As I near some upcoming “milestones” related to my past marriage and divorce (day I got married – 10/21/06, weeks leading into separation – right around now, separation, 10/31/08), a very touching conversation I had recently, and reading this blog post from I’m Gonna Break Your Heart, I more than ever realize that strength comes almost entirely from one source when you are tested in this capacity.

The power within.

In the midst of the realization that your marriage may be heading towards separation – or worse – divorce, the immediate fear, panic, and pain are almost unbearable. It’s blinding. And it’s raw.You’re empty. And it’s not something you want to talk about with anyone, admitting the reality of things, feeling ashamed. But somehow, as time passes, and you start taking steps towards healing, you realize that you can do it.

…it’s the power within.

You realize that you are better, stronger, smarter, and a hell of a lot more worthwhile someone who loves you for all that you are (and even, for all that you aren’t), who doesn’t want to change you, who jives with your personality in every way (complementary, not mirror image), who challenges you to be a better you, who can accept the challenge of being a better him, who is devoted, and caring, and genuine, and honest, and real. You realize that the man that you were married to might not be you’re one and only. As hard as it is to imagine, you start to realize that maybe you’re better off alone, to find the one you’re meant to be with.

The power within.

You realize divorce is not a failure. That it is an accomplishment (in a sense), that being alone is something to be cherished, to be learned, to learn to love. You realize who your friends are, who aren’t your friends, and true colors of all of those around you. You realize the circle you’ve built is because you’ve built it. Because you are worthy and they realize it.

.…it’s the power within.

And suddenly, you’re doing it. You’re smiling again. You’re eyes shine. You embrace the days that you don’t talk to a single soul, except your cats, reading a book, in complete silence. You fill your days with friends, family, and you. You learn new things. You challenge yourself. You set goals. You not only achieve them, you kick the crap out of those goals. You redefine you and it’s a better, stronger, more resilient you.

The power within.

And then, you realize that your life is full. It’s rich with the life you’ve built. You look around and smile and feel healed, and the closure you want and need quietly appears. You’ve arrived.

The power is you.