Valley Walking: Becoming A Yes Person

Divorce strips so much away from you. The initial thing it takes, is of course, your marriage but there is so much more that it can rob you of. It can steal your security, your identity (as a wife or a husband), your friends, your confidence and your hopes and dreams. I am losing a great deal but one of the major things I am clinging onto for dear life is my confidence.

My husband had an affair with a woman over ten years younger than him, he left me for her. It’s fair to say my confidence plummeted in the months that followed. I felt I had been traded in, that I had been weighed up against this other person and found wanting. It truly made me question everything about myself; my personality, my worth but mainly, as superficial as this may be, the way I look.

Alongside this, there is a certain confidence that being tethered to someone in life gives you. When you lose that, it can suddenly leave you feeling well…untethered and exposed. Your husband or wife might have formed a major part of your identity, so when we lose that relationship it can rock the very core of who we are. That’s exactly what it did to me.

Although family and friends very sweetly tried to boost my confidence, I still couldn’t shake off the awful fact, that the person that I loved didn’t want me anymore. It was the biggest blow to my confidence that I have ever experienced. The raw sense of abandonment was like a label that had been hung around my neck, weighting me down, tripping me up, defining me and screaming at me, ‘You weren’t good enough!’

When we go through a traumatic experience in our lives, it can unearth even deeper insecurities that perhaps we have kept at bay and never really resolved. For example, in my case, as a child at school, I had been bullied about my weight and always felt I wasn’t as pretty as the other girls because of this. I felt so obviously different and not good enough.

Fast forward fifteen or so years and there I was, begging my husband not to leave me, to love me, to want me. Can you see how the abandonment went on to unearth those old insecurities of years gone by, that were just laying dormant below the surface? His abandonment woke up the volcano within and it was spewing its toxic content all over my life. I was that little kid again, asking to be accepted.

All of these factors chipped away at my self-esteem. I experienced this overwhelming draining of confidence from my spirit. It just went.

I hid myself away (as much as I could) for some months. I wanted comfort, security, my family, my bubble of safety. The world felt cruel, unforgiving, harsh and scary during that time and my vulnerability was almost palpable. I felt overwhelmed about the thought of starting again, of putting myself back out there in the world, especially with my self-esteem at rock bottom.

I now see that this time of being in a bubble was important. It was a time to absorb the initial shock, to lick my wide open, fresh wounds and to try to process the life altering event that had just taken place.

Over time I began to have this feeling within me. It was like a small voice in the distance. It started out a whisper but then it got louder until it was deafening. I think the voice is better known as the human spirit. God has instilled this within each and every one of us.

It spoke to my heart. It told me life is a gift and that I would need to rise up from the ashes.

I knew instinctively that rebuilding my life would mean embracing the things that once scared me. It would mean facing the demons of years gone by and shaking off my labels. Shaking off the label of the little kid that wasn’t skinny enough. Shaking off the label of the girl who didn’t feel she was pretty enough. Shaking off the label of the wife that wasn’t good enough. It would mean taking action despite my fear and my vulnerability.

The injustice of the situation seemed to fuel the voice to become even louder and more gutsy.  Don’t give them (my husband and his affair partner) the power to ruin your life!

I had this sense that I needed to jump from heights that once scared me (not literally), to do new things, to put myself out on a limb. I was living out on a limb anyway, I may as well put that feeling to good use! I would become a yes person, I would simply say yes.

I felt I needed to start out with something small but meaningful. Something that was a positive change but would challenge me. My first challenge of choice was to go swimming. Now that may seem something small and silly but to me it was anything but that. My body confidence was never great and recent events meant it was now non-existent. The thing I least wanted to do at that time was to go to a public pool, in a bathing suit. So that was exactly what I did. I said yes.

I felt totally exposed, vulnerable, nervous, on show. But I was doing it, I was there.

Did it scare me? Yep. Did I feel uncomfortable? Yep. Am I glad I did it? Yes!

Pushing myself to do something that scared me, at a time when my confidence was at its lowest gave me a new kind of respect for myself. I saw that there would be personal growth amongst those ashes that my husband had left me in. I realised I was stronger than I thought, that I could surprise myself. There was new life to be had and I now had the courage to go after it.

Believe it or not, throughout this time, swimming has become a saving grace to me. I am now an avid swimmer that loves it so much that I miss it if I don’t go for a few days. I feel alive doing it. It burns up so much angry energy and chills me out. I love the fact that it is something that I do for me and that my husband has no clue I even do it, it’s part of my new life.

Doing something uncomfortable turned out to become such a positive thing during this awful time.

I have built upon this idea of embracing living life out on a limb, of saying yes. I have been doing new things that I had wanted to do in the past but didn’t feel confident enough to.

My life is precious. Your life is precious. It will take courage and time to rebuild but slowly, one step at a time, saying yes will lead to new opportunities and new life.

Each time I overcome something, each time I push that boundary, I feel immense relief, empowerment and pride that I am growing and overcoming. It is in these moments, that I know that I am going to be okay.

Sink or swim? I’m chosing to swim…literally.

12 thoughts on “Valley Walking: Becoming A Yes Person

  1. Singledust says:

    don’t give them the power, that is truly what it is all about. they will never know what you are going through, they won’t appreciate how hurt you are, don’t let yourself down by imagining they even care what you are going through, it is at this time I say its time to out on a new outfit, dance to a new song and hold your head up high!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Julie de Rohan says:

    I love that you found the courage to go to a public pool in your bathing suit (or swimming costume as we would say here in the UK!). I feel it’s in those moments when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable that we find out what we’re made of. How great that swimming is now such an important part of your life and how you look after yourself. I also think that once you realise you’re OK on your own and that, perhaps, you don’t need to be in a relationship to know who you are, you have a much better foundation for any future relationships. Wonderful post, thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

    • valleygirlwalking says:

      Thank you so much! Yes, it’s become such a positive thing in my life and yet it took so much for me to do at a time when my confidence was at an all time low. I am, as you say just starting to learn that I am going to be OK on my own and that I can find the strength to push myself to do these things. Bit by bit I’m building my life back up and learning who I actually am. Thank you so much for your lovely comment and support 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Cathy Kennedy says:

    ValleyGirl,

    I’m visiting from “Promote Yourself Monday”. I’m new to this hop. I can only imagine the pain of your betrayal and I applaud you for finding your inner strength through your faith to push past the self-doubt and demons of yesteryear to begin anew. I often say, whatever doesn’t kill you will make you stronger. God knows our abilities and limits. Your husband has no idea what he threw away and someday he’ll see the error but it’ll be too late because no doubt you’ll have moved on with your life a happier and more complete person. I always tell my kids, don’t depend on another person for your happiest. That’s something you must give yourself and as Christians, we know that begins with Jesus helping us every step of every day. I have many friends who have gone down this path. I will tweet this out and FB share with them in mind.

    Join me on the dance floor with Mondays Music Moves Me and midst the content you’ll find reference to past blog posts that fall more into the theme of this meme. Thanks for sharing your thoughts today and it’s a pleasure to meet you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • valleygirlwalking says:

      Thank you so much for your lovely message and for very kindly sharing my with those that are going a similar difficult time. I am so grateful for your encouragement. You are so right, I am finding a strength from within that I didn’t know I had. Jesus has indeed upheld me and been with me every step of the way. There is still a way to go but I am relying on him to get me there.

      I would love to drop by and check out your blog, thanks so much for sharing the link. Great to meet you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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