When I was going through my divorce I realized what I thought was love often was attachment and/or codependence. Don’t get me wrong I loved as much as I could back then but I had no idea what real love was or how to live it with another. Most of us grow up witnessing attachment posing as love, so this is what we think love looks like. We step into an imitation of love. I was 16 when I met my was-band, I was living in an abusive family and so of course my views of love were all mixed up. I don’t have any shame, blame, or guilt about this left in me, we were a boy and a girl (even at 24 and 27) when we got married instead of a man and a women. We did the best that we knew how.
I prayed to learn what it would feel like to love myself unconditionally? What would it feel like to love another unconditionally and who in my life could love me in that way? I remember the day that I told my partner that it was time to start the steps for a divorce. What surprised me most was in that moment I stood in more truth, love, integrity and compassion, and felt more capable of being his wife than ever before. And when we told the kids I thought there would be at least 10% of me that would feel like I was making the wrong choice but there wasn’t any part of me that felt that way. Even in the middle of the process love was already growing me and teaching me.
Today, love continues to surprise me. It still often doesn’t look the way that I think it will but at least now I am learning that the external can only reflect the internal.The more that I lean into learning to love myself unconditionally the more others are able to reflect that back to me and I am grateful to say that I see both growing everyday.