I came home from a fabulous weekend away to a pile of mail. Amongst the catalogs and coupons was a flimsy little envelope from the county family court. I knew what it was the second I saw it. I’d been waiting for it. I placed it to the side.
I opened my other mail and found space for a beautiful candle I’d received as a gift. I cleaned up around the apartment. Circling back to the counter I remembered the letter was there. I opened it mechanically, scanning past words like “plaintiff” and “defendant” to the hearing date in the center of the page.
Some random Wednesday
The honorable judge whoever
Filing for divorce was not as bad as I’d originally thought. There was a good amount of paperwork to navigate, but you’re getting a divorce in New Jersey there’s a fairly useful “Self-Help Guide” floating around on the internet. And, keeping things amicable really helped.
Having made agreements about how we’d split things early on, we chose to go the “no-fault” route. All that’s left is to show up on hearing day and answer a few questions. I texted the news about the hearing to a few people and responses ranged from “okay, good” to “how are you feeling about that?”
In all honesty, I wasn’t feeling anything about it. I had no major reactions. I started searching…was I supposed to feel something? My feelings on it were the same kind of feelings I’d have about paying a bill or turning in an assignment at work.
Box = checked. Task = done.
You can’t force yourself to feel something that you don’t. I often do this thing where I anticipate how I’m going to feel about something before it happens. I make self-fulfilling prophecies about whether I’ll be happy or sad in a certain situation. All of these expectations almost always lead to disappointment.
“Peace begins when expectation ends.”
– Sri Chinmoy
Part of self-awareness is being where you are when you’re there. If time and space allow, you make a conscious effort to evaluate how you are feeling when you’re feeling it. As I move forward in my practice to be present I’m actively pushing away superfluous expectations to make space for what’s right in front of me.
How am I feeling about this journey with no expectations? I guess I’ll know when I get there.
2 thoughts on “Great expectations”
I absolutely love your transparency about the feelings around divorce. I’m always slightly envious of those who go through an amicable separation, as mine couldn’t have been more opposite. I truly believe that no one can be prepared for the feelings that come with such finalization of a relationship, and each person feels things so differently. You have such a beautiful way with words and I look forward to each entry, so keep on keepin’ on girl. You’re doing just fantastic the way you are. ❤️
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Thank you so much for the kind words and encouragement. It’s true, no one can be prepared for those feelings or when and how they will come up. All we can do is try our best to be present and deal with them as they come.