*Editor’s note: Elephant Journal articles represent the personal views of the authors, and can not possibly reflect Elephant Journal as a whole. Disagree with an Op-Ed or opinion? We’re happy to share your experience here.
The thought of starting life over at 50 when I hadn’t planned for it was terrifying.
Why was this happening to me? What had I done to deserve this? What hadn’t I done? Could I have avoided this or done something to prevent it?
Feelings of resentment, anger, failure, and loss raced through me and all I wanted to do was hide.
Infidelity is devastating and I had experienced the worst form of it. I went to sleep one night, happily married, and woke up the next day to the realization that my marriage was irreversibly broken.
Everything I thought to be true was, in fact, a total lie.
At first, like anyone else, I curled up, pulled the covers over my head, and couldn’t face the truth. If I didn’t acknowledge it, it wasn’t real. Right? If I stayed in bed long enough, with the curtains drawn, the issue would surely go away and things would return to how they were before.
Four weeks had passed before I forced myself to face reality. I threw the covers off, stood up, and my pajamas fell promptly to the floor! In my period of blocking out the world, I had blocked out my body too. Needless to say, I hadn’t eaten much.
Looking at my PJ’s pooled around my ankles and thinking, “You did want to lose some weight.” I burst out laughing—one of those belly laughs with tears running down my face. I collapsed on the bed with laugh cramps, trying to catch my breath. It felt good to feel joy again, even for something as small and silly as that.
In my moment of clarity, I decided I wasn’t going to hide from anything or anyone again. No matter what it took, I would not allow anyone to take my joy from me.
After “the pajama incident,” as I now call my first day of awakening, I grabbed a pad of paper, went for a walk, and found a place to sit to really think about what I wanted my life to be from that point forward.
I understood that, regardless of what happened, I had to keep living. Life wasn’t going to stop. Plenty of people had been through what I had, for some even worse, and they lived. So I made a promise to never feel sorry for myself again. I had to be the one to change; I was responsible for my own happiness.
The burning questions were: What did I want? What direction did I want my life to take? I wasn’t completely positive, but I knew it would involve gratitude for my new found freedom and giving back in some way.
Jobless and homeless at age 50, I knew I had some serious decisions to make. I could try to pick up where I had left off seven years earlier, or I could create a whole new life—one I had always wanted.
In the moment, I commit to re-creating myself.
I dedicated the following months to healing, self-love, and starting over. I lived, breathed, ate, and visualized everything I could using the law of attraction. I became a staunch student of A Course In Miracles, inhaling all I could from its teachings. Gabby Bernstein became my mentor and I ingested everything she’s ever written.
This new way of life felt right to me. But being the manager of my own destiny proved to be a bit difficult. I was, admittedly, a control freak. I needed to know how things were going to work out, and I wanted to be in charge of everything.
The law of attraction teaches us that we have to let go and trust that what we want will come to us. Allowing the universe to figure it all out was challenging for me, to say the least. But once I learned how to live in the moment with gratitude and joy, my life quickly became amazing.
I’m not saying that it was magic, on the contrary, I had to take consistent, actionable steps toward the life I knew I wanted. I had to believe, even without knowing how, that it would all be okay and that I would, in time, achieve my greatest desires.
Manifesting the lives we want takes practice.
Once I decided what exactly it was that I wanted, I had to believe I deserved it and learn to let go of the fear of it not happening in order for it to manifest. Eventually my life changed, and even things that I didn’t know I wanted started to appear. The universe is wonderful that way!
Today, I work as a public speaker and empowerment coach, helping women realize their own dreams of freedom from pain, fear, and self-doubt. I’ve traveled to 52 countries, spreading my message and falling in love with myself again.
Am I finished discovering who I am and what I want? I sure hope not! But the journey is the best part. Doing exactly what I want, where I want, with whom I want is an exciting experience that I am forever grateful for.
I’ve forgiven all those who’ve hurt me. Although some are no longer a part of my life, I am thankful for my experiences with them because it has lead me to this place, this time, this version of myself.
I’ve mended relationships with my family and friends in a way I wouldn’t have been able to do had I not learned what I know now. I’ve accepted a new, more open way of seeing the world. I don’t judge or care if I’m judged, I just let things be.
Along the way I’ve drawn to myself the most amazing new people and experiences. I celebrate what I’ve learned about myself and rejoice when others embrace self-love and awareness too.
Although my heart was broken and scarred, I trust when the time is right, I’ll love again.
He’s out there, somewhere, manifesting me.
My ultimate hope is that I may inspire other women who are faced with sorrow, pain, and uncertainty to reach within and find their own power. It’s never too late and we’re never too old to live the lives we want.
My advice is this: Dream big, reach for it all, but most importantly, love yourself with all your imperfections.
It’s the cracks that let the light through—love creates miracles!
Author: Marie Hernandez
Image: Alex Ronsdorf / Unsplash
Editor: Danielle Beutell
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