On Independence and Divorce, From a Wise Former Client (and Mary Oliver)
Today we celebrate that on July 4, 1776, the thirteen colonies claimed their independence from England, eventually leading to the formation of the United States.
Remembering to celebrate your independence (or anything) during a divorce can be difficult. For many, divorce feels confusing, sad, and scary. Discovering — let alone honoring — freedom may be the furthest thing from your mind.
I spoke with a (wonderful) former client about discovering the joy in his independence. Here is what he told me:
It came to me slowly — the first thing was silly. I realized I could load the dishwasher however I wanted to. It’s dumb, but it was a moment for me. When I realized I was free to do the little, daily things in life the way I wanted it lead to my starting to want to do bigger things, too. I started to spend my free time doing things I had always said wished I could do, but honestly never really planned on doing. I began small and trained for a half marathon. After the half it got way, way bigger for me. I finally understood that I was free to be and do whatever I could imagine. I know that may sound selfish to some, but it’s what I now know. Everyone — even me — has their own place in the family of the universe.
See, isn’t he awesome?
He made me think about a poem that changed my entire perspective on my unhappiness during a difficult time in my own life. It showed me I was not just here on this earth to keep my head down and keep going. This is the poem, by Mary Oliver.
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about your despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.
The world offers itself to you, go swim in its oceans.
Freed Marcroft’s attorneys know that divorce and child custody aren’t just legal processes — they are emotional processes as well. We guide select clients through the legal aspects of divorce while remaining mindful of their overall wellness.