So the question I most often get asked is, “How did you get here? You look like you have it all, you enjoy life and it shows.” To which I reply, “It wasn’t easy getting to this place, but I would not change a thing.”
Most people see my pictures on Instagram and Facebook having fun and enjoying life; all while making sure my kids are taken care of and running my own business. What they fail to realize is that this didn’t happen overnight; it required a lot of work in therapy, prayer and self-reflection. I always say everyone has a come to Jesus moment in their life and mine was my divorce. It’s not that I didn’t believe in GOD but I would say I was a lazy Christian. That all changed the day I filed for divorce because all I had was GOD. I found another church home and started attending weekly bible study as well as Sunday’s service with one of my best friends Britany.
I yearned for something deeper and I realized that only GOD could provide me with what I needed. I also found a prayer partner at the discretion of my pastor and that was probably the single best advice I could have ever been given. I called on Mrs. Dion for that role, with whom I already had an existing relationship with. I remember the day I asked her to be that for me and tears filled her eyes. That day she committed to guide me, speak God’s word to me and most importantly pray with and for me. She has remained committed to me and my kids even after I moved to Texas. We speak at least once a week if not more and I’m so thankful for her because she has gotten me through some of my darkest days where light didn’t even seem possible.
My ex-husband and I spent years of our marriage in therapy. We initially went for one thing but we quickly realized we had more things we needed to work on. I know what some people will say, you went to a therapist and you still got a divorce. The trick with therapy is it only works if you’re willing to do the work. It’s not easy, it gets deep and emotions are high. The truth can/will make you uncomfortable but it makes all the difference if you’re willing to let your guard down.
After I filed for divorce, I spent the next few years in therapy working on myself. To find the place where I could figure out who I was and begin to love myself more than any person could ever love me. I realized self-love is the best love. You won’t be able to receive or give love to anyone else if you don’t love yourself first. Like most women, I lost myself somewhere along the way. My identity was tied to who I was married to and my kids. I didn’t realize it at the time; I should have corrected people when they addressed me as his wife or their mother. My name is Alicia, I’m a wife, mother, student, and philanthropist but there was so much more to me than that and it all would come in therapy.
Working on you is not easy. It requires you to take a deep look in the mirror and pick out all your flaws. Who wants to do that? My therapist told me that this is the only way I would get to the place where I was whole again. I had to figure out how I got here, my role in the demise of our marriage, my childhood, where I wanted to be and the list goes on. I started to build myself back up one step at a time. I wanted to give up many nights but my prayer partner reminded me of how much better I would be if I did the work.
I only speak of this because I know many women and men have gone or are going through something similar. If you are dealing with something like this, I encourage you to exhaust every possibility to work it out; you owe it to yourself and your spouse. Divorce is hard, it took every emotion I had and left me empty. I had to quickly learn to re-build myself. Nothing about divorce is fun, it will take a toll on everyone involved. Even if both parties agree they want the divorce, it just takes you through an emotional rollercoaster that no one can prepare you for. It’s not easy but I made my decision based on my circumstances.
Some of my close friends have gone through or are going through a divorce and some have reached out to me for advice. My advice is always the same, to get on your knees and pray. I also advise them to get a journal and start writing in it. Jot down your thoughts, feelings and how you got to this place. It doesn’t have to be anything deep. It’s you talking to GOD in the most intimate way. Eventually, you will be able to use what you have written and turn your words into a prayer.
Then, you will have a starting point for self-reflecting. That is one of the hardest things I think we as humans can do. Who wants to look in the mirror and find their flaws? Not I, but sitting in therapy and having a prayer partner after my divorce was exactly what I needed to do to get to the place I am at today. It took time, but I did it. I am comfortable and proud of who I have become, which is why I can enjoy life. I’m at peace. I’m in control of me. I’m happy. I’m joyful. I smile…I know God is always working!
I don’t have all the answers; I just know what worked for me. Remember, the best thing you can do is work on yourself and everything else will fall into place!
“Self-reflection is the art of thinking with yourself in the darkest hours of your life.”~unknown