respect, admire, and adore. My goal after the divorce was to become someone I loved, respected, admired, and adored first though and that took a lot of work, never truly understanding what really loving myself meant until I was divorced.

My message to you is that I know the pain seems like torture, but it is there to help you heal to bring you to your own happiness. Stay with it and allow it the space to do its job. I have been where you are and know the despair and emptiness you may be feeling right now, but it is a blessing although hard to see. I share my story with you to help start your journey to healing. Know that your divorce is a gift to yourself as you are “Choosing You”, just as “I Chose Me”.
March of 2016:                                                                                                                  

 I Chose Me

 

When I say I speak proudly of my divorce, No, it’s not because I was abused, cheated on, or lied to. No, he wasn’t an alcoholic or a drug addict. I believe he was a great husband, an awesome father and a wonderful family man. But my journey with him ended and the lessons I was supposed to learn were achieved. Our time was up. Simply put, my soul had an agenda.

I had it all. I was married to a loyal man since 19 years old for 16 years, had three beautiful, healthy children, and was in the midst of raising our beautiful family in a brand new 4 bedroom, center hall colonial in central NJ. I had a brand new Volvo SUV in my driveway and a ripe career living out my dream as a 6th grade LA teacher. I was living the dream as they say, but what I wasn’t expecting was the anxiety and uneasiness that came along with all of it.

I couldn’t shake the nagging, empty feeling I had, which I now know was a messenger telling me somehow I wasn’t where I was meant to be. Until I realized this, I blamed myself for a while thinking I didn’t know how to be happy; there must be something wrong with me. I must be crazy, I insisted. I fought it for a while but the more I tried to fight it, the more I suffered in pain. The more I tried to hold on, the more my soul was being whisked out of my body.

I always heard people say that they stayed married “for the kids”. They gave up on their dreams “for the kids”. They gave up on finding real, pure love “for the kids”. So I tried to do what everyone else did and I stayed “for the kids” to maintain the image society would accept. Until the day came that I no longer gave a crap anymore about what society believed to be acceptable and finally did what my heart and my intuition was telling me to do. I followed my heart and let my soul be the guide.  As scared as I was, I knew in my heart that I had to choose me. I wanted my kids to learn that there is more to life than status quo. I wanted them to always follow their heart and to know that life has infinite possibilities awaiting them. I certainly never wanted my kids to settle out of fear. But first I knew I had to prove it to myself and lead by example.

We all have free will so at any moment we can choose to take a different path. All too often, we ignore our inner voice and intuition because we will be judged by society or condemned through religion. We stay paralyzed in whatever circumstance we are in out of fear. I have learned that anything done out of fear will only cause more pain and suffering. The stronger grasp I held because I was scared, the more wounded I became. I freed myself when I finally let go and fought my fear. I became free of all the judgments, limitations, and expectations I put on myself.

The divorce took 6 months and the universe provided me with all the tools I needed to get there. Although I felt so empty then, it’s been almost 2 years after the divorce and I have never been able to see more clearly. I never would’ve met the people I’ve met, the experiences I’ve been given, the healing I’ve enabled and the transformation I’ve allowed. My journey is much different today than it was 5 years ago and I am unbecoming everything that truly wasn’t me. I have found my souls purpose and am living it out each day. I have never been so filled with love and inner peace.

It took time but I now realize that if I would’ve stayed married, I never would have found these hidden gems within myself. I have become reliant on myself for the first time in my life. There’s such freedom that has come with relying on myself to meet my own needs. After 37 years, I have learned what it means to truly love myself. Although I am often alone, I am never lonely. I no longer need another to fill the voids within myself. I have become the person that I want to attract to share the next part of my journey with. But for now, I stand alone as a happy and complete, whole person.

So yes, I proudly say that I am divorced. In saying this, I take pride in the fact that I allowed wounds to be opened. I welcomed the hurt to seep in. I stayed with the pain. I learned from the journey. I healed and transformed. I showed up for my life. I am more than a human body. I am a soul living out a human experience. So in saying I am divorced, I am proudly saying, I CHOSE ME.