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Eat, Pray, Love – Getting Your Self Esteem Back After A Divorce

I spent a decade with a person who I adored, so when our marriage failed, I was heartbroken and spent nearly 2 months crying my eyes out. Even though I led a very full life, the disappointment had stripped me of my self-esteem when our relationship ended.

Then one day, a friend said “Kat, you don’t have any kids…go travel.” Alone? Where would I go? Sounds fun, but kind of scary.

So, I did. I mustered up the courage and set my plan into motion. I quit my job, sold my house, and threw my lifelong treasures into a storage unit. Then I packed my North Face bag, and bought a ticket to Hawaii to see my family.

While I was packing, a friend dropped off a book for me called “Eat, Pray, Love.” She explained it was a ‘must read’ for a newly divorced woman on an adventure.

On the plane ride to Hawaii, I scanned the back cover and read the first section of Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir, but I had trouble understanding her story. Why would a woman leave a perfectly good relationship because she was bored? I couldn’t relate, especially since my husband had just dumped me for a 20-something year old girl. It didn’t sit well with me, so I put down the book and threw it back into my bag.

When I got to Hawaii, I spent valuable time with my family. It was the perfect time to reconnect with my loved ones and find myself. Even though I was going through a tough time emotionally, I laughed everyday and enjoyed each moment.

After a couple weeks in Hawaii, I booked the rest of my round the world trip. For $2500, I could travel wherever I wanted, as long as I was moving in one direction. I made New Zealand my first stop, so I could say one last goodbye to my in-laws, then Australia, Bali, Thailand and back to San Francisco.

While I was nervous about being a woman traveling to Southeast Asia, I figured I had nothing else to lose. I already lost my old life, my self-esteem, my X, and my pride. What else could possibly go wrong? I had already lost my life partner, and after the divorce, a part of me and all my expectations had died as well. Now, for first time in my life, I wasn’t afraid of anything.

The trip to NZ, and OZ went well, but when I got to Bali, it took my breath away. The week before, a traveler named Kate, who I had met in Australia, told me to visit the Bali Buddha Cafe in Ubud and then go see a Balinese healer named Wayan. I had never seen a healer but thought it might be a “Balinese experience” that I shouldn’t pass up. I made an appointment with her the next day.

When I sat down with Wayan, she lit incense, raised her hands, chanted softly and scanned my body. She said I was dehydrated, needed calcium, had a sore right knee, and a busy mind. Hmmm…the busy mind definitely rang true. I was then ushered upstairs for a massage treatment. It was fabulous! When I awoke from my relaxed state, she and her daughter washed me with large leaves and muddy brown water, then they cooked a delicious organic meal.

During lunch, Wayan shared a story about a man who had come in to see her because he needed her to fix his limp banana. I found it odd that she was telling me a story about her special healing/borderline sleasy healing techniques, but when I saw the framed picture of a blond Haole woman on her mantel and recognized Elizabeth Gilbert’s face, I put it all together.

After I left Wayan, I rushed back to the bungalow and grabbed the book “Eat Pray, Love”. There was an entire section on Indonesia that I hadn’t seen, and intimate details about Wayan, the healer, “limp banana lady.”

I sat and read the entire book and actually enjoyed it. I realized that, like Liz, I was on my own spiritual journey hoping to rediscover my identity, get my self esteem back, find balance, and inspiration. The book’s main message spoke to me –  figure out what makes you happy, pray for guidance and when you make room (emotionally and spiritually), good experiences and good people will enter your life.

During the trip, I spent months alone with my thoughts, analyzed my feelings, and tried to figure out what lessons I had learned along the way and what role I had played in my failed relationship. I wrote in my journal and spent everyday being completely ‘in the moment’.

Finally after 4 months of traveling, my new journey became clear. When I got back to the States, I would create a website called thebreakupguide.com, a place where people come for inspiration; to enrich, empower, and restore their life after a divorce. This site would be my way of sharing my knowledge, my experience and giving back to those suffering through a tough break-up and/or divorce.

Thanks Liz for sharing your wisdom and your journey with us.

13 thoughts on “Eat, Pray, Love – Getting Your Self Esteem Back After A Divorce

  1. Thanks for sharing this w us. I’m about to start a trip away from marriage, and its good to know that a real trip, like you did, its a healing tool. Many blessings for you. Consider me a new reader for your page. Btw, I’m from Dominican Republic.

  2. Glad that you’re speaking about it so the rest of us will know! Definitely will keep in mind. Also, took me a while to get it right, you have to nurture the place that first made it work early on and also avoid a ton of poor decisions we all make naturally if you want to help fix your marriage

  3. With thanks really much for expressing this useful article. I’m just starting up my unique weblog and also this has given me inspiration to what I can achieve.

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