Every day I see people dealing with major life changes, and often times this will send people on a soul-searching expedition, where they will question their past, their present, and for sure their future. Now, some of us may take a lot longer and delve a lot deeper than others on this mission to better understand ourselves and those around us. Let me be very honest, this is not an exercise for the faint at heart.
In my professional life, as a divorce lawyer, I have to stay focused on getting my clients through the legal process, but quite often they will share with me little glimpses into how this becomes a life altering event for them that impacts various other facets of their lives. While I’ve been hearing this for over 15 years now, nothing can do justice to what the experience is like until you go down the rabbit hole yourself.
Over the last 8 years, in my own post-divorce life, there has been an undeniable radical transformation within me. It is so sad to think that losing my best friend was the catalyst that led me to where I am today– that without that loss, so much good would never have occurred. Unfortunately, that de-stabilizing event is probably the only thing that would cause me to face my greatest fears. Only then, did I dig deep into my past, and that’s when I realized that I had to find my dad in order to find peace. I opened up my greatest wounds, not because I’m a sadist, but because it became quite obvious that I had to reopen old injuries that were never fully processed in order to let myself properly heal.
It is very painful to expose your vulnerabilities– especially to yourself. Many of us would like to think that we are perfect, however, the reality is of course that no one is– but what I needed to understand is that you don’t have to be perfect to be worthy of love. Finding my dad, and then connecting with his whole side of my family over the last two years has brought out a very brave side of me– and it is not at all a coincidence. When you no longer care what others think; when you know that your core group will love you no matter what, it becomes an amazing source of strength in life.
Post-divorce life will not be easy for anyone, and we will all continue to have to face difficult challenges until our final day comes. The Rabbit Hole journey has completely changed my perspective on many things, and at times, I admit I thought I was going to die from emotional overload, but not only did I not die, I thrived. I came out ten times stronger, and this is my hope for the rest of you that decide not to just take some stupid happy pill and numb the pain. Don’t numb the pain– embrace it!
By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.