In Times of Great Pain

Today I write with a heavy heart, because two persons I love very much are separating. They have three young children and feel as if their world has imploded. Every time I think about them, I feel a profound sadness wash over me as if for a brief moment I am living their lives.

It is at moments like this that I feel the deepest connection with all of you going through a divorce. Yes, I write about it, I think about it, it is my daily work. Yet, still, there is a separateness when I am in my head. All of a sudden, upon getting that phone call from these two people I love so much, I am fully in my heart. I feel the pain and loss and terrible grief that overwhelms them, these same feelings that have probably overwhelmed you as well.

I know what you are going through and how awful it can be, but the best way I can help is not to join you in your pain but to tell you what good can come of this. In the words of David Whyte, there is an “internal dismemberment” that each of us has to go through at some point in our life – to change, to grow and to move on to a new stage of life. You are “clearing out of your own way” to make space for what’s to come. It is precisely when you are in this place where you don’t have control and feel the most vulnerable that you are most yourself.

What I want to say to you and my two beloved friends is this: This is not a place of weakness. This is your chance to examine yourself and find what’s truly important for your own life. In times of great pain, there is always great opportunity… so as much as you can, accept the process, go into it and learn what you are there to learn.