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Love was, Love is

Love was like the nicknacks on the mantle. Just sitting up there every day, unnoticed except once in a while when we dusted them. After many years of marriage, we were “content.“

Actually numb. I made the decision to get a divorce after twenty-five years of marriage. These are my thoughts five years later.

I’m immensely happy I made the decision to free myself and nearly mortified that I almost didn’t.

Up there sat our love, dormant for years, while I continued exploring, growing, wanting, needing, spreading on my own.

Instead of encouragement, I came to expect subtle barbs of resentment and passive jealousy even when “trying to get along.”

I was as unnoticed and unappreciated as the nicknacks. I feared becoming one of them.

I finally realized that love is an active verb for me, not just a collection of memories and old ideas to dust off on cleaning day. Love means growing together, not just growing old together.

My partner was “content.” The more I tried to figure out how I could save things, the more I became aware of the distance between us.

I tried everything. I had to try everything to assuage my guilt. Looking back I see there was no need to feel guilty for growing without my partner. Being in the middle of the storm fogs our vision.

I was the worst kind of lonely. Alone with a partner. Slowly withering inside my cage of so-called security and habit.

The mind ramped up attempts to confuse me with chatter of grim practicalities and details. I finally realized that allowing the chatter to continue was effectively sheltering me from decision. As long as I couldn’t figure it all out, I couldn’t take any steps. Indecision was my decision for two years.

I began to ask questions of my very core and was surprised to admit my core was as clear as it was quiet. Amidst the busy mind’s blather, my core smiles in simplicity. Then whispers gently of wisdom, love and life.

I finally admitted what I already knew in my core. In the long run, we’d both be a lot better off separately. With a good friend’s encouragement, I said the words, “I want a divorce.”

I felt horrible about it.

Prayers, affirmations, friends, family, and even my sons, whom I thought may shun me, helped a great deal. They kept me knowing my core.

Yes, death occurred, but so did birth. Death to my willingness to settle for less than full life. Death to the silent shame and guilt I’d carried for outgrowing my partner. But not death to our relationship.

We went separate ways. We’re both far happier. We’re still friends with great memories that we dust off and share once in a while, and smile.

The transition to single was hard but so worth the pain. So much newness was hard to deal with at times. And sometimes I felt like I wasn’t whole after being with someone for so long. But I could tell immediately that life was getting better even in the midst of the unpleasant details. No question that it was one of the very best decisions I ever made. I’m so much more than whole now.

And Wow! What a birth! I’m glad I didn’t wait one more minute before starting the hard steps that led to this renewed life.

Courage really is rewarded in this life. As it turns out, I’d only seen only a small glimmer of the wonder that is life now.

Spirit, soul, body and mind are vibrant and alive. Creativity flourishes, blooms, dances and is delightfully unruly.

Certainly I have challenges of growth, WooHoo, but no longer challenges of guilt or burden.

And it just keeps getting better!

I’m beginning to know how glorious and BIG life can be. I’m enjoying life far beyond what I even imagined with someone who appreciates and encourages me, and grows! That’s what love is.

~J. B. Broome 8/26/16