On the eve of my 55th birthday I was feeling a little sorry for myself because I had just gotten divorced after five years of marriage. I honestly did not expect to be at this crossroads at this time in my life.

As I wrote in my journal before bed, I asked God what to do and God replied, “WRITE and SHARE what you write”.

The answer surprised me, but then God always surprises me. Most of what I have written over the years I have kept to myself, hidden from the world. My first thought was “Whoa. Seriously, God? Share with the world what I have written about this? Really, are you serious? Can I do that? Can I be that transparent and vulnerable?” The answer was, “Yes”.

During the 90 or so days between deciding to get divorced and the divorce decree being signed by the judge, I learned some really powerful lessons.

Before you begin reading this, please know that I am imperfectly human; therefore, I must admit that I have not yet fully mastered these lessons. I can only say I have learned these lessons. Some I already knew and practiced and have shared with my students and clients. Yet, now after this “dark night of the soul” experience called divorce I can easily say that I have become much more intimate with each of them. Mastery comes with time and lots of practice and I was told to ‘share now’. There is a part of me that knows that if I wait until I have achieved mastery they may never be shared! So here goes.

1)      I learned that MY EXPECTATIONS LEAD TO MY SUFFERING. I learned that it is me that makes me suffer through the expectations I have of how I think things should be or what I should be doing. I am the one that prevents God/Creator/Universe from working in my life. Letting go of my expectations is of utmost importance to my inner peace and happiness. Letting go of how I think it should have been, could have been and would have been, and letting go of any negative emotions such as resentment allows me to move on with a light heart. This is the best way to truly LIVE a full and happy life. God is now and always has been on my side, it’s me that gets in the way. I chose to release my expectations.

2)      I learned WHAT IS GRIEVED when a relationship ends. Of course, we will have fond memories of time shared with our mate. There will also be moments when we may miss the person. However, what many of us really grieve most deeply are the dreams we dreamed together for our shared future. The process of divorce is an untangling of the lives we built together. This untangling requires reviewing and re-writing our goals, desires and dreams to suit our needs. I learned that releasing these shared dreams is best done with haste. I think of it like trying to remove gum that has gotten stuck in long hair. Sometimes it’s best to just get out the scissors and cut it out because prying it out slowly is just too frustrating and often painful. I learned that it helps to write and create my own dreams.

3)      I learned that LETTING GO AND SURRENDERING is just what God/Creator/Universe needs from me.  In one my darkest moments as I cried uncontrollably in the shower one night asking God for help. I heard God say “Let go of everything as you know it.” In that moment I was at the lowest I have ever been in my entire life. Sometimes we need to hit rock bottom in order to fully listen.

This time I listened and I completely let go. I let go of the marriage, of the things that mattered most to me, of all of the expectations, of the plans and ideas I had for my future, I let go of it all.

Out loud I said, “Okay, God take it all and show me the way, show me what you want me to do, where you want me to go, what you want me to say and to whom”.

There is an old saying, “if you love something set if free, if it’s yours it will come back to you”. I was absolutely amazed to experience this truth firsthand! I had released my attachments and God returned what was most important to me. I learned that when I let go completely God can take over and make it all right. God is omnipotent and knows exactly what is in my highest good. I chose to let God drive my bus and so I can relax and enjoy the scenery as I travel this journey called life.

4)      I learned to TAKE BACK MY POWER. I learned that it never serves me to give my power away, no matter what. I learned that I must always love myself. This means to act in the highest and greatest good of me rather than giving so much to others that I become depleted and resentful. I am not saying that I think I must become selfish, self-serving or hurtful to another. Actually, it really means the opposite, for it is in taking care of me I have more of me to give. Remember, as the flight attendants tell us ‘when the oxygen mask falls, place the mask on your face first and then on children and others’. I chose to take back my power.

5)      I learned that I ALWAYS GET WHAT I ASK FOR, but not necessarily in the form that I expected. I asked God for peace, love and harmony in my home. God responded with divorce. There is an old saying “be careful what you pray for, you just might get it”. Not too long ago, I had expanded my prayer from “Dear God, help us all to get along and love one another” to “Dear God, I ask for Peace, Love and Harmony”. There is a subtle distinction here. In the first prayer I was telling God “how”; in the second prayer, I leave the ‘how’ open for God to decide thus allowing God’s will to be done in my life. I chose to accept God’s will in my life knowing I will always get what is in my highest and best interest.

6)      I learned that NOTHING IS FOREVER, CHANGE IS THE ONLY CONSTANT. When we think something will last forever we often find ourselves at a pivotal moment, that moment of unforeseen change and decision making. I did not expect for one minute that I would be divorced by the end of this summer. Not at all. I had prayed and God responded, obviously He has something better in store for me. I chose to release the past and be open to new possibilities.

7)      I learned ROCK SOLID TRUST. I learned to completely trust in God, to trust in the Universe and trust in a greater good. I thought I knew where my future was headed and I thought would be married until I died. I also thought my life would have turned out differently by now. I chose to let go of the regrets and the wishing it were different. I learned to trust that things have and always will turn out for my highest and greatest good. I may not see it clearly in the moment, but in time it will be revealed to me. I learned to TRUST with all of my being.

8)      I learned I DO NOT KNOW as much as I once thought I did. Sounds weird but the older I get the more I realize I there is nothing that I know for sure. When I was 16 like most teenagers I thought that my mother was an idiot, I thought I knew better than her or any adult. Now at 55 I realize that my mother was one of the most intelligent, one of the most intuitive and most spiritual people I have ever known. The older I get the more I realize I know nothing for sure. The good news is that I don’t need to know, all I really need is to trust in God/Creator/Universe. I give myself permission to not have all the answers.

9)      I learned that I AM NEVER ALONE and THAT LOVE IS ALL AROUND ME. I learned that when I expect love to come in one particular form, like romantic love or love from one special person, I limit myself from receiving the abundance of love that surrounds me. I learned that if my partner dies, or leaves I am not and never will be alone. During these 90 days, new friendships have grown and people I have known have reached out to me in ways I could not imagine. I feel more loved today than I ever have in my entire life. I chose to allow love to come into my life in all its many forms – through family, friends, animals, nature, God and the angels.

10)   I learned that GOD HAS MY BACK. In the first few days of discussing divorce, I was praying and I heard God say “I’ve got this”. I fearfully and angrily responded with, “Really, God? If you’ve got this, then why the hell is my world falling apart? Why is everything I have built crumbling around me? Why is my relationship ending? Why, why, why?”

And, God replied “I’ve got this, I’ve got your back”.

I’ll be honest here, it took a bit of effort on my part, but I did my best to trust what I was experiencing was happening was for my highest good. After all, if God was involved, it had to be good, right? I learned this lesson deep within on a cellular level; I learned that no matter what is happening in my life, God is always there and He always has my back. He’s always just behind the closed door. All I need to do is open the door and let Him in. I chose to let God in.

11)   I learned I DO NOT NEED TO SEE THE WHOLE PLAN. Even though there is a part of me that is curious and would love to know where I am headed and what I will accomplish in this life before I head off to the great beyond, I know it is not necessary. Wanting to see the whole plan just leads to frustration and angst.

My life’s purpose, my reason for being on this planet, was already set in motion before I was born and the real kicker is that I chose it all. I chose all the lessons all the experiences so that I could grow spiritually. We all do. We just do not remember that we chose it all and then we blame and judge and feel like a victim when our lessons come.

Earth is said to be a school where souls come to learn and grow spiritually. It is said that really big souls have really big experiences in Earth School. Well, let me tell you some days I wonder just how big a soul I am! There are days when I want to scream “Enough already with the lessons!” I know that as long as I am on Earth I have more to learn. I chose to let go of my frustrations and my need to see the whole plan.

Along these same lines, I learned I DO NOT NEED TO CONTROL THE PLAN. This is a tough one for me. I like most people would like to believe I am in control of my life. I just said that I planned what lessons I would learn, however, that does not mean I have any control over how life will unfold. The situations and players in my life play are constantly changing and to really add some excitement everyone in the universe has free will. So things may start out going smoothly and steadily in one direction then suddenly what seemed like a smooth and easy life takes a sharp unexpected turn. This is what I call a ‘plot twist’ and I’ll tell you I have had more than my share of plot twists! Just when I think I have it all figured out, clear out of the blue comes a major upheaval! A plot twist! I learned I don’t control the plan and I am really not in control of anything, being in charge is God’s job.

12)   I learned THAT EVERYTHING I NEED IS PROVIDED FOR IN THE MOMENT not a moment sooner. Of course, it helps for me to remember that my timing and God’s timing is often quite different. In looking back over these 55 years I am grateful to have always had a roof over my head, food in my belly, and friends and family who were there for me when the going got tough. What else do I really need? Knowing that everything I need is provided for in the moment, allows me to relax knowing that I am safe and secure in the universe.

13)   I learned THERE ARE GIFTS IN EVERY SITUATION. In every situation, in every experience, there is always a gift and there is always a lesson. Every person I encounter, every situation that I experience has hidden gift within it. When I find that gift and learn that lesson that is the moment I set myself free. Once I learn the lesson I am free to move to the next level of development. I only need to repeat those lessons that I did not learn. I chose to always look for and find the gifts and lessons.

14)   I learned that FORGIVING IS THE KEY TO MY FREEDOM. Do I ever get angry? Do I ever think that life is unfair? Yes, at times admit that I do. However, I know that if I hold a grudge and continue to be angry either toward someone or about something I only hurt myself. It is when I lay down my sword and release the negative feelings and emotions that I truly FREE myself. Being angry at another person or a situation is like me drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Negative emotions such as anger, resentment, regret, grief or guilt directed toward others or toward myself only harms me. What could possibly be more important, to hold a grudge and be angry; or to be FREE and move on in life with a happy heart? I chose moving on with a happy forgiving heart. As Mother Theresa said, people will be thoughtless, cruel and mean, love them anyway. I found through these 90 days that I was really very angry at myself. My healing began when I forgave myself. Of course, as with any other loss the grief of divorce takes time to heal. However, just the practice of forgiving myself made me feel 100% better. I chose forgiveness of myself as well as others.

15)   I learned that THE BEST REVENGE IS A HAPPY LIFE. I am not a vengeful person, so it took a while before I could let it sink in when a close friend said this to me about halfway through the divorce. I admit I was a little stuck on the word ‘revenge’. When it did settle in I realized how true it is. Being happy is good for me and for everyone around me. Living a happy life enhances the immune system and keeps us healthy longer. As Abraham-Hicks says “Happy, healthy, happy, healthy, dead.” Meaning that we don’t have to die a long slow painful death. We can be happy and healthy until the day we die. No matter what happens, I chose a happy life.

16)   I learned THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY TO CONQUER NEGATIVITY. I learned that no matter what comes at me or how evil a force it feels like I am battling, there is only one antidote and that is LOVE. I learned that when someone or something is against me, instead of raising my sword and fighting, the only way to deal with the situation is through LOVE. It is when I become a Luminous Warrior, a warrior of LOVE and LIGHT that I can defeat any foe. During these 90 days, I have learned a little more about loving people where they are, loving them for who they are, and loving them no matter how they are behaving in any given moment. I learned that the only way through a difficult situation is to cultivate inner peace. This inner peace then pours out to the situation and heals through LOVE and understanding.

17)   I learned a deeper understanding of the POWER OF FAITH. Faith gives me the confidence to make it through even the most challenging times. Things may not turn out the way I hoped or the way I planned. Yet, what I have learned is that I will be okay, no matter what. With faith and trust in God/Creator/Universe I cultivate an inner knowing that I am completely protected and guided by a power greater than myself. I know deep within, without a shadow of a doubt, that things will work out; they always have and always will. One of my favorite sayings is “if it is not okay, it’s not the end!”

Even as I wrote this list I realize that it is not complete and will continue to be a work in progress.

If you found this at all helpful, I invite you to share it in its entirety.

Thanks, for taking the time to read to the end.

©2013 Victorea Luminary

Victorea Luminary (f/k/a Andrea Mincsak) - Trauma Transformation Guide & Animal Whisperer. Specializing in transforming abuse, trauma, and adverse experiences. Transforming trauma allows you to release the blocks, struggles, and self-sabotaging behaviors/patterns that have held you back from living the life you are meant to live. Experience profound personal growth. Visit www.VictoreaLuminary.com to learn more about private sessions and classes.