The last four years have seemed like ten. Not because they have dragged, no. In fact, quite the opposite, Alhamdulillah. Together with my children, I have witnessed many milestones in their lives. I could list those achievements here but I prefer to keep them to myself. Suffice to say, they have evolved into young men and accomplished so much mashAllah. More privately, I have reached many milestones of my own. Some of them have been tangible goals; others have been more emotional victories.
Rewind four years and I thought I was on the brink of a breakdown – that I would never learn how to take the blindfolds off and walk confidently forward into my future. Today, if I could convince anyone else who is on the cusp of a divorce, that life can, and indeed, will, get better, I would feel I have done a great service to humanity. Especially womankind. (I sometimes believe that ‘mankind’ is an unfortunate misnomer since man is often anything but kind).
My sisters, my fellow womenfolk, you will thrive insha’Allah. Take my story as a beacon of hope. I want to let you know that what I finally see now is that Allah had handed me the key to unlock the potential within myself. He wanted me to experience life in its full glory, Alhamdulillah. I am unfettered and untethered. I am liberated, not a libertine. I know there will be cynics who may accuse me of feigning happiness. I mean, is it possible that a woman could be truly happy after divorce? Who, in their right mind, could dare to say that life is good when they are left taking on all the burdens of raising a family on their own?
The truth is, life has been kind to me, Alhamdulillah. I read of atrocities and calamities taking place across the world and consider myself extremely fortunate. The loss of a man in my life pales into insignificance compared to those stories. It is not that I did not suffer immeasurable trauma in those early days. But today, I am no longer dependent on any person to support me financially or emotionally. Alhamdulillah, that is an exhilarating emancipation like no other. I have learnt to let go of people who have misunderstood me and seek to severe ties. I will not fight to keep them in my inner circle. I already saw how trying to convince my ex-husband to stay was a miserable failure. Therefore, I will never allow myself to be humiliated like that again. I will never be someone’s ephemeral pastime or whimsical desire, again. People are now free to exercise their choices. Stay or leave? My life will be moving on whilst they decide. Time is too precious.
I have learnt about the relationships worth fighting for. The most important of those are with my own children. Alhamdulillah, the last four years have brought us even closer together. They have supported and comforted me in a reciprocal way as I have them. It is that bond which has allowed me to flourish as a person in my own right, not simply as a mother. They have helped restore my faith in my own self and have often been the impetus to set goals for my own personal development or self-fulfillment. They are partly why I am able to say I finally took the plunge and started this blog. They have spurred me on with encouragement knowing I needed a gentle nudge to get going. I liken my situation to a rock teetering on the edge of a slope. We all know what happens once it starts to roll.
Of course, had I remained married, I would not have known any different. To be honest, I would probably have been content to continue inhabiting that previous existence because, after all, I was also at peace with my previous life as well. Yet, the lesson I have learnt is this: we need to be able to adapt to new circumstances in life as nothing remains constant. Being content with whatever we are handed in life is the key too. Easier said than done, I know. But this is a skill that comes with patience and conscious perseverance. Rarely is it an innate attribute.
Knowing that the better part of my life has most likely passed, it seems a futile waste to let others consume it any more than they selfishly have. I have reclaimed it now to do with it, not as I please, but inshaAllah, as Allah pleases. He owns my life and I owe Him. For whatever of it remains, I hope I will always smile and be thankful. Lately, I have experienced uncanny waves of complete contentment. They are indescribable and yet when they wash over me, I know I am exactly where I need to be in my life. Everything I want or need is right here, right now. Alhamdulillah, to be content is to be the richest person imaginable.