A Leap of Faith After Divorce Relieved My Chest Pain

I never realized how my divorce was pushing me to take a leap of faith.

Because the day my ex-husband moved out – that was the day I got confronted by the edge.

I found myself teetering on the “edge” of what would become my new life… I felt alone, uncertain and empty.  I couldn’t face it, I turned away.

In fact, I’m not exactly sure when I turned back to look over the edge again, because for the most part I kept my back to the edge and just looked at the pieces that were left of my old life.

Looking back is safe.  It’s painful and sad, but it’s familiar, and that feels safe.  I had so much invested in that life I was living.  I not only put time and energy into that life, I had hopes and dreams connected with that life.

I don’t know what was more enormous: the attachment to my belongings or the connection to my emotional baggage?  All of it was intimately entangled in a life that was over…

But not over completely…

Because I still had to maintain a relationship with my ex…  I had to be able to have phone conversations and occasionally meet with him.

Regardless of the situation of your breakup – going from “married” to “divorced” brings up a crazy stream of the most uncomfortable emotions…

Most divorced women focus on emotions like sad, lonely, empty and hurt.  But I felt an endless flow of unexpected emotions that I had carefully avoided for years.

And the emotions were intensified, like a throbbing muscle in a turned ankle after a fall.  My emotions became physical sensations.  My fear grabbed me tightly in my chest.  Chest pain was a frequent visitor.

My anger would grip my throat as if I was being choked, and my breath would get short and quick and I could feel the rage of unexpressed feelings and needs.

Do you experience these physical manifestations of your emotions?

I went to the doctor once for these pains and while they probed and prodded and tested without result, I came to the obvious realization that my physical symptoms were suppressed emotions.  And there wasn’t a medical solution for that.  There was no magic pill.  Unless I wanted to spend my life numbed out to my feelings…

If I wanted these symptoms to stop, I had to do the emotional work of letting go.  I think that was the moment I first peeked over the edge.

If I was to have a future, “peeking over the edge”, I had to set myself free from the past.

Emotional freedom is tough work.  Was I willing to FEEL all those crazy feelings?  Was I willing to trace them back to their beginning?  Was I willing to accept myself, the weak and helpless part, as well as the strong and self-righteous part?

Was I willing to surrender and to forgive?

It’s like that great song by R. Kelly “I Believe I Can Fly”.  Was I willing to stand at the edge, take the leap, and believe!  Part of his chorus:  “I believe I can soar.  I see me running through that open door.  I believe I can fly.  I believe I can fly.  I believe I can fly.  ‘Cause I believe in me.”

Knowing that I’ve been there and I’m here now is amazing retribution for the life I used to live… I do believe.  I took the leap of faith.  And if I can do it, you can do it.

Join the heal divorce community and share your story on our blog. Do you believe the life you love is possible?  What’s the next thing you need to let go of in order to get yourself closer to the leap?


Theresa Thompson, Author, Coach and Spokesperson for Healing Divorce and Improving your Life, is a co-creator of the weekly teleclass series Heal Divorce. Theresa hosts a blog community where you can share your comments or get additional divorce support information.

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Comments 3 comments

Charlotte 4 years ago

I learned to call that the "birthing pains" of my new and BETTER life. It took a long time, but I like the ME I am now so much better than when I was a shadow in someone else's life.


michaelheemson 4 years ago

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kikaystuff 3 years ago from Philippines

I've gone to this situation... at least I learned to love myself more... thank you for this article

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