Post divorce, weddings become a touchy subject.
Do I still love weddings or do I now hate them? Some divorcees despise going to weddings. It brings to surface all the broken dreams and promises, a painful reminder of all that could have been and all that wasn’t. Seeing the bride and groom walking down to one another, facing each other under the wedding canopy filled with laughter and love stirs a painful yearning within; a wish that things had been different and the hope for them to still be that way.
Forgiveness is one of the hardest elements of divorce; not forgiving our ex but forgiving ourselves. Forgiving ourselves for making the best decision we could with the information we had at the time, forgiving ourselves for not leaving earlier, forgiving ourselves for not seeing the signs, forgiving ourselves if for no other reason than it frees us from our past, from who we used to be and makes room for who we want to be now. We ourselves are the hardest person to forgive because we are hardest on ourselves, we are our own worst critics. We’ve all heard it said, “you can’t love others until you love yourself.” The same goes for forgiveness. once we’ve forgiven ourselves, forgiving others becomes inconsequential
Nadia Bolz-Weber in her video “Why You Should Forgive Assholes” says;
“Forgiveness is about being a freedom fighter and free people are the most dangerous people; free people aren’t controlled by the past, free people laugh more than others, free people see beauty where others do not”
And then there are those who still simply love weddings. They are the people who have forgiven themselves and freed themselves from their pasts. They look at a beautiful couple and see hope and love and believe in it. They believe in the possibilities love can bring –the strength and power it can imbue in us.
A few weeks ago I was at a wedding at Anthony’s Pier 9 in New Windsor, NY. It was a beautiful event where my friend was marrying off his son, alongside his son’s mother and her husband. It was the most touching display of love; two people who may not be a marital team any longer, but remain a strong parental force bounded by none other than their love for their children. As they walked their son down the aisle, the epitomized #divorcegoals.
The couple stood together, facing one another, comfortable in each other’s presence, relishing and devouring the moment together. They looked at one another not just as lovers but as best friends, the kind of love country songs are made of. In that moment with tears in my eyes, I took it all in. I took in the love all around me.
We all want to believe in happily ever after but realistically, that just may not happen. Romantic, everlasting love may not be in my future and not because I don’t want it or because I’m being a pessimist but because it’s just not in the cards for everyone. But love, love is in everyone’s deck. The choice to choose love, of any kind, the choice to see love all around you is something that’s available to us all. Love in forgiveness, love in self growth, love in the nighttime cuddles of our kids, love in that one person who always checks in on us and love just for love’s sake,
Life hasn’t always been kind and neither have people but I refuse to live in a world, to raise my kids in a world where love doesn’t win.
Photos courtesy of https://cschvarcz.com/blog and http://www.davidzimand.com