And then, as I climbed out of my dungeon of despair, I began a new adventure.

It took a while. At first all I felt was desperation mixed with anger. I thought about all of the ways I could hurt back. I thought about all of the ways I could change his mind. I cried and raged. I lost more than forty pounds because I did not eat. And in the end, I had to accept that my husband was divorcing me.

In some situations, we are hurt by someone and we can walk away and never have contact again. But if you share children, when you divorce you have to have some level of interaction. Someone once said to me, “Divorce is like death but the corpse keeps coming back.”

We eventually reconciled the logistics of a two household family, but the pain of loss ran deep. And then one day I realized that by holding on to pain and blame, I was still allowing this man to have a significant amount of control over my life. That was the first step. I felt a great weight had been lifted from me.

And then, as I climbed out of my dungeon of despair, I began a new adventure. After living under the constraints of someone else, I realized that now I could make life decisions without negotiations. I began to look forward, and then I began to move forward.

I took college classes and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree at the age of fifty-five.

I started three jobs that were completely foreign to me and was successful in all of them.

I took acting classes and performed in plays.

I joined Toastmasters and won speech contests.

I met a man and remarried. Our life together is completely different and we are happy.

I started down a path that I never would have had I not been divorced. By divorcing me, my ex-husband had released me to discover and develop talents I didn’t know I had.

And then one day I realized that I was grateful to my ex-husband. Not just for the three children we had together, but for setting me free to blossom into the woman I am today.

We invite you to share a story about yourself or another person, reflecting on the question: “How has gratefulness shifted a moment, an experience, or a lifetime?” submit your story

Stories of Grateful Living
Linda McKenney

Linda McKenney

About the author

Linda McKenney is a Personal Life Coach and Motivational Speaker, specializing in Mindful Living and Eating. She continually reinvents herself and her new adventure is writing creative non-fiction. Linda is on a never-ending journey of self-discovery. A perpetual student, her current, exceptional teachers are her eight grandchildren and one great grandchild, who continually remind her that life is unpredictable, joyous and a great adventure.