A couple of years ago, I was grocery shopping and feeling a bit blah. My husband had asked me for a divorce, I'd hired a lawyer, and the legal wheels were grinding away, crushing my spirit beneath them. At the end of the light bulb aisle, I saw a book title that stopped me in my tracks: How I Came to Sparkle Again.
If there was one thing lacking in my life, it was sparkle. I was the girl whose college friends had called effervescent and encouraging. Now I was the abandoned mother-of-two just trying to get through the day without dissolving into tears or exploding into angry outbursts. Oh, my goodness, I thought. I have to have that book.
So I bought the book. I read the book. I cussed out the entire male gender when the main character caught her husband in flagrante delicto. I commiserated with her as she fled from her pain, going anywhere except there. I laughed harder than I've laughed in years as she experienced Christmas in a bachelor pad with a bunch of ski bums and their dogs (check out pages 106-110). I listened to Uncle Howard's wisdom and gained a little of my own. And somewhere along the journey, I regained my belief in SPARKLE.
My sister, right now you may feel dried up, brittle, dull. I won't lie: you will probably feel that way for a while. I am going to give you a strange piece of advice: embrace it. Name your feelings and own them. Don't try to talk yourself into feeling better or, worse yet, feeling nothing. Let your feelings be.
At the same time, love on yourself. Get a sitter so you can have a day alone in your house, to rail, to cry, to sleep, to watch movies your ex never wanted to watch. Take a sick day from work. Treat yourself to Chinese food. Spend two hours on the phone with your BFF. Each week, do one thing for no other reason than you want to do it ... or used to want to do it.
This is not selfishness. This is self-care. It is an essential part of the healing process. But tonight, get a copy of Kaya McLaren's novel and read it with a bowl of chocolate chips and a cup of coffee. Realize that you are not alone in your pain and that this pain will not forever define you.
Keep walking, dear one. You will sparkle again.