Bali. I want to tell you about my adventures there, and I will. I promise. But first…
“Do the best you can where you are, and be kind.” Scott Nearing
This quote hung on the walls of my office for 3 years. And now, I proudly displayed it in my home office where I see it daily. Do the best you can. Be kind. While those seem like such simple instructions, they certainly aren’t always easy to follow. Last night was my moment of truth. I attended the wedding of a dear friend of mine. His extended family and mine have been longtime friends. There aren’t many memories from my childhood and beyond that didn’t involve this family.
I introduced my ex-husband to the family, and they quickly adopted him as one of their own too. And then divorce happened, albeit friendly, but still a divorce. So last night was the first time I faced my ex-husband in a public setting since we were married. AND…he brought the new girlfriend.
To say I wasn’t a tad nervous would be a lie. How would I react? Would I love her? Hate her? Should I be a witch and ignore them all night (the smallest part of me wanted to so badly). While these thoughts plagued me, at the same time I knew in the depths of my soul I’d be okay. I pulled up to the reception and following me into the parking lot was my ex. I took a deep breath, said a quick prayer and opened my door just as he was stepping out beside me. He embraced me in a big hug, just as he always has, which immediately calmed any nerves I may have had. He may be my ex, but he’s also a dear friend (and I’m fortunate for that). But then, the girlfriend stepped out of the truck.
There was the tiniest fraction of time where I wondered, “Do I shake her hand, give her the cold shoulder, or embrace her with love?” I opted for that last fleeting thought because at my core, I knew she was special to my ex. So, with a big smile and my arms stretched wide, we embraced. As time momentarily stood still, I realized that I didn’t have to love her. And I didn’t have to hate her either. I just had to do the best I could at that moment. And in that moment, I felt nothing but happiness for her and my ex.
Forgiveness is a hard. It’s EASY to harbor feelings of anger, bitterness and hate. He wronged me. He ruined my life. He crushed my dreams, etc. These are all statements we tell ourselves to justify our negative feelings, regardless of the truth in them. Learning to love the new you and your new journey, that’s hard. Letting go of what was and embracing all that can be, that’s hard. Learning to forgive him for wrong doings, as well as forgiving yourself for leaving when the world said you should stay, that’s hard.
For over a year, I worked my tail off to let go. And, I’d done a pretty decent job of moving forward with my life. But then the magic of Bali happened. I left the last pieces of my baggage and bitterness on that island. I’m sincerely happy for my ex and his new companion. I’m even more excited about all my future has to offer. I have great things in the works that I can’t wait to share those with you. For now, I’m doing the best I can with where I am at this moment in life. And most importantly, I’m choosing to be kind – to my ex, his new girlfriend, my grumpy coworker and even my rude neighbor. Life is too short to be but kind!
Much love and kindness my friends, Mandi