Last week when I was in Maui, the woman I was working with – Sophia – picked me up at the airport. We drove to run an errand, and then headed to our first appointment of the weekend. At some point, she turned the corner to drive parallel to the beach. As she did, she said, “I came to this beach this morning to say a blessing and to ask that the weekend serve your highest good.”
My mouth gaped open.
Not because of the blessing.
But because it was the exact same beach that my ex-husband had told me that he wanted to get a divorce, 8 years ago.
It was in that moment that I didn’t care what happened during my weekend with Sophia, I knew it was all being divinely orchestrated to give me whatever I needed.
But first, back to that day on with beach with my ex-husband.
We were on vacation with my parents, his mother, both of my brothers and their families – all celebrating my mom’s 70th birthday. It wasn’t a convenient time to announce you’d like to get divorced, if you know what I mean.
But – and this is the part that’s important – because I didn’t want to ruin everybody else’s good time, I shed a handful of tears on the beach, then wiped them away and went back to the party. I didn’t tell anyone. I pretended like everything was ok, when I was falling apart on the inside.
And I as I spoke about this with Sophia, it became clear that the beach moment with my ex-husband wasn’t significant in my life because of the words he told me that day, but rather, because I put everyone else’s needs above my own.
I didn’t want people to be uncomfortable.
I didn’t want to ruin their good time.
I didn’t want to take all of the attention to deal with my problems.
I didn’t think that the thing that was tearing me apart on the inside was worth inconveniencing them for.
My time in Maui last week was many things, but one of the main things was about taking up space, letting my needs matter the most, claiming my right as a person to have needs. (And, trust me, I’ve done a ton of work on this, but this was next level taking up space.)
I developed the muscle memory treating myself with the love I extend to others. (And as I result, I have more love to extend to others.)
Something about doing this in a place where I had such a distinctly different experience felt like a full circle. I could see that I wasn’t that woman who returned to her family gathering 8 years ago, trying to act as if nothing was wrong. I could see that I didn’t need to carry her invisibility anymore.
And I knew that I would never allow myself to be invisible or have a need go unaddressed again in favor of someone else’s comfort.
The proof is in the pudding.
Two days ago, I could see circumstances starting to swirl around me in a familiar dynamic of one where I’d typically put my needs aside with my family. I wasn’t angry, I wasn’t sad; I was just really clear that I wasn’t available to participate with this kind of behavior anymore.
I took a giant leap…and left. I don’t yet know what’s on the other side, but I do know that I’m taking up more space in the universe these days. And when we take up more space, the universe meets us with bigger things to accommodate the space we occupy. (More opportunity, more money, more love, more of what we want.)
This is the power of breaking patterns.
We all have patterns. And it’s so easy to write them off in the day to day experience of them as no big deal. But when they influence the way you live your life so much that it keeps you small, the patterns that run you are a big deal.
It doesn’t mean something is wrong, or that you are broken. In fact, you are human.
It just means that breaking the pattern could totally change your life.
And wouldn’t that be fun?