You’ve heard that a picture is worth a thousand words?
Well, as you can most likely tell from my other posts, I love pictures of concepts – I NEED pictures – I actually CRAVE them! If I’m going to understand something, I need to tie it to something in my head – like a picture.
While walking through this barren wasteland called “divorce” (picture of concept now in your head), I began to use pictures to dig new thought ditches (another picture now in your head) because I could instantly go there whenever I needed them.
That’s why, when I was trying to figure out how I was going to allow my divorce and subsequent heartbreaks from crazy-making relationships afterward to affect me, I came across the picture of a diamond.
The Big Picture of Your Life
It’s not about what happens to you, it’s about the “meaning” you give to the events in your life.
For example, what is your Big Picture perspective of life?
- Is God out to get you or to laugh at you?
- Are the things that happen to you meant to help you or are some people just magnets for disaster? (you being one of them)
- Does life suck and then you die or are there really roses among the thorns?
You get it. We all have this movie playing underneath our lives that is either a tragedy with an unhappy ending or a comedy where it all works out when the curtain closes. (more pictures)
This picture begins to develop long before we are in romantic relationships – most are shaped by the time we are about 6 years old so you can see why you don’t realize the movie is even playing.
You Must Recognize This Because This Is The Picture That Makes or Breaks You
If you believe that life is a hard, hard road where the strong, the beautiful and the privileged win, then your divorce is going to freeze you in time.
Why? Because you will believe that the man (or men if you have had multiple break-ups littering your highway) left you because you are not good enough – you are not one of the strong, the beautiful or the privileged.
Do you see what I mean?
Most of us will fall into this category. This is the kind of philosophy that actually says that our circumstances control us – we do not control what happens within our circumstances.
In other words, we are like victims at the mercy of the decisions of others. What others decide to do around us affects not only how our day is going to be but also how we see ourselves on that day.
- So, if the wind (or the mood of someone else) is blowing east, we lean east.
- If it’s blowing west, we lean west.
- If our best friend treats us disrespectfully, we go with it because she is going through a tough time.
- If our boss tells us that we are incompetent and to blame for his reputation being muddied, we just cry and promise to do better. And shrink into ourselves a little more.
- If our spouse cheats on us, we end up in a messy puddle on the ground wondering how this could have ever happened, what we did to deserve it and not sure if we will ever be able to get up again and move on.
Any bells ringing for you? These may be extreme examples but I’m sure you’re starting to get the “picture” of how your idea of life affects you.
That picture greatly affects how you see your divorce.
The Amazing Journey of the Diamond
In searching for my own movie that was running beneath my life story, I came across the diamond.
Here’s a little science lesson for you on how they are made:
- Bury carbon dioxide around 100 miles beneath the ground.
- Heat to about 2200 degrees F
- Squeeze under pressure of 725,000 pounds per square inch.
- Then force to the surface in a huge earthquake.
- Voila! The strongest, most beautiful jewel on earth.
Does this process sound like your life a little? The 2200 F heat and the 725,000 pounds per square inch of pressure? Sounds a lot like mine – especially when it came to the end of marriage and my divorce.
The Other Alternative
Now, the interesting thing is that there are other carbon groupings that undergo the same process BUT they don’t come out as diamonds – they come out as graphite. Graphite is rock but it’s soft and slippery and peels off in layers that break easily. Ever been annoyed when your pencil lead broke? Graphite is used for pencils and you know how easy it is to break. Not to mention, it has the ability to be easily erased, to disappear.
Graphite is used for pencils and you know how easily it snaps. Not to mention, how easily it can be erased and disappear.
So, during the process that forms either diamonds or graphite, what factors determine how it turns out?
It all comes down to how they are on the inside. The arrangement of the atoms inside determines the outcome.
Your Big Picture Is Your Stuff That’s Inside
Now – do you see where I’m going with this?
Diamonds become diamonds because of how things are arranged inside the original carbon.
The same is true for graphite.
It’s the different configuration of atoms that determine the response of the carbon to the extreme heat and pressure it goes through. One turns out to be beautiful, multi-faceted and the strongest natural substance on earth. The other is weak and breaks easily.
I thought about my life. Pain, terror, so much loss, the pressures that devastated me. Then horrible events that felt like an earthquake shaking me up, spewing me out.
I thought I might die. I thought I might lose myself forever and disappear.
But even in the middle of that, I realized I had a choice. Instead of asking, “Why is this happening to me?”, I changed the question to: “How am I going to let this affect me? Will I become a diamond or will I be graphite?”
And that question determined “the stuff” I was made of – the arrangement of my “inner atoms” which are my thoughts and perspective, the foundation from which I was directing my life.
- I chose the diamond. I chose to look higher than the devastation and keep my eye on what I wanted my life to say in the end.
- I chose the legacy that I wanted to leave behind for my kids – a legacy of strength and purpose and “becoming”, no matter what, rather than succumbing to the sometimes unbearable heat and pressure around me.
- I saw my marriage struggles and my divorce no longer as things that happened TO me because I am not enough but instead as events on my timeline. Experiences I went through.
- I chose to allow the extreme heat and pressure from that time to help FORM me, to build me, to challenge me and all that I stood for.
To make me stronger, more beautiful and able to cut through anything coming at me!
I chose to be a diamond and said “No” to the graphite.
What are you choosing to be?