Tag: Self-help

Divorce

MacBook Meltdown: An Act of Melting Memories or Final Attempt at Sparks?

I rushed to the Apple store. The salesperson had never seen a microwaved MacBook before so he immediately called his colleagues over. They laughed and said, “How cool!” The salesperson apologized for laughing and saying, “How cool!” and proceeded to explain how bizarre this was. I simply said, “You’re telling me.” And you know what, he asked me? “What did you do?” I just told him I’m getting a divorce and he’s angry.

When they laughed, I didn’t care. When they said, “How cool,” it didn’t bother me. As an Apple lover, I, too, find it fascinating to look at a microwaved MacBook. But, what did I do? No one or anything deserves this—except a marshmallow for the simple pleasure of melting a Hershey bar between two graham crackers—and that’s for the palate’s amusement, for the heart’s content, for the tummy’s satisfaction.

At this point, I wanted to know if they could recover the data. The took the laptop to the back of the store, conducted an analysis and returned to give me unsatisfactory news. The Apple store was not able to recover my hard drive. The good news—the hard drive may not be a total loss. They referred me to a data recovery store in Santa Ana. Not wanting to lose another minute, I placed my burnt MacBook in its case and rushed out of the store into my car. I immediately called the data recovery business and explained my situation.

“Adam?”

“Yes.”

“The Apple store couldn’t recover the data so I’m taking it to a data recovery store. And I expect you to pay the cost to recover my data. If you put this on your credit card, I expect the debt to be excluded from the community debt that will be divided between us.”

“How much is it going to cost?”

“They said it could cost up to $2,700.”

Silence.

“Adam?”

“I’m here. Do what you need to do and, of course, I’ll pay it.”

“Thanks, Adam.”

“Don’t thank me, Eve. It’s right for me to pay for it and get you a new one. I don’t know what the hell I’m doing any more.”

We hung up and I cried, again.

Guiding Lesson: Eve, what an ordeal. However, I’m glad to see that Adam is taking responsibility and paying for a new laptop. This is the right thing to do. 
As I think about your day, have you stopped to think that Adam’s attempt to microwave your laptop could be viewed in two, probably more, different ways?  He could have done it as an act of final destruction to the marriage or could it also have been a final attempt to create some spark that had died a long time ago. Remember he was drunk plus had other meds in him. His subconscious appears to have been conflicted, angry and filled with grief.

Eve, now about the hard drive–it’s ironic that it could not be fully recovered. Isn’t this like your marriage?  The past has melted away. The good memories can’t be fully recalled. However, you may be able to salvage some good ones that include your children.

Like the laptop, you need to start over. It’s not as easy as Adam buying a new one. No, the new start can’t be purchased and no one can create it. This is going to be up to you along with the grace of God. Here are two quotes that I will leave you with as you begin to build a new life.

Grace

What the caterpillar calls the end of the world the master calls a butterfly.
– Richard Bach

It may sound odd, but the fastest way to get to a new-and-improved situation is to make peace with your current situation. By making lists of the most positive aspects you can find about your current situation, you then release your resistance to the improvements that are waiting for  you. – Abraham-Hicks

Career

Rising from the Ashes to New Life

While the microwaved MacBook is out of commission, I’m trying to do the preparatory work I need to complete for my new client. I’m still shocked at what has happened and will not ever tell my client that my soon-to-be-ex has microwaved my laptop, which is why I can’t get them the comps they need.  I interview, write, search for photos, get approval on copy and photographs and accomplish as much as I can within my means.

Grace, I never realized just how much I depended on my MacBook—for everything, to stay connected, for my livelihood, for my creative flow, for the feeling of independence. For an instance, I feel like Adam took all of that away from me. In destroying my MacBook, he destroyed part of who I am, my spirit, my dreams, my ambitions.

Then, I realized, Adam gave them back to me—a desire to pursue all of what I want regardless of the trials and tribulations. He gave me a reason to fight for what I want. He tried to melt away everything that meant a great deal to me, to destroy a material object, but he couldn’t take away what was in my mind, my heart, my soul. No one can take any of those things away, unless you let them. And I refuse to let Adam or anyone else take away my spirit, my dreams, my ambitions.

Guiding Lesson: Eve, I admire your ability to take a situation that could destroy you and change your focus to see that you can rise from the ashes to new life. This is remarkable.  It is a gift you are giving yourself and your children.

Life is filled with many uncontrollable and unexpected events that can crush you.  The question is not why these things occur but how will your respond and be the good in a world it so desperately needs.  Even in your imperfection, God can work through you to be the message of goodness.  His spirit will breathe the gifts of peace, compassion, and forgiveness that will guide your actions.  This does not mean you need to be a doormat.  In fact, the opposite is true.  You need to be strong and courageous to trust God in your life.

Mother Theresa once said, “People may be irrational, illogical and self-centered.  Love them anyway.”  This is what makes the world a wonderful place to live.  Life is the greatest adventure even when it is not all good.  There is no script but the one you choose to write.  The problems of the world, though many, remind us that God is only good.  “The choice for this all-good God allows us, ironically, to deal victoriously with non-goodness.” (Richard Rohr)

Eve, you did good because God is good who lives in you.  You have made him a part of your story instead of allowing others to create you story.  Now it’s time for a new chapter.  What will you write?

Grace

 

Divorce

Alcohol and Drugs Lead to a Meltdown

After a week gone from the house, I was looking forward to coming home. The night before I had negotiated further with Adam. He was drunk. I could tell by the way he slurred his words. I decided to leave because I didn’t think it was fair to have a discussion about our divorce when he probably was going to forget what we would have decided. In my rush to leave, I accidentally forgot my MacBook laptop and was eager to come home and do some freelance work.

Grace, I went to my bedroom and the MacBook was on my desk. I immediately smelled a distinct burnt odor. I closely looked at the back of the computer and thought, “What the fuck?!” Yes, Grace, I couldn’t believe my eyes. My MacBook had melted. I lifted the top monitor on the laptop and saw the melted keyboard. Stunned and shocked, I started to cry. Without a second to lose, I called Adam at work.

Melted Macbook

“What happened to my computer?”

“What do you mean?” Adam asked.

“My computer is burned,” I said crying. “What did you do? Do you realize what you did? What have I done to you? Why are YOU so angry with me?

“Oh my God, Eve. I swear I thought I was dreaming.”

“What do you mean dreaming?”

Microwaved Macbook

“I thought I was dreaming that I microwaved your computer,” he said.

“No, you didn’t dream it. You did it and you are going to buy me a new computer this weekend. Do you hear me?! I can’t fucking believe you did this to me. What were you thinking?”

“I was drinking and remember taking Ambien and I must have been sleep walking,” Adam said.

“You need to stop this now, Adam. I gotta go and take this to the Apple store to see if they can recover the data.”

I hung up and cried hysterically.

Macbook Meltdown

Guiding Lesson: Oh Eve.  I am speechless. What in the world was he thinking?  But then again someone who microwaves his future ex-wife’s laptop could not have been doing too much thinking. I am baffled and don’t know how to even process such an act.

Well, I’ve heard that divorce brings out the worst but no one can really predict what this means unless you go through it. People who are normally rational human beings transform into unidentifiable characters that have grown from the seeds of pain, abuse, betrayal, bitterness, control, jealousy, etc. And the list goes on and on.

Adam obviously could no longer see clearly.  He was so consumed with ego along with other substances that he lost his internal compass and his true identity as a man of integrity before he ever microwaved your Mac.  This act was simply icing on the cake of how distant he had become from his very own soul.  His ego blinded him that he didn’t realize that his soul was surrounded by darkness.

Is this the only path during a divorce?  I am happy to say that you do have a choice. You don’t have to lead by your pain or dark thoughts and emotions.  Please know that the aches, sadness, anger etc. will be very real and will require you to walk through them. For avoiding them will cause them to rise up like monsters that will take over your life and impact others around you and eat you alive. So it is only by the grace of God that allows this darkness be transformed into light where peace, joy, compassion, etc will emerge.  All you need to do is learn to work through this time with integrity, honesty and faithfulness. This will help you avoid knee-jerk reactions, or defensiveness.

I believe the root of the ugliness is because people are allowing their pain to lead in accomplishing their goal of conquering and tearing the other person apart. They no longer see the other as having any self-worth and this can only lead to destruction of the other, hence, the melted laptop which was Adam’s way of doing this. His subconscious became awaken and could not tell reality from dreaming.

Well, Eve, I guess no one is exempt from the ever-present darkness that lingers around us in hopes of swallowing us up if we let it. But there is also light and the darkness cannot conquer for it shines to pierce through it. So I encourage you to put in place some daily routines where you can check in with yourself and make decisions from here where you are awake and present. I’m proud that you faced this crazy situation and asked for what you needed. Keep going. I am here.

Grace

Marriage

Solitude is the Answer to Loneliness

Valentine’s Day was a day to reflect on my love of a relationship. Whether it’s getting ready in the morning, having dinner together or sharing the parenting responsibility, I realized just how much I truly enjoy having a partner to experience the everyday things in life. I’m fully aware that my perspective on marriage and relationships is based on always being in a relationship and never being alone.

Grace, the more I think about being alone, the more difficult it is for me to jump right in and accept it. I mentally and emotionally struggle with the complexities of being alone, suffering of what I feel is abandonment, and feeling as I was rejected. At the same time, I also realize that I need to experience the process of being alone. I also know that I won’t be alone. I will have God, my friends and family. But to be honest with you, Grace, having those people around me is not the same as having someone next to me in bed or getting butterfly feelings in my tummy.

I yearn to have someone next to me for so many reasons. And Valentine’s Day doesn’t make it any easier when thinking about my situation. I think I’ll just indulge in a well-deserved Red Velvet cupcake. Cupcakes always bring a smile to my face and a satisfying feeling in my tummy, may not be butterfly feelings, but they sure lift my spirits. =)

Guiding Lesson: Your heart may not be leaping for joy but your stomach sure did as you bit into that seductive red velvet cupcake!    Yes, Eve, it is wonderful to share each moment, whether big or small with that special someone.  Life is filled with many events and the good times are multiplied when you have that person who makes your heart sing.  So what do you do when you don’t have anyone who fills this role in your life?  What are you supposed to do when the loneliness is so great that it feels like an endless dark cloud that doesn’t lift?

Well there is an answer to these questions.  The only thing that can overcome loneliness is helping to, with God’s grace, transform it into solitude.  Eve, solitude is the answer to loneliness.  It is a place where you begin to enjoy your own company and look forward to spending time with yourself.  You discover that you are a great companion.  In this state you are able to find a healthy companion to share your life with.  However, if you are not able to learn to enjoy the quiet moments with yourself, you may find that it will be difficult to attract healthy relationships.  What you will attract are people who might be more self-absorbed and your role will be to take care of them.  They won’t see your value but your neediness to have a relationship and hence they will find a use for you.

You don’t need to take my guidance.  The loneliness factor in the world is tremendous.  If you sit still and listen you will hear the people mourning and longing for a significant other.  You have a choice to join in or to look at loneliness in the eye and befriend it.  Don’t run away into someone else’s arms because you will eventually experience the sting of loneliness again.  It is like cancer.  If you don’t deal with it correctly, it may return and become terminal.

It is easier said than done.  Loneliness does not transform into solitude over night.  In fact, when you first arrive, you will need to learn to breathe in this new space because it will feel like you are in a different universe than what you are used to.  Paying attention to your breathing will be important so that you can then move into becoming present before your Divine Lover.  Remember, God wants to give you the desires of your heart.  But he can’t if you are working against his will.  Your breath, your stillness, your trust and your faithfulness will provide the opening for God to lead you both to each other.  I promise that if you are faithful to sitting still in God’s presence and embracing your self-worth, you will be lead to solitude, to peace, to joy.  In this state, you will encounter someone who also is able to see your self-worth because they see their own.  They have also allowed their loneliness to be transformed into solitude.  You will not be strangers because your souls have made the journey to meet before you actual meet in person.  Once you meet him, you will have a soulful experience like you’ve never had before.

So my question is, what is greater, your immediate self-gratification or trusting in God’s Will that he has someone for you that is worthy of your love?  Only you can answer this.  Know that God is a God of Love.  True, healthy and faithful love comes from him.  Are you willing to give in to loneliness or embrace solitude?

Here is a short prayer that you can say:  “Dear God, send me the person who is deserving of my love because I trust in your will for me.”

Grace