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"Write what you know," they said.

Write what you know. We've all heard that phrase. To a writer, it can be either reassuring or panic inducing. At times, I don't know anything, but then other times, my knowledge is so abundant that it's hard to narrow it down.

One thing which will be obvious to regular readers of this blog is that I've known pain. Horrible, gut wrenching, eviscerating pain. I hope it is equally obvious that I've known love.

Great. Two extremely limited topics...

Today's focus is love. If you have been through a divorce, you might be a little afraid of that concept. Divorce, especially nonconsensual divorce, can make us feel like something is wrong with us. We become more vulnerable than we might like to admit and building walls to "protect" ourselves is a pretty common practice. We want to remain safely separated from others, keeping them at arm's length will shield our heart from being broken again. Or so we think.

We often forget that we are love. It isn't merely something that we "do" or "choose." We really are made of pure, unconditional love that connects us to everyone. Hey, even the people we don't like and even the people who don't know or care what they're made of. Even our exes. When we build walls, far more than rejecting others, we're rejecting the love that is us, the love energy that we're meant to share with the world.

We stay focused on the pain and anger because they are less challenging emotions. We've already got them and we know how they feel. Hope is scary, right? We don't know what tomorrow will bring- we hoped for a great marriage and look what happened. Do we dare believe for something amazing? Would we feel worthy of it anyway?

I was almost there. I was so bruised and broken that I wanted to move somewhere where I'd never been and didn't know a living soul. My main goal behind moving to a place where nobody knew me wasn't because I was looking forward to starting a fantastic new life. Because of the repeated divorce threats I'd lived under over the past years, I was sick of 'splaining my situation to friends and family. I wanted to move so nobody I knew would see my implosion and I could exist invisibly. And honestly, I didn't want to see a bright future for myself; part of me felt like I was betraying my marriage if I dared hope for anything. Besides, I probably didn't deserve much anyway.

Fortunately, love is a hard habit to break. There must have been some little bit of it somewhere within me that kept telling me I would thrive, and to keep expecting everything that was part of the plan for my life. Some days I wanted to give up, but sometimes, I dared to hope, just a little. I kept my heart open a crack, sometimes light got in.

If you are struggling with the pain and anger that comes with divorce, remember not to let that negativity become your new normal. Yes the future is unknown, but that doesn't mean you should fear it. These emotions suck to have, and of course we can't just wish them away, but I didn't realize early that I could make a choice. I'm in control of my emotions and I can either let the pain and anger define me or dare to return to hope and let love flow- for myself and for others.

You are love, the most beautiful thing in the universe- of course you deserve a beautiful life to match. Let your love energy take over, and believe for the best. Like the White Queen advised Alice in Through the Looking Glass, try to believe "as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

By staying open, an amazing relationship came into my life, with an incredible man who believes in love as much as I do and even better, knows that it is what we all are. Thank God I didn't move to Tampa.

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