Hey there, friend—

As I approached a critical point in my marriage where I would ask for a temporary separation—knowing deep inside it would likely be the end—I was toe-to-toe with my darkest thoughts and deepest fears.

In the space between thoughts of the reality I was facing, there were glimpses of something I’d not experienced before—a realization that I wasn’t handling this in the same way I had handled previous hardships.

​Instead of reacting to the situation aggressively, as I would have at earlier stages in my life, I was taking a very measured approach this time.

Despite my pain, shame, and suffering, I was consciously considering and choosing—my thoughts, my words, and my actions.

​Even though I was angry, appalled and deeply hurt, I did my best to look beyond the infidelities and abuse to contemplate the patterns of unresolved wounding that were playing out within him—and within myself.

From this place, it dawned on me that, while what I was experiencing was nothing short of atrocious, I was carrying myself with more integrity and grace than I had in the past.

Gone were the self-sabotaging patterns of my youth when I would come unglued, set the whole thing afire, and build yet another wall around myself. I was handling this circumstance from a higher place.

Maybe this was proof that I was evolving or perhaps this was when I was being carried by God (you will recall last week’s email with the poem, Footprints in the Sand).

Either way, it was not lost on me that I was doing things differently this time.

Speaking in terms of energy, this is known as spiraling upward.

​Each of us will experience a repeat of energetic, mental, emotional, circumstantial, and behavioral patterns throughout our lives (as I’m sure you’ve noticed).

Whenever we cycle back around to a particular theme or pattern—whether it’s a significant time of year or a repeat of previous hardships, we are given an opportunity.

The opportunity is either to spiral upward—making different choices from a higher place that signifies evolution. In simplified terms, this is to show up as our best self

…or, to spiral downward—which is to conduct ourselves from a lower expression of who we are capable of being, signifying devolution or, at the very least, a void in our personal and spiritual growth.

​Taking the higher path when presented with conflict, adversity, and difficult decisions is, no doubt, a highly challenging and uncomfortable practice.

This is what it means ‘to be in the work’. This is where the growth occurs, and it’s where the hard lessons are learned.

​Last week, I shared with you a phrase I’ve carried front and center since 2019 when all of this finally came to a head in my (now dissolved) marriage: “who am I becoming in the process?”

“Who Am I Becoming in the Process?”

As a practice: ask yourself this question as you contemplate your own hardships, and you will soon discover that the answers you receive will be in great contrast, depending on whether you’re coming from your best and highest self, or your worst and lowest expression.

Difficult as it is, you always have a choice in the matter. Choose wisely, my friends, for your personal lessons and spiritual growth depend upon it.

Always Be Rising,