It’s been just over four months since my husband and I separated. This has been a really tough transition for me, especially since this is my second marriage. The dissolution of one marriage can make you feel like a failure. The dissolutions of a second? I don’t even want to go there.
But here I am.
It’s been a real struggle to get through this without completely losing my shit. The anger and grief have been overwhelming at times. But, four months on, it’s getting, well, less of a struggle.
One thing that’s really helped me has been to create a ritual. Now, I’m not a creature of habit, and I’m not particularly good at doing something every day. The whole “do a little bit every day” thing doesn’t work for me. If it works for you, that's awesome. If not, that’s okay. We can create other rituals that suit us better.
My ritual is to paint—artwork, not walls.
I don’t force myself to paint. I paint when the spirit moves me, or when my emotions overtake me. I paint when my feelings come bubbling up like lava from a volcano. The act of creating artwork helps prevent me from blowing up or melting down. Sometimes. That’s not to say I don’t ever blow up or melt down. We need to have our emotions overtake us sometimes. But, more importantly, we need a healthy outlet to express our emotions.
Mine go into my paintings.
The wonderful thing is that it’s not just grief and anger that go onto the canvas. It’s not just a meditation on separation and abandonment. It’s beauty and connection. It’s the emotion of power and the reclaiming of Self. Thank god, because that’s what I most need right now. For a while there I felt as if I had lost myself. My paintings have helped me find myself again.
What transition are you going through right now? Most of us are going through one. It doesn’t have to be as big as a separation, a divorce, illness, the death of a loved one, the moving away of a child, a career change, or the selling of a home. It could be contemplating what to do or who to be in the next stage of your life. It could be grappling with aging and looking back on what you’ve done with your life. It could be dreading an upcoming reunion or a family get-together.
Think about what transition you’re going through.
What ritual are you using to help you get through this transition? Do you have a ritual?
You can write, or run, or dance. You can sing, or bike, or bake. You can start a fundraiser or volunteer at a charity.
You could also start smoking, overeating, watching too much TV, or drinking. Though I don’t recommend those.
Leave a comment and let me know what you’re going through and how you’re dealing with it.