Thriving Despite A Difficult Relationship

Renee Heigel, Love Yourself NakedWhen I write to you, I really dive deep and ask myself some questions. Is this serving the greater good? Is this sharing simply cathartic for me personally or will it inspire you in your life? Am I being narcissistic by sharing this, is this all about me?

I have a public website I share with you, I speak to and coach thousands of people regularly and share info on my personal health, life and body with the mission to be more naked each time in my relating with you. In other words, my goal is to authentically share in a way that serves you.  If I’m going to share something personal then I want to make sure I know the motive I have behind it.

Which brings me to my topic today, divorce. I was divorced over a year and half ago and I’ve very rarely spoken about it here. Prior to and after my divorce I didn’t want to share it publicly and I wanted to heal and focus on my son and the relationship I have with my son’s father.

Recently, after sharing my story with a new and trusted mentor, she expressed to me how much of a help I could be for people in their relationships and those contemplating or experiencing divorce. She mentioned to me that I really need to be in front of others speaking about all that I have learned.

I felt immediate strong resistance. I was irritated because I knew that with so much resistance, that it likely meant that she was right… not only would it be helpful for others for me to share, but cathartic for me personally. This brought the inspiration for me to write this blog to you.

Divorce is private, personal and yet it is so common in the world around us.  In my situation, while my son’s dad and I were both mourning the breaking down of our relationship, we began to see that those around us were shocked by our decision and they were mourning in their way too.  After a while we viewed our relationship as an evolution, that it wasn’t ending but instead changing. But let’s face it, It’s also literally a death. Sometimes things need to die so other things can be birthed and we didn’t make the decision lightly.

After we parted ways, there were moments for me in the fetal position sobbing on the kitchen floor of my new home, surrounded by unpacked boxes. There were also moments of complete openness of my heart and assurance I was on the right path and so was my son as I sat in meditation and the sun hit my face. And of course, there was every possible feeling and emotion in between.  Thank God for true friends and family during these times.

Towards the end of the marriage it felt terrible that I had this conflicted relationship that wasn’t working out.  I was feeling inauthentic in so many ways, I had forgotten who I was.  I realized then that my goal was to live authentically and to be “naked” and open. It was to create a conscious “me” and to handle this parting of ways with grace and respect in a way that I don’t see often between two people who have chosen to take this path.

Before our divorce was final, we lived together for quite a few months and although the whole situation was extremely tough, we maintained our friendship, we still snuggled on the couch and at night to comfort each other at times. Maybe it helped that we both worked on ourselves in our own ways.  I think I can speak for both of us when I say that we did everything we could to be compassionate, respectful and loving.

Now, one and a half years later, we talk regularly and vulnerably. We have learned a lot about each other even after 9 years of marriage and my son’s dad is one of my great friends in life. We will be in relationship together forever because we have a son together.

It serves me well to work on this relationship because it impacts every other relationship in my life, primarily the one with my son. Just because a divorce happens, doesn’t mean you stop caring, feeling or putting in effort into the relationship, in fact it’s more important than ever. By the way, even if the other party doesn’t try, you must heal it on your end.

He is doing well, he’s happy. I am doing well and I’m happy and most importantly, our son is doing well and he’s happy. Our son has two parents who love him deeply and he knows that his parents respect each other and speak almost daily with each other.  I’m still learning so much every day, but I’m quite proud of our family and how we’ve done things so far.

I ended up leaving the family home, which really sucked but for our son and for me financially it was the best decision at the time. So I have to deal with that…   At some point, I will speak on parenting as a single mom and running a business, but not today.

Today, the message I want you to walk away with is this (wherever you are at in your relationship):

Your relationship with ONE person is a mirror reflection of what you experience with ALL others.

When you can heal the most challenging relationship, then you’ll begin to heal them all.

So who do you have the most challenging relationship with?

It’s not that person who needs to change. It’s YOU. It’s your responsibility to do the work to evolve and heal your issues so you can be in a healthy relationship with that person or at least find peace and forgiveness with the lack of relationship, etc.

A healthy relationship doesn’t include biting your tongue and not sharing because you don’t want to make waves. Or passive aggressive stuff that makes all kinds of assumptions and judgements. That’s codependent and also a topic for another blog.

Divorce unearth’s all of your “stuff” and I truly mean all of it.  I am of the opinion that you must utilize this extremely dark and heart breaking experience to open yourself up and look at all of your patterns, issues, negative beliefs and subconscious bull shit that doesn’t serve you and then grow out of it.  I joined every course I could find, read every book, hired coaches and my own personal ‘guru’ who is part therapist, part coach, part shaman.

I decided to become an expert on the subject… What I saw loud and clear was that I needed to become an expert on on the subject of ME.

What was crazy for me was that around this time, I started having clients approach me specifically for relationship coaching both individually and with couples.

I said yes to most because I knew I could help them. I then had a moment when I second guessed myself. I recall looking in the mirror in my eyes, 6 months after being divorced and I said, who am I to be coaching people on relationships, I just got divorced?

Later that day I realized something that changed everything.  I was probably the best person to help them because I knew that the way we treat ourselves and live our life with ourselves is the most important part of our relationship with others.

I had looked my biggest fears and flaws dead in the eye and said, BRING IT and I forgave me, I learned to feel my anger and love a whole other layer of ME.  (PS. This process never ends… the part of looking fear and flaws in the eye and saying BRING IT)

When you love, respect, forgive and show compassion for YOU, then you’ll be able to attract relationships where those people love, respect, forgive and show compassion for you.

But not a moment sooner.

Oh and I don’t just mean a relationship with a partner, I mean your family, your friends and co-workers too.

You must become “whole” and open your heart… opening it when it wants to close, opening it when you don’t think it’s possible… in moments when you’re on the kitchen floor crying… you make a choice to be whole and open your heart anyway.

By the way, a year after working with those clients who wanted more of my relationship coaching tools, they testify to happy relationships with others, because they love themselves more deeply than ever before and there are some really incredible stories of people meeting their ideal mates and marriages being healed. Not to mention that divorce is probably the toughest thing for your immune system and adrenal glands (I learned first hand), so nutrition guidance is imperative.

You’ll be hearing more blogs in the future from me on what I’ve coined: “The Avant-Garde Relationship”

In case you’re curious on the definition of Avant-Garde:

AVANT-GARDE: One of a kind thinking, distinctive, forward-thinking, original, enterprising.

Love,

Renee

PS. I have a favor to ask! We are preparing over here for 2 launches of 2 big programs, Winning The Sugar Game and The Sensual Hippie Retreat and I would love your feedback so I can serve you best.  I have a quick survey and in exchange for your time, I’m giving away your choice of one of these free gift guides:  The Love Yourself Naked Healthy Travel Guide or Raising A Healthy Eater In 9 Easy Steps. Click here to fill out the 3 minute survey and choose your gift right here.

Comments

  1. Wow Renee! That was huge! Even though I’ve never been married, I can still relate to what you are saying on many levels. I have seen good divorces and bad divorces, and just like any relationship, if it can end in a good way, it’s healthier for everyone involved. That took a lot to expose yourself … thanks for sharing!!!

    • Renee Heigel says:

      Linda, thank you for your words. It took me quite a few months to press send on this one and I’m glad I did and that it impacted you. Thank you! Thank you! xx

  2. Thank you so much Renee! I needed to hear this today. <3

  3. Karen Callan says:

    Renee, I am so proud of you! The moment I met you I knew how special you were!! Reading your post just reinforces that! I know how much you struggled with your decision and I am so very happy you are happy!!! Much love!!!!!

    • Renee Heigel says:

      Karen! I am so happy to hear from you. Your comment means so much and thanks for your love and friendship.xo

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