I (Shana) have some BIG news to share with you. Alexis and I mentioned that we’ve made some wild choices and I want to let you in on my biggest and most vulnerable choice.
So here goes…
My husband and I chose to end our marriage earlier this year. We actually see it as shifting from a romantic relationship to co-parenting, but I imagine it may feel surprising to you either way.
I have decided to do my best to be honest, even when it threatens or shifts my relationships. And I want to be honest with you because I want you, and every woman, to be able and willing to be honest, first and foremost with yourself. I believe this is the only way you’ll be happy and it is the foundation of any relationship’s success.
Many times, every day, we either choose to let someone in on how we’re really feeling and what we’re really up to, or we alter your truth (even slightly), out of fear. Most often it’s the fear of being left, or of no longer being loved or respected.
What if you didn’t stop at fear? What if you created a life based on your truth? I am trying to, even when it’s uncomfortable.
When I look back on why I chose to be in relationship with Tim I see that we shared a really magical and powerful love. But I also see some differences that, over time, increased our potential to grow in different directions. And we did.
At our wedding we did not commit to each other “til death do us part.” We committed to “remain in partnership so long as we can open each other deeper than we can open ourselves, and to exhaust all other avenues before parting ways.”
Maybe it does take “til death do us part” to sustain the challenges commitment brings up. But I think each relationship is unique and I trust the decision we made.
You deserve to live and love in your own, beautiful, unique way too. You deserve to choose the path and people that feel right to you. This is what AWE is about.
There is no mold or prescribed way to be a woman, be in a romantic relationship (or not in relationship), or be a leader in work or your community. We believe your uniqueness is what creates the most success and fulfillment for you.
As I become clearer about my own truth and desires I dare to say I see the world around me more clearly too. I see that:
- Our culture’s ideas about relationships can cause us feel like a failure if a relationship ends, even if that is best for everyone involved
- Relationship is a spiritual path, or a path of growth, whether we choose it or not
- It is easy to have ideas about what is right and wrong in our relationships and deny our actual desires
- When we allow ourselves to grow we can surprise ourselves with the paths we choose
- We can create happiness and fulfillment, even when things are not as we thought they would be
- We can’t escape our wounds and habits by leaving a relationship and jumping into another, but we can also use that logic to stay in a relationship that is no longer thriving ( and it is tricky to discern)
- It takes cultivating a tremendous amount of self-love and self-trust to make choices that move us toward joy and peace, especially when others are involved
Tim and I have shed many tears and had some hard moments, but I can honestly say that even though my life doesn’t look like I thought it would right now, it is phenomenal! I feel blessed each day by the support and love I feel from family and community. My son is happy. My heart feels relaxed. I am focusing on how to have a bigger impact on the world and take better care of the important people in my life.
I would love to do whatever I can to support you to be honest with yourself, to prioritize yourself and choose what feels right in your heart, even if others disagree with you.
What kind of you support you need? What would be helpful for you? Leave a comment below…
Also I just found, and feel incredibly inspired by, the notes Tim and I made about the purpose of our relationship, what our relationship stands for, etc. I posted them here if you’re curious.
Shana and Tim’s Marriage Notes:
The purpose of our relationship:
Our Marriage is an evolutionary vessel for our growth, passion, relishing, wonderment and ever bowing to mystery, expressing the synergy of our union. The purpose of our relationship is to support each other in growth, happiness and service to the world.
Our marriage is:
Our marriage exists in a foundation of love, respect, passion, possibility, openness, where life is richer and fuller together, where we meet each other and connect in the depths of our hearts. We work to cultivate and tend this, giving ourselves to the artful labor, risking vulnerability, drawing on all our world and community have in support of this. We will be together as long as we (may) abide in and return to this core of our marriage. We choose to be together. Our commitment is a choice, declared now and continually renewed.
Our marriage is a primary place in which we focus attention and energy. We prioritize spending time being together, enjoying each other, and relishing the day-to-day. We plan together for a shared future, in order to realize dreams and weather storms. Pooling resources and money. Seeing the bounty of our work as “ours.” Building and nurturing a home. Giving ourselves to all we undertake: raising kids, financial abundance, creative expression, transformation…
Our marriage is a gift, not just to us, but also to others. We do what we can to take part in healing our planet and its people. We nurture people – our community, family and friends – when times are hard, and celebrate them when times are good. We believe in people and their relationships. We listen. We share our hearts. We offer possibility. We share the truth of what is beautiful and what is hard in our relationship, creating space for others to love and accept themselves, and have what they want.
What does our relationship stand for?
For each other: happiness, greatness, full authentic expression, having what our hearts most deeply desire
For others: having what their hearts most deeply desire, deep and loving relationships
For the world: healing, community, acceptance, beauty, interconnectedness, honor, sacred