I asked Caitlin if she’d write a post for me. I met her at college and have followed her over the past sevenish years. This is her story..in many ways it’s her way of exposing herself. It’s beautiful. It sparked something in me, which I will share later, and left me in happy tears.
Be Gentle With Yourself ~Caitlin
“Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars. In the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.”
In the last year of my life I’ve learned a lot. I’ve been divorced, started a new job, found a career, made new friends, got a new roommate, dated, got promoted, moved… the list goes on. Most importantly, I’ve learned to love myself and to keep that peace in my soul.
Christmas of 2008 was not a good one. Christmas day my husband of 3 years decided that our marriage was over and left me to go back to Brazil to be with his family and “sort things out.”
This was devastating. Even though I knew things hadn’t been good it is still a shock to have your person – the one being that you belong to, cherish, love, tell everything to – decide that they don’t love you anymore. At that moment it wasn’t even real. I put on a brave face for my family, pretending that everything was ok. That Murilo was coming home and we’d figure things out. In my heart, even then, I knew. It was over. It was time to end the misery of pretending to be in love, even though I know now that I wasn’t ever pretending though I knew deep down he was.
That night my Grandmother, who had been divorced herself 50 years prior, held my face in her hands with tears in her eyes and told me:
“This too shall pass. Right now you put on that brave face, and fake a smile, all-the-while inside you’re dying. But pretty soon, Caitlin, you realize that it isn’t as tough to fake the smile and get through the day. Then one day you wake up and realize that in fact, you’re not faking it at all. You’re better – whole once again.”
Now, standing on the other side of 1 year and 4 months after that terrible night I can say that she was right. I am whole once again.
This year I have grown more as a woman and as a person that at any other point in my life. With the help of my hippie-therapist I have discovered pieces of me that I didn’t know existed. Hence why I strongly agree that everyone should be in therapy! Dr. K and I spent a good 3 months on Murilo and my feelings about the whole situation, but the majority of the last year and a half have been spent on “unpacking” all the secret compartments inside of myself. Most of them had nothing to do with my ex-husband. He didn’t make things any easier for me, but in fact, I discovered that some pre-existing things inside me could have led me to that relationship in the first place.
With the help of Dr. K, I finally made headway on getting to a comfortable place with myself. I was not the reason that Murilo left. I am a beautiful girl who is worthy of love and happiness and I will find that. You must find that peace inside yourself before you can ever move on and share that with another person. To create a successful partnership, you must first and foremost be autonomously happy. Then and only then, when you are so exuberantly happy that you can’t help but want to share that with someone, will a partnership blossom.
Are there still days that I question myself? Take myself for granted? Have war inside my soul? Yes. Most assuredly. But overall I can truly say that I am at such an amazing, awesome place in my life that I didn’t know could exist. I have a wonderful family, fantastic friends, a career that is slowly but surely turning into my dream job, a roof over my head and food in my fridge.
I also have a new person in my life that instills hope that there are good matches out there for me. He’s pretty great. But even if it only lasts for a short time, I’m ok with that. Because I am enough. I don’t need to worry about finding that person – because when the time is right, he’ll arrive. And until that time comes, I am satisfied with the life I’m living. I am sufficient. Heck, I’m pretty amazing. And I won’t ever let a man or person convince me otherwise again.