When I was hot-smack in the middle of my divorce, I had a lot of requests for my soon-to-be ex-husband.

I had an entire list of things I wanted from him. In my mind, everything I listed was reasonable, fair and of course, was the “right” thing for him to do.

I wanted him to play nice. I wanted him to agree to a fair settlement. I wanted him to get a lawyer so we could get this party over. I wanted him to sell the house.  

If only, he’d do all of these things.

Then this divorce would be okay.  

Wait. What? There was the truth— my own fear of how painful this divorce was going to feel.

Not once did I consider what his list was of me nor did I contemplate the very idea that I had no business making him a list. 

I was all up in his business — and in doing so, I believe I surrendered all my real power— the power to be in this very real moment. 

The power to shift my own perspective about how best to navigate the most muddy of waters. The power to feel everything that comes when you disentangle your life from another’s.

How often do we say to ourselves– “If only, he’d …. or she’d….”–I find myself wishing and only-ing more times than I’d like to admit to you on this page.

I made lists for him instead of asking myself tough questions like:

  • how do I forgive him and me for all that has happened?
  • how do I trust myself again?
  • how does my heart move in the world again?

Those were so close to the nerve of pain, I got all caught up in what he was doing instead of letting those questions break me open.

Now, I know that when I go down the “if only” path, there may be something closer to my heart that I am trying to protect.

I tread gently with myself.

I trust that in that moment, I will greet myself with compassion, with curiosity, and, with love – because my own heart is a much better place to be asking questions of.

I remember that I am human and sometimes I’m not ready yet to ask the hard questions. And that’s okay too.