I am a person. As a person, I have a personal life. I’m a human being. As a human being, I experience emotions.
Three years ago my personal life was not just dark and heavy, every single day (sometimes every moment) was spent in survival mode. My marriage wasn’t just a little unhappy it was a dark abyss of misery that felt as though it’d go on forever.
Thankfully, it didn’t extend past November 21st 2015 but that kicked off the oh so brutal process of separation and divorce with a massive amount of self reflection. Since my marriage ended that November day I have been VERY open in sharing my experience with those closest to me and I do not see divorce as a failure at all. In fact I include being joyfully divorced in my professional introduction.
HOWEVER, as open as I’ve been in person about my experience and journey, I’ve held myself back from being as transparent in my online posts and writing. I don’t want to live compartmentalized lives or roles any longer, it doesn’t feel good to me. So, having actually found my voice, it’s time for me to raise it higher than ever before.
Speaking openly about my experience and story somehow seemed too much, or unprofessional. I also question what right I have to share it – hmmm, perhaps the fact that I’m the one who experienced it is permission?!
The thing is, life is messy. And none of us are immune to that messiness. My inner critic would have me believe by being even more transparent I’ll be rejected, ridiculed, will lose connections and clients, and will be destined to fail. Because professionals don’t experience any doubt, worry, fear or anything less than sunshine and rainbows all the time. Sure.
My personal life experience has included emotional and psychological abuse, manipulation and deception. Feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness as well as PLENTY of catering to external real or perceived expectations.
What I most appreciate about the experience of these past few years is the deep knowing that I haven’t just survived, I’m thriving. That life is not a pass/fail or win/lose end game. That some of our darkest and most painful experiences can give birth to versions of ourselves beyond anything we’ve dreamed possible. That true connection cannot arise at the exclusive level of superficiality.
These days I trust myself more than ever before. I’ve also discovered a deep passion for working specifically with divorced women home buyers. In fact some of my favorite clients even while I was married were….divorced women.
I’m on a bit of a mission to break the stigma of silence and shame around divorce. It is truly one of my proudest accomplishments to have liberated myself and reclaimed my life, my story, and the most authentic version of me.
The authentic version of me absolutely still has moments of doubt, fear, anxiety, feeling like everyone else has this life thing figured out and I’m woefully behind. I also experience sadness, confusion, compassion and overwhelm. The difference now is that (most of the time) I don’t allow those to keep me paralyzed or conforming to anyone else’s expectations. I’m a whole lot more gentle with myself and better about allowing feelings to flow instead of stuffing them down hoping they’ll dissipate (they won’t).
I still have moments of intense self criticism and comparing myself to the highlight reels of others. I also have moments of wondering just how good things could really get. I’m WAY better about considering whether something feels heavy or light to me before saying yes just to be nice. I am the best I’ve ever been about trusting my intuition and inner guidance instead of “thinking” myself into somehow making it work.
Above all else, I’ve learned that finding my voice has also included an invitation to raise it as well.
Copyright©2018 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “Rise and Shine: A Lesson of Not Just Finding My Voice but Raising It”
The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, NC Residential Real Estate Broker in Charlotte NC, Heartfelt, Empowering Real Estate in Charlotte NC