Last night as I was selecting which pot to cook the kale I thought about how much I love my new pots and pans. Now mind you they are not that new, I bought them for myself in 2010 after my second divorce. It occurred to me that I have had two sets of pots and pans in my adult life, both of which were obtain after a divorce.
The first set was obtained when I was 24, my son was 1 1/2 years old and we lived in a flat above a store on Main Street. The flat was wonderful, 15 foot ceilings, unique character, and no stove or fridge. Did I mention it was cheap? Perfect for a single mom with no job. I became very adapt at finding needed items to fill my new home at the Salvation Army and garbage bins around town. Everything I had in my flat was mismatched and honestly a true reflection of me. Paint is wonderful thing, it can transform anything.
As an avid cook I missed being able to cook in my home. My mother gave the frist set of pots and pans for Christmas that year. Even though I did not have a stove I used a hot plate and my neighbors stove. I would make weekly Sunday dinners for all my friends.
While I was the only one with a child at that time, it was that community of strong creative friends that buoyed me and helped me believe in myself to go back to art school. That was the time in my life when I began to journal everyday and learned to listen to what my needs were. I learned that not only can I take care of myself but my creativity is a valuable part of me.
The second set of pots and pans I bought for myself right before my 40th birthday and a few weeks after my second divorce was finalized in 2010. My second marriage was short-lived. It ended simply because there was no room for me with his outsized neediness. When I met my second husband I was trying to out run my humanness. I had found that achieving and controlling kept quiet my nagging needs for connection, love and belonging. From the outside I had a charmed life far from lack that I grew up with. I had a successful career in non-profit management, a house, a car and now a relationship, albeit a shallow one, but that was safe at that point.
I began a daily mediation practice three months before we married in 2008. By sitting with my breath everyday I began to see things as they really were and one thing I saw clearly was that there was no space in our marriage for my needs. My sitting practice taught me to regard myself and my needs for connection and love with compassion. I learned to honor myself, risk asking for my needs to be met. My second husband did not have the capacity to be in a reciprocal relationship. Our relationship ended. I cracked open and began my journey to live with an open heart.
To be honest I felt a lot of shame and like a failure with two failed marriages by the time I was 40. I have grown past that, I feel more comfortable with all of me, my mistakes, my needs, my joys and my sorrows.
Each marriage taught me how to listen to my inner voice and brought me tools to engage with that voice. Daily journaling and mediation are part of my foundation as I continue to learn how open my heart and let others see me. Also, each marriage brought me pots and pans to cook yummy food to nourish myself and my loved ones. Maybe divorce is not so bad after all.