The other day, a friend asked how I want my life situation explained. He wanted to honor my privacy. I smiled. I too am a vault for many people. And I respected that he wanted to clarify exactly what I wanted placed in the vault and what I did not. His question played in my mind repeatedly afterward. Although there are scores of things in my life I will always keep to myself, I choose to speak about this. It is my story. Was I the victim – yes. But by turning around my situation, I empowered myself. By sharing this, and helping others feel less alone, I hope to help empower them.
On November 23, 2009 my, now, ex husband stood on our front lawn, and vowed to destroy our family business. In a steady voice he said that once he did, I would then lose our home. Ten months prior I had asked for a divorce; evidenced by his actions – he was not happy. Not surprising, his words only served to cement the many reasons why I had asked for one. He worked steadily over the course of the next few months to carry out his plan. He succeeded. The business meant nothing to him. And although my passion is writing, the business did mean a great deal to me; not only was it the means by which my children were supported, it was the means that would support my eventual retirement, not to mention the home in which we lived. There is no court order that can thwart the ways of a determined soul. Four days after my ex husband unlawfully diverted funds from FedEx, (the company with whom our business was subcontracted), to a private bank account he set up in his name alone, FedEx legal informed our business attorney that I had two weeks to sell off all equity connected to FedEx or FedEx would acquire it in full. In two weeks time I had to do the near impossible. Did I have a rightful case to sue FedEx – yes. Would I ever sue such a large company – no. Truth be told I didn’t blame FedEx. Tortious interference is nothing they take lightly, nor did I.
During those terrible two weeks I had a psychic say that I would indeed sell, but only in the nick of time. On the night prior to the deadline I faxed a signed purchase agreement to my legal team. The next day, FedEx approved the sale. It’s a surreal experience having one’s life ravaged by another. But it was one of the moments that has pushed me the farthest in my spiritual journey; just as I believe it was meant. Often it seems in life, it is through tragedy that forward movement is fueled. And yet, out of each tragic moment, I have turned toward God, and not away. Please know, there have been many times during which my faith has been pushed to the brink. Along the way my tears have been many. And I have often felt more alone than anyone could fathom. But through these upheaved moments came the raw wisdom that I so often infuse within my writing.
I have failed many times, and I am not yet all that I hope to be. I will forever be a continual work in progress and yet – I have come to fully love who I am. And that is the basis of this blog; the basis of all that I share with you. I hold no hatred for my ex husband. If anything, I feel on a soul-level we had an agreement, and his physical being simply carried out that heinous contract.
On June 19, 2013 the arduous journey, that began three and a half years prior, was put to rest. And here I am now, starting over. One can painstakingly invest, plan and orchestrate their life and through no real fault of their own – those carefully laid plans can be completely upturned. Mine were. As the President and sole Director of the business I had to make many tedious decision along the way; many of which caused me a great deal of heartache; business bankruptcy and foreclosure being the two hardest. As they should be. I never once took those decisions lightly. I still don’t. I have a great deal of life experience packed into these soon to be 44 years of mine. And I would be misleading if I did not admit that I am quite tired. But a new chapter has just started; and I hold the pen. For that I am appreciative.
I feel no shame in having let go of all that I have. Through all I hope I kept my grace. I worked tirelessly providing my children with the consistency and wisdom they needed; poise and an internal honesty that I hope they will one day emulate. Although I can’t say I bandy my life experiences about at dinner parties, I won’t run from owning them either. I have to be true to me. And just as the dysfunctional home life from which I came provided the foundation for my attentiveness to the emotional needs of others; this latest experience gave me the opportunity to test my resolve and further expand my scope of compassion. It wasn’t the plan to start over again at this age; but like many, I am. Throughout it all, a Divine energy has always accompanied me. There have been times when my walls were so high I could not feel it. But that was only because I didn’t let it in. It was there. Not only is it always around me, it is always within me.
My ex husband felt his efforts would destroy me; but they only made me stronger. I am asked at times why it is I share all that I do. The answer is simple: I am a writer and I am a healer. I will never be defined by the actions of others. Nor will I choose to let these moments define who I am. However, how I handle, process and perceive these moments does. And again, upon such a canvas I write.
We all have a story. Never run from yours. Never feel shame in it. You are stronger than you know, and more beautiful than you realize. It’s best not to care so much about the opinions of others. Instead, create the best opinion of yourself you can. See your own beauty. Love who you are. Those around you of value will do the same. But first, it starts with you.