When you do one thing differently, you dissolve patterns and prove to yourself that there is life beyond the familiar. I’m not going to pretend that dissolving patterns is always a smooth process; often, it’s anything but. My now ex-husband was hardly happy that I was no longer playing our game.
Our game went like this: He kicked me out, and I went back to him. Once I showed him that I wasn’t playing anymore, he was, of course, outraged.
We can’t give our lives away to avoid someone else’s anger, demands, or needs. I did that for much too long, and it practically killed me. I had to do something different regardless of the outcome.
As I have said, for a long time I thought divorce wasn’t possible for me. I was too frightened of the consequences if I left. It seemed unfathomable to go through the exposure of having done something terrible. But eventually, I had to face my terror and my shame. And guess what? It didn’t annihilate me. The ground didn’t crumble beneath me. I’m still standing … and I have more personal power today than I ever thought possible. If I can do that, so can you.
And it all started with that one different choice.
What in your life would you like to change? For me, divorce seemed like too big a step at first. It would have been too big a leap for me to tell my then husband I wanted to leave, even after he’d kicked me out that last time. But I could make one different choice—the choice to take some time off instead of going right back to him. That choice inched me closer to being able to ultimately ask for a divorce.
Sometimes, you have to tiptoe an inch at a time toward a new life. That’s okay. Each step you take will give you more courage.
When you choose to do even one thing differently, you take a step toward disassembling structures you have had in place for a while—maybe many years.
You may find yourself staring at a pile of rubble for a period of time. But eventually, you will begin to rebuild. A little rubble never hurt anybody.
If your life were a house, would it have been condemned long ago? If so, it’s time to make a different choice.
Tell me, what’s your one different choice?