During the past year I asked my husband for a divorce, sold our family home, lived with 2 friends while waiting to close on my condo, moved into said condo, transitioned my daughter into a new pre-school and began a whole new routine as a single parent. The truth is the past year has been really hard, and while life after divorce has actually been freeing and peaceful in many ways, resentment has been something plaguing me on the daily.
I’ve gotten very caught up in feeling completely unappreciated by my ex. I do 100% of the school care, packing of lunches, all the drop offs and pick ups, all the sick days and snow days, all the doctors appointments, all the school paperwork (why are there so many kindergarten forms??) and of course all my own home care, dishes, cooking and currently all the financial responsibilities for things like daycare are solely on my shoulders too. I love having my daughter as much as I do and wouldn’t change that for anything, but with all the difficulties of the past year I’ve really got stuck in my resentful thoughts. Like, how hard is it for my ex to say thank you for taking good care of our child, or some kind of acknowledgement of how much I do? Why does this even matter to me? Why can’t I just know in my heart that I’m doing a good job? Why do I still look for his validation? Why, why, why?
A wave of peace came over me the other day when I thought about just letting the resentment go. Feeling that sense of peace really made me realize how angry and resentful I have become so I’m working on changing my thoughts. I deeply believe in being compassionate, loving and kind, in both my actions and my thoughts, but it’s been hard for me to stir those feelings towards someone who didn’t treat me well, who doesn’t see me for who I really am.
But feeling resentful is only hurting ME. What’s that saying? Holding onto anger is like picking up a hot coal with the intention of throwing it at someone — you’re the only one who gets burned. I’m tired of hurting myself by holding onto my negative thoughts instead of actively working to let them go. I don’t think this is about working to not have the negative thoughts but instead, noticing them and choosing to not follow them down a spiral of not-so-good feelings.
I remember during the early months of the divorce process feeling like that time period was never going to end. It was excruciating and I couldn’t picture what being on the other side of it would be like. I’m proud that I’ve made it through everything that I have and wonder if this part of my life is supposed to teach me a lesson in letting go of resent. When I successfully lessen the noise of my negative thoughts, my mind and body both feel lighter and happier. Changing my mindset is hard, but to be happy and move forward, I choose peace.
This is the first post of a week-long CT Working Moms blog series.