During my divorce, I read lots and lots of books. Not just divorce recovery books, but business books because I was trying to build my business so I could support myself. Here’s something I came across in one of those books, and discovered it had as much to do with my divorce as it did my business. It’s from a book entitled, Do What You Love, Love What You Do And Deliver More Than You Promise by Harvey Mackay. Here it is: “You’re a lot better off being scared than being bored.”
During a midlife divorce, you are not bored. You are lots of things, but bored is not one of them. You are working overtime figuring out “what now?” and finding a new vision for your life, and that doesn’t leave any time for boredom. Exhaustion, maybe. Fear, definitely. Terror, probably. Boredom, no. That’s one very positive thing that a divorce will do: It makes you face fear head on. And you either give in to it, or you conquer it. Every time you conquer fear, you get stronger and more courageous.
In the book mentioned above, Mackay says that “What people don’t know is that courage can be learned.” Airline pilots are taught to conquer fear. They learn to overcome the emotion of fear so that they can make good choices when a situation presents itself that demands clear thinking and strong will in spite of what’s happening around them.
After we face a harrowing or dangerous situation and survive, we are less afraid the next time. I know that once I worked my way through the divorce journey, I felt confident and was much less afraid than I was at the beginning of the trip. Post recovery, I had the feeling that I struggled through one of the worst things that could happen to me, and not only did I survive, but I was braver all around and even exhilarated by my new found courage.
Because I was forced to stand toe to toe with my fear, I can live life with less trembling. One thing that helped was connecting with other RADiCAL women, and they gave me courage, too. And here’s something even more amazing: One reason that we can conquer fear is that God has promised us his help and power. Yes, the all-powerful God of all things has made himself available to us. Accept and take advantage of that reality, even if it’s hard to see sometimes. It makes all the difference.
“Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you.” I Chronicles 28:20 (NIV)