It’s time to put down the sword… and the shield, and the body armor, and the helmet with the night-vision goggles, and the grenade launcher. Oh, and that .22 pistol you think no one knows about in the ankle holster. It’s time to dress for “civilian life”.
Divorce is hard! Are you tired of me saying that in almost every blog post? But honestly, it’s the truth. Divorce (heck LIFE) is a war zone. Here’s what happens in EVERY SINGLE divorce. No, I don’t care how amicable you say your divorce was, the truth is you’ve been in a battle. The battles come in many shapes, sizes and on many different fronts. Maybe the battle began months or even years before the divorce occurred. Maybe your entire marriage was a battle. Maybe the battle began when he crushed your self-esteem so you took up a small shield to protect your heart. Maybe it began when he commented on weight you gained during pregnancy and you fastened on some body armor as a defense mechanism. Maybe it happened when you found out he was compulsively watching porn so you armed yourself with a helmet to shield your mind making it easier to pretend you didn’t know what you knew. Maybe it was when he was blowing through your savings that you stashed away that concealed .22 pistol as a way to protect yourself from unseen dangers lurking in the future. Of course, these are all metaphors (well unless your Lorena Bobbitt). But isn’t that what we do? With every hurt, with every offense, we arm up. We solider up for the fight. The fight for our self-esteem. The fight for our hearts. The fight for our marriage and our families. And by the time the divorce rolls around we are armed to the hilt. Of course, we are broken on the inside but we wage the war that needs fighting. We wage war for our children. We wage war for our futures. We wage war hoping we will convince ourselves we are worth fighting for because no one else will. And so, we fight. From the moment we wake up, until the moment we lay our heads down on the pillow, we are on guard.
But now the war is over. Even the “winner” isn’t sure it was worth the cost. The blood has been drawn, the ground is littered with casualties. We are standing in the rumble of our former lives fully armed, fully equipped for WW3. But the battle is over. The ink is dry and the divorce is final. Now what?
Baby girl, it’s time to put the sword down. The sword, and the shield, and the grenade launcher were what you used to fight for yourself and for your kids and for your future. But the fight is over. When soldiers come home from war, they don’t go to Walmart for diapers wearing their battle fatigues and their AK-47. They dress down. It’s time for you to dress down. The armor served its purpose. You needed it in the battle. But you can’t walk around in it forever. You can’t walk around carrying the body armor and the AK and the shield and the combat boots and the helmet. It’s too exhausting. It’s not who you are anyways. I know it served you well and you feel comfortable in it now. I know it will feel vulnerable to lay it down. I know. I know. But the armor isn’t you. The armor was what you used to survive. It isn’t your true self. Piece by piece you need to lay it down until you are back to your true self. This will be a process. It will feel exposing and awkward at first. But the armor isn't who you truly are. That needs to be your mantra. “The armor isn’t me, it’s what I used to survive”. When a patient leaves the intensive care unit after being on life-support, they don’t take the respirator with them. They have to trust their lungs will know how to breathe on their own. You HAVE to trust that you will be okay without the armor. You have to trust that your true self, the way God created you, will know what to do. And then you go forth….
If you are having trouble laying down your shield, please reach out to me or someone you love. It’s my job as a life coach to help you return to your true self minus the armor. The softer version of yourself is under all that protective gear. That is the version of yourself I want to help you rediscover. If you have questions or comments or need convincing to give up your armor, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.