One of the hardest parts of coping with divorce and then seeing my ex and I begin dating is dealing with the “what ifs.” Seeing each of us become the people we intended to be but with others ate at me and made me wonder why we couldn’t get it right when we were married. That subsequently sent me on a downward spiral all into my feelings with thoughts of the other ways that people weren’t who I needed them to be. I could fill volumes with how I felt rejected and hurt. Even when I came to understand how neither my ex nor I met each other’s needs and how we needed to grow (without the security or mire of marriage), there was still something unsettled in me. I now understand why that is.

What had been tripping me up was thinking that my experiences were supposed to be about people- finding the right person, being the right person, surrounding myself with the right people- as though if I got the characters right, then my life would be what it was supposed to be. I could not be further from the truth.

When I spend my energy focusing on the lessons from those experiences, realizing that every experience comes to teach you something about your divinity and humanity, I can be at peace with those relationships. I can see that the players were exactly who they were supposed to be to bring about a new understanding and life lesson. If I focus on the “who” and not the “what,” I miss the whole point. Even Judas had a divine purpose. If he hadn’t fulfilled his destiny, then Jesus wouldn’t have been crucified and we might not understand that going through the motions of faith alone won’t save us.

In this new year in my life, I hope to concentrate on the lessons and not the people. I hope to remember that each person is on their own journey fulfilling their life’s purpose. I hope to be thankful for the people who come into my life and celebrate their humanity. I hope to be present in the experience and learn the lessons. I hope to apply the lesson. I hope that when my lesson is over, I can gracefully and with integrity move on with peace and understanding in my heart.

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