Philanthro-me: Part 7 (Age 38-40)

“Giving as a Path to Clarity”

In light of this new perspective, I was filled with such deep compassion. I was brought to my knees in the face of the arrogance I had demonstrated in all the ways I had gotten it wrong. I tried to share this new eternal perspective with my spouse, but he was unprepared and taken aback by my newfound voice.

Within two months it occurred to me that divorce might be the most compassionate solution to our troubled relationship, but I was not entirely convinced. I had been wrong about so much: what if I was wrong about this too? Perhaps we were supposed to be “that” couple who had overcome impossible odds, only to rise as a shining example of what is possible when two people are truly committed to each other. I felt so deeply that divorce was the right answer, but I still didn’t trust my voice. Instead I was left with empty questions.

Withdrawing into the silence, I asked myself why: Why did divorce seem to be the best answer? I couldn’t put my finger on it. I mean, there were plenty of reasons both for and against, but there was no one compelling reason in either direction.

And then the answer came to me. It burst up from inside me like a raging volcano. In the silence of the question, I finally understood why divorce truly was the only viable step! The answer: I needed to stop asking “why”. Instead I needed to simply trust my insights, and trust that I had the wherewithal to handle whatever would happen as a result.

Within six months, the house was sold, my girls and I were moving into a beautiful apartment in the same school district, and my spouse had secured a new space two hours south from us as a result of a job opportunity which he couldn’t afford to pass up.

In the final months of my marriage, I performed my first act of authentic philanthropy. I would compassionately give, but not “in hopes of” gaining anything in return. I would give up needing to know why, and begin learning to trust myself beyond all reason.

(to be continued . . . )

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