THE BEST GIFT I EVER GAVE MYSELF,

was getting to know my true self.

– Bernice Donato

SOME WOULD SAY I CRACKED UP.

THE TRUTH IS, I WOKE UP.

Not long ago, a series of major life events, including the death of my father and being diagnosed with cancer uprooted my life.  It wasn’t his death or the threat of my own life that surprised me. It’s what happened in the years that followed.

In “The Year of Magical Thinking”, Joan Didion writes, “The death of a parent, despite our preparation, indeed, despite our age, dislodges things deep in us, sets off reactions that surprise us…”

That was certainly true for me.

My marriage had been in serious trouble, I was mentally and physically overwhelmed, totally emotionally exhausted, and the thought of taking on the growing divide in my marriage seemed daunting.

 

My fears kept me from being honest: I feared fighting, what my children would think and experience, how would it change their lives, how our family and friends would react, how would our lives change? So many thoughts swirled around in my head, but the one thing I knew for sure was, I didn’t want to do divorce like the masses did. I wanted to transition my family through this time with love, compassion, kindness and as much dignity as possible. However, those aren't the typical words used to describe the experience of divorce.

Personal development is a world I’ve participated in for decades; but, I was stuck, and I knew I couldn’t go at it alone. I began working with my own personal coach who immediately asked me to complete an attitudinal assessment.

I WAS SURPRISED AT WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT MYSELF.

I was operating from a place of hurt and disappointment, and this had manifested itself as anger. I was mad that my father died, mad at all that happened after his death, mad that I got cancer, mad because I couldn’t un-know what I desperately didn’t want to know about my marriage, and really mad because I thought I didn’t have any control.  

The biggest lesson of all was that my anger didn’t line up with the goal of divorcing with love, compassion, kindness and dignity.  What I learned through my own assessment completely changed the trajectory of how I participated going forward in transitioning out of my marriage and ultimately changed outcome for my whole family.  

why it was important to me.

WORKING WITH MY COACH ONE-ON-ONE HELPED ME GET CLEAR ABOUT WHO I WAS, WHAT I STOOD FOR, WHAT I REALLY WANTED, AND

The assessment provided me with the clarity to align my actions with the goal. I gained the confidence to speak my truth, stay the course and make the changes I really wanted to by realizing I did have choices. I just had to make them. I choose to navigate my whole family through the process with dignity, grace and love.  AND…it didn’t cost me tens of thousands of dollars to do it. Imagine that?

After 14 years of being home with my children, I went back to school, started my own successful coaching business, I’m running in ½ marathons and looking for a new home for the next chapter of my life to happen.  I’m so excited for what’s to come, especially because I’m creating it.

 

If you asked me 2 years ago if this was possible, I would have never thought so. Today, I can honestly say that my ex-husband and I wish one another well and are still very much a part of each other’s lives.  I could have only dreamed of this before.

​©2017 by Bernice Donato all rights reserved.​