My difficult marriage was over, but I continued working on me. Now I was no longer a widow. I was a single divorcee. I had finished my commitment to my sponsor of not speaking to a man for six months. I learned during that time to have a new respect for women. I was so happy not talking to a man that I think she became worried and told me I had to find a date. But no man was asking me out. I knew the time would eventually come.
I began each day with a prayer and reading a “three times named” inspirational book. The initial ten minutes I allowed for prayer and reading expanded longer and longer into the mornings. My attitude was better, and I was happier every day. I sometimes journaled about my first marriage. That helped me grieve what I did not grieve following Don’s death since I went right back to work.
Even though I was spending more time with prayer, reading books, and listening to my answers within the books, my business kept growing. It felt like I was getting more done in a shorter amount of time. As I was learning, I shared with friends about healing my past, present situations, and what I hoped for in my future. I surprisingly began receiving invitations to speak on life subjects for some churches and organizations. I accepted those invitations.
While presenting to a singles group at a Methodist Church in Oklahoma City one evening, I began talking about how we prioritize life. I said, “When asked how I prioritize my life activities, I always say that I put God first and then Family followed by Work, Friends, Committee meetings, business club, and finally Self. In truth, though, my actions show that I put work first, then meetings, business club responsibilities, church, followed by family, friends, me, and finally, when I fall into bed at night, I say a quick prayer to God. Next, I wrote a new list and made it different, very different.
Writing on a whiteboard, I began to change my life. I moved God from the bottom to the top of the list and drew an arrow to me, Susanne, which I put directly under God. Following me, I wrote with intent “family.” I was living by myself at the time, but I wanted a closer relationship with my children and relatives. Next came work/nutrition business for monetary returns. I had to make money since I was supporting myself. Following that, I listed friends, since I wanted an opportunity to spend quality time with healthier friends. My small changes in the list gave me a feeling of freedom.
Stepping back and looking at the new written list added to my excitement about opening to new possibilities for my future. By eliminating only a few lines of responsibilities, I began making a plan to make a conscious effort to create space for additional time on some evenings. I planned extra time to study books, write, journal, gain ideas, and discover my answers for a positive change in my new life as a single person. My desire to make these changes in priorities, putting God first, and my name right under God, brought the interest of others in the room. I saw a few get excited, and then others began to sit up straighter, and eyes widened as I wrote the list on the whiteboard. Some were leaning forward. I passed out paper, and they made their list. God was at the top, and his or her name was right below God’s. This plan to make space for new doors to open, with God’s help, captivated the discussion for the remainder of the evening. We scheduled a follow-up.
The change in my list brought the initial gifts. I made a conscious effort to increase my awareness and intuition. I began developing a more personal relationship with God, and my eyes opened as I began to understand how the Holy Spirit helps us so much, and we many times do not take notice.
This change and Al-Anon also gave me the faith and courage to release some of my codependency tendencies and have healthier responses for my life, my children’s lives, and the lives of others. All relationships were improving. I was not trying to control others. I learned how to serve others without the traits of a codependent. I learned how to say “no” when I needed to say no. So many times, I said yes even when I needed to say no, and then I would resent doing what I said that I would do. With this change and learning how to listen to God before speaking, I ended feeling responsible for the reactions of the others whenever I did say no. I quit feeling like I was the only one that could do something well! Ha! By saying no, I was allowing the space for someone new to step up and help, and I knew they would receive a blessing for doing so.
LESSON: Learning to listen to a divine source is of utmost importance. Things in life go smoother. Increasing intuition and awareness helps one decipher what decision is right or is not so good.
GIFTS: I began having all sorts of gifts. I could see what was meant “just for me” in each book I heard the name of three times, bought, and read.
New thoughts came forward to help me heal. When I heard a romantic song that reminded me of a past love in some way, I learned to change the words of the song, replacing certain words with God. On other songs, I imagined God was singing to me. It was much better to replace the thought of a person with a feeling of God. My sadness would leave. I did that for years. I still do sometimes. Try this with your divine source.