You are not going through these hard times of midlife divorce recovery alone. People are watching you. That’s scary, and at times, embarrassing, and at other times downright terrifying. But if we can keep in our heads that people are watching how we deal with this suffering, it hopefully will give us the courage and commitment to act better. Sometimes I was so out of control, that I didn’t care who was watching. But if someone had sat me down and looked me straight in the face and said, “your children and your friends and your co-workers are learning something about life from you during this,” I might have been able to rein in my emotions a little better.
Deep down I knew that those closest to me were watching, and most of the time through my recovery, I consciously tried to take the high road. Sometimes I didn’t. But all of us need to fully understand that we can have an unforgettable POSITIVE effect on those around us by transcending our difficult circumstances and finding ways to turn them into ennobling experiences. Here’s something I read from Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Secrets of Highly Effective People. “Nothing has a greater, longer lasting impression upon another person than the awareness that someone has transcended suffering, has transcended circumstance, and is embodying and expressing a value that inspires and ennobles and lifts life.” That’s the kind of impression I want to have.
When I was going through my own midlife divorce, it was very very hard to see anything uplifting coming out of that at all. But from almost 15 years past, I can see more good than bad that came from it. And I learned absolutely amazing, incredible truths that allowed me to get to a much more fulfilling and awe-struck appreciation of life. I am now actually grateful for the experience even though I fought it with everything I had in me at the time. Hopefully, those who watched my journey eventually saw that sometimes it takes darkness to really appreciate the light. I also hope they’ll forget about the times they saw something different.
“That’s why I don’t think there is any comparison between the present hard times and the coming good times” Romans 8:18 (The Message)