‘Rescinding your vows’ – a step towards liberation

Whilst the legal process of my divorce was finalised a few years ago now, there were still parts of me that have felt married. It’s an ongoing process of unhooking from being and identifying as being a wife. A legal document ends a marriage in the eyes of the law yet our heart operates differently. It takes time to heal in amongst letting go and finally coming to a place where you are ready to step into the new.

I valued and respected my marriage vows – in the eyes of the Church and God. Even-though I wasn’t a religious person these vows still packed a mighty punch within me. Strongly anchored me into a time and place that was no longer more. I felt like I had betrayed so many by these vows being broken. Least of all myself.

Early after my divorce I had read about the power of ritual especially for the ending of long term relationships. To create for yourself a ritual of gratitude for what was, releasing and inviting the new. At the time I did create a ritual for myself at the one year mark of the ending of my marriage. Here now though another 4 years on I still felt strongly hooked to these vows.

It came to me to visit the Church that I was married in and perform a gratitude and cleaning ritual at that place, on the church grounds. Tricky thing was it was over 3,000 km from where I currently lived.

I had however arranged a trip back home to celebrate my 50th birthday. I committed on this journey to revisit this sacred place and release the vows I had made and myself from them and in doing so any associated guilt.

It was an extremely cathartic experience. To be on that land, to review and reflect. To let go. To give thanks. To make peace with myself, other and the outplay of events.

I felt to include the rescinding of vows ceremony I undertook. It is below.

Perhaps the same process could be healing for you? I would welcome your comments on this.




On location,
 
Sit, ground, connect to all times present, past and future
 
Expand to take it all ‘in’, hold the space necessary
 
 
I release
 
I draw back to me
 
I rescind the vows made at this church in holy matrimony to xxxxx in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit with love, gratitude and humility.
 
In doing so I pull back to me any energy, aspects, dynamics and unfulfilled potential separated at that point.

Bring all of me back here now, to anchor, to take up residence if it is still in alignment with planetary plan and purpose.
 
I also clear and rescind any vows made and connections established to his family, my family in the name of God. 

I move forward with an open and compassionate heart

“the wounded wife”

‘She’ is a tricky one to manoeuvre, this wounded wife.  Constantly being projected onto, activated, judged and suppressed.  Yet playing out in any moment of disempowerment or fear.  ‘She’ sits in the ‘ocean of life’ touching all who hurt.  Latching on, plugging you in to this sea of wounding.  The collective pool of unresolved, unloved and rejected pain carried deep in the psyche.  Many have swum in here before you arrived, and many more will come.

Choosing to remove yourself takes a willingness to ignore the pull of, the force of the collective.  There will be no praise, no support to do this.  On your own you will be.

The female psyche has experienced much wounding, you choosing to heal your wounds and transmute your feelings and step out of the pool is a powerful process which leaves an imprint of love and hope for those that come after you.

Swim in the pool, move the waters, disperse the stagnation, loosen yourself, release these ties that bind.  Leave your mark.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

‘She’ feels unloved, not valued, as if her life is given to others only to have it thrown back in her face.  Rejected, expired, forgotten.  All her time and effort – her life – given away without anyone seeing.  Seeing what she gave, what she lost and what she was doing it all for.  For the family.  A structure she built, valued and prized above all.  Yet now the structure is collapsing, she is left amongst the ruins.  Wondering.  Why? How? When? Did this occur. 

‘She’ panicked in the early stages, frantically trying to stop the deconstruct, to patch the cracks, to keep it up alive and healthy.  Then one day she stops, looks around and realises the damage is done, the futility of trying to stop the disintegration.  She sobs uncontrollably for her loss, the pain and sorrow.  Realising it has gone.  She sits still and looks around.  Tears roll down her cheeks.  Her most precious possession has gone.  It will take some time until she opens her eyes, willing to see her life, now.  To contemplate moving forward, to even consider what else could be.  The void in her,in her life is huge and terrifying.

‘She’ realises this cannot be rushed.  Steadily with care she will move once more, courageously she will begin to look for signs of life and feed this new creation.  The gap within her remains.  Out of sight, no one will see.  It will be carried deep within and slowly she will heal.  Her deep heart holds the scars; they cannot be removed.  She will love them as they remind her of what was, what she was and the family she had created, loved and revered. 

A gift from the Gods.

For this she feels blessed.

Loss of the wife

Divorce is about adaption. Adapting to a new way, a new life. Its an opportunity to redefine yourself. To become someone you don’t know yet. To do this means you need to let go of everything you thought you were. The roles, the masks, the identification and yes the dreams and ideals you had as a couple, as a wife and mother. This takes time, care, patience and self-compassion.

It took me many years to transcend the role of being his wife. It still pops up every now and then. Throwing me off centre.

I didn’t want to let go of being a wife. Here were my some of my challenges letting go of being ‘a wife’ early on. This was written originally in 2014 only one year into my healing journey. Perhaps you may resonant with some of my thoughts and feelings.

“Sad, depth, core pain.

I loved being a wife, I lived my whole life to be a wife.  I felt I was a good wife, supportive, caring, good homemaker, lover, companion and friend.  I did my best.  I sacrificed myself in order to support my husband doing/being who he needed to be.  I played my role dutifully, purposefully with deep sense of commitment, value and respect.  I was part of a team, who had a common purpose, vision and dream.

At some point the other part of the team resigned, left.

I thought that was who I as.  I was a wife and a mother.

As he prepared to leave the terror I experienced was predominately tarred by me thinking this is all I am.  If I don’t have a husband, I don’t exist anymore.  I am not a wife.  Terror.  Panic.  Obliterated.   No purpose.  No need to exist.

When he left, the world collapsed, my foundation dropped.  I did not have a husband.  Yet I still thought I was a wife.

I lived through this role for many months after he left. 

Until now.

Painfully, I realised this was happening.   I began to open up to the possibility that I was more than a wife.

As I allowed my sorrow, my tears, my sadness to drip further in I felt these internal tears drop onto a vault.  A vault that surrounded my essence.  It was locked tight.  Protected, guarded.  Never to be opened. 

Until now.

In order to survive, the vault had to open.  The cocoon around my core had to peel back, to evaporate to reveal who I really am.

It was surprisingly a relatively quick, graceful, process.

‘Her’ strengths will be channelled into other areas of expression.

She is loved, dearly respected, nurtured, cared for and revered.  I love her.  I really love her.

Such a beautiful, giving, sharing, wife.

Expression of self.  One expression.

It is time for her to rest now.

Ah, she can rest.

No responsibility to her husband anymore.

God I loved being a wife, I loved being his wife. 

Big loss, indescribable grief.

Then intensified by another woman.

Replaced.

Depth sense of un-lovability as a woman.

No longer sensual, attractive to the one who was my husband.

The wife is in so much pain, hurt, anguish which can drop into rage and the depths of despair.

Grief at what is, what will not be, what was. “

Grief, loss & divorce

Divorce is an ending. Endings result in a sense of loss. Grief ensues.

Below are some of my personal wonderings of loss and grief through the divorce process.

  • Is the grief for me or for them?
  • Is it a sense of loss for what was?
  • Feel how it feels
  • Drain the grief pool
  • Feel, allow, don’t judge
  • Waves, ride the waves
  • Depth
  • Let it pass through
  • Exquisiteness of moving through the other side of the wave
  • Let it wash over you
  • Deference of what will be now
  • Acceptance of what is
  • I will be changed through it
  • Loss of what was
  • Loss of what is
  • Loss of what was to be
  • Letting go of the life and being (self) as I created it
  • Letting go of who I think he is
  • Letting go of who I choose to see
  • Death of my life as it was
  • Youth
  • Attractiveness
  • Sex, physical intimacy
  • Loss of future moments, shared goals, dreams and visions
  • Loss of family unit
  • Loss of Love
  • Loss of everything I have valued, worked for, lived for and cherished
  • Keep going

Making peace with divorce

This is my personal sharing of divorce, how it felt for me and my experience with it.  My relationship with divorce doesn’t end.  Its within me, an experience that I still feel the impact of and continue to heal.  Whilst undertaken with an intent to finish and wrap up a painful period of separation and to signal a readiness to move on it, it has proven to be a thorn in my side.  A wound that continues to heal.

Photo by Jens Lelie on Unsplash

It became a label that I wore which unconsciously put barriers around me, impacting how I related with self and life.  Little did I realise that this label would create negative imprints on my sense of self.  Imprints that were created from witnessing how my parents, and aunts and uncles moved through their divorces.   How the bitterness, anger, resentment and fear became a lens from which I viewed and believed divorce to be.   Even to this day I am clearing the lenses and coming more and more from my own internal heart centre, the knowing that there is another way to engage with divorce.  The pull of the past, which is all I had to tap into is strong and takes diligence to keep clearing these past ties that bind me to old paradigms of divorce. 

Divorce tapped me into deeply held religious dogma propelling me down a path of shame and defectiveness.  In Gods eyes I had broken my vows ‘till death do us part’.   I had sinned and would be punished.  I was damaged goods, unlovable and dirty.   My life was done.  Its pretty full on shit.  Yet the feelings were real.  I don’t even know where the hell this programming was coming from?  For I had not grown up in a religious environment, we didn’t go to Church, I wasn’t baptised or christened.  What the hell?  Here I was condemning myself to a life of self retribution based upon old biblical and religious constructs, none of which were relevant to my life here and now.  It was as if from the deep recesses of my soul a voice bellowed these sermons to me.   This caused huge internal conflict as the woman who I know myself to be here and now was chastised by the voices of the past.  I needed to get up of my knees, I am not kneeling to God in a church in this life time.      

Divorce is an incredibly unique and intimate experience.   No two experiences will be the same, just as no two relationships could be the same.   How could they be?  A relationship is the result of two separate beings coming together and co-creating a space that cocoons and sustains them both.   It takes on its own life force and forms its own unique resonance.  Like an embryo impregnated by the sperm that creates a foetus, so to do two people come together to create a relationship.   

Divorce can be arrived at from many destinations from one party or both. 

Whilst divorce is the term given to the legal dissolution of a marriage it is much much more than that.   It’s a process, signifying the ending and at the same time a beginning.  The beginning of a new way of living.   It’s a label.  It’s an emotional and mental rollercoaster.  It has the capability to rip apart; a force unto its own.    It can destroy and leave a tsunami of wreckage in its wake.  Its deeply personal and will shine a light on one’s internal wounding.  It will bring forth what one has been trying to keep hidden and out of sight.  It will bare your soul.  Break your shell.  It will pull out from under you your once steady foundation.  It’s a huge hole you could fall into.  It will take the wind out of your lungs.  It has the capacity to exhaust your nervous system.  It will leave you on the floor without a second glance.  

Divorce breaks families.  Whilst its undertaken between two (or just one) person in the marriage the impact rips apart the family that was built through this once love centred union.   

Divorce will push you to the end and challenge you to keep going.

Divorce is painful, messy, uncomfortable and paradoxically exquisite.

As I continued to unravel I became closer and closer to my truth.   Quite literally I was cleansing my soul by releasing the judgment on myself and freeing myself from ideologies and behaviours I had taken on from other.   Aligning more to my core knowing I am beginning to relate with divorce in a whole new way.  The fight against it stops.  In its place an acceptance of the outplay of my marriage.   Its relating with divorce in a healthier way and not giving my power away to it.  Its stripping away the label and in doing so fully opening to the offering divorce provides. 

It’s an intensely powerful process that provides personal growth, healing, integration and recalibration.  It’s a reset button.     

A New Year, a New Offering…

I have always been better at beginnings then endings. There is something delicious about a blank page from which you can create what has not been before. The splurge of newness is exciting and brings with it a burst of energy that fuels activity.

Endings though seem to lean on any unresolved loss within. The scars of grief get pushed upon and can cause discomfort. The loss of what once was and won’t be again. Completion. Wrapping up. What will come now?

New Years Eve blends the two together and for me its a challenging time. I hold the space for two experiences to co-exist – the excitement of new and the feeling of endings.

Whilst the clock ticks over at midnight and the calendar tells us its a New Year, we are still who we were at 11.59pm. Nothing miraculously disappears.

Within this though is a huge offering. New Year is an opportunity to review and take stock. To review what happened, what was, how you were, where you contracted and where you chose to expand, where you shrunk and where you grew. And within that to identify how you would like to do life differently.

Its a chance to become clearer about what you need to let go of, what patterns and beliefs no longer suit and what direction you wish to head.

You are the captain of your ship. You decide how you respond. You may not always choose what happens to you but what happens internally is all yours. The voices in your head and heart need your attention. What words come from a space of love? which from fear? Feed the love.

Change can be confronting. Change is about accountability and responsibility. This is what New Year brings. The chance to review and make the changes needed.

Let love be your compass.

healing tip #6 ~ other gems

  • It never ends there is always more  this is the cycle of life
  • Change is the one constant learn to embrace it and befriend it
  • You are so much more then you think you are become your own greatest adventure, become curious about you
  • You are worth your time in a world bombarded by distractions know that you are a priority, not in an egotistical self centered way, yet in a way that you are here as spirt to have experiences that guide you to wholeness, give you the time you need to know who you truly are, without the masks, the roles and parameters. 

healing tip #5 ~ “it’s going to get messy”

  • Its going to get messy – be okay with messy, with not knowing which way is up, down, forward and backward.  This journey won’t be linear, run to schedule or fit nicely into your life.  It is going to mess things up, turn you inside out and wring you out like the rinse cycle of the washing machine.  This is why its so important to get your special person lined up, to have that support network.  As well as creating your space.  Its needed, its important. 
  • The sooner you get on board with this and loosen your grip of control perhaps a bit more grace may be present through the process. 
  • It is a process.  It’s continual. 
  • Your life, you, wont ever be the same.  Scary as hell – yes.  Are you up for it?  Well you are here, breathing, reading these words, so I reckon you could be.  

healing tip #4 ~ “going down the rabbit hole”

  • Go deeper “Down the rabbit hole” .  There is perhaps a natural human tendency that when we feel pain that we want to lash out – at another, at the circumstance, to blame and project.  Perhaps we have learned ways to numb the pain through drinking and drugs, or other activities that provide short term relief.  All of which are about getting out of ourselves.  Yet the more we do this the more we are making our experience about ‘the other’ that doesn’t truly exist. 
  • It is our pain our loss, our sadness – no other will get this.  It is pointless thinking they will or attempting to share with them what it is like.  No one will get you.  Ultimately the way you will transition through, to heal is by knowing you more. By using each feeling, each insight, each trigger to be shown something else about you that you didn’t know before. 
  • Its taking it inward, deep within you to your core, a place that isn’t physical, a place that transcends time and space and is known only to you (and the well the universe J). 
  • It’s descending into a cave, with your headlight on venturing into unknown territory. 
  • It’s heading down the rabbit warren not knowing were you will end up yet going anyway. 
  • It’s allowing your feelings to exist without squashing them and wishing they were something else. 
  • It’s being willing to allow your pain to reveal you, to shine a healing light on aspects of you that have been frozen, its of being okay to see you in your truth – and welcoming home broken discarded parts of you.  Parts that have been hidden, and are know only becoming visible in the darkness of the depths of you. 

You truly have no idea to the depths of you.  Its not a physical location, although it can help in the beginning of this process to visual a space within your heart, your core, that you can go to to feel safe, to explore.  Its like a portal to your spirit home, the doorway.  That place that exists before and after this physical incarnation.  

Personally, so many times I had thought I had reached the depths of my experience, I had reached ‘the place’, having moved through a challenging period I thought it was done – foolish. 

Its’ never done.  I had simply arrived at another point along the journey.  Reaching one ‘level’ perhaps that would then enable me to go deeper once more. 

So be prepared to go within, to your heart your core, open the door and journey into the depths of you, to be shown, to reveal to shine the love and light on what has been hidden so that more of you can come home. 

That is what this is all about. 

healing tip #3 ~ “taking the higher road”

“Taking the Higher road” – quite simply this is about who and what you identify with.  The higher road is the voice of spirit, its knowing you are a spiritual being in a human body, its knowing that this experience is here to assist you to grow by healing past wounds, its of embodying more love, releasing the fear.  

Spirit isn’t experiencing loss, your human is.  Spirit isn’t grieving or in pain, your human is.  Yet it is spirit within that guides the healing process, if you allow.  It’s the relationship between the two that you need to focus on, engender and nurture.  

I sense you are here reading this because you relate as human-spirit.  For most of us we are raised to think, see and engage purely as human.  We live through the 5 sense, in our own worlds, focussed on gaining, achieving and gathering.  Without any true awareness of the biggerness of who we are. 

Often, it will be a life changing event that may trigger one ‘to wake up’ to begin to see themselves as more then they physically see and it is in that moment that living truly begins.  We have a physical body, but we are so much more.  We are here having an incarnation purely for the growth of us as spirit.   When we experience loss, its our humanness that suffers.  We need to embrace our humanness, care and nurture it through these times whilst all the time remembering we are spirit. 

The higher road, is the remembrance of us as spirit, of knowing this is our truth.  Feeling the loss and pain, yet knowing that that is not who we are.  It takes a massive re-identification process to get on board with this.  Yet begin we must.

The Higher Road will require you to ‘look beyond the face’, this perpetrator who is causing you harm – go beyond his/her face – what is there?  What is the reflection back to you?  The feeling you feel, get deeper into it, what is the truth of it?  Where does it lie? Where is it leading? Follow it all the way