Nothing. That’s right, it turns out there is absolutely nothing funny about being married to Miss universe’s boyfriend. I found this out the hard way a few years back when I realized that my husband, who I adored, was dating another woman and that, that woman was… drum roll please… Miss Universe! Not Miss Kansas, or Miss America, But Miss flippin’ Universe. OUCH!

I was devastated. All I could think was that everyone in the whole universe must have thought she was better than me too.  Needless to say, I experienced a shock and shattering of my trust that I was not prepared for. How could I have prepared for it? One of life’s crueler bitch slaps is not the type of thing that you see coming. That is exactly why it stings so much. Preparing for it would be like preparing for a shark attack every time you went swimming. It’s just not how we hopelessly romantic humans roll.

And yet, heartbreak is a fact of life.  No one is safe from it. Insurance companies do not sell coverage for this sort of thing. So when it happens, it can leave you blindsided and spinning because break-ups and breakdowns are something that are supposed to happen to the other guy. We are not being silly or stupid or Pollyanna when we forget to prepare for relationship disaster.  It’s just not something you think about when falling in love.

However this is life. We will be brought to our knees. We will curse the heavens and mop the bathroom floor with our own tears. The punch will land, the wind will leave our sails and the world will turn its back. It’s a sure tenderization of the soul. And yet from this pruning, in the after math of all that is burned away, there swells the very spot where most of us learn how to really live.

We come to our brokenness, and though this is not an appointment anyone looks forward to, there is something almost mystical that rises from the ashes of these near death experiences.  If we get through it, if we hold on even just a bit, we will witness something that is beyond beautiful. We will witness our own strength.

The catastrophes of life can be our catalyst. It might not be as comical as being left for Miss Universe, but there will be death and grief, the loss of careers, the crumbling of dreams and the harsh hand that helps us hit bottom. It’s terrible, beautiful and sometimes it’s funny. Sometimes very funny, that is if you survive.

“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break, it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.” ― Ernest HemingwayA Farewell to Arms

It’s odd to think that strength is the thing that you meet in your weakest moment. Our personal ground zero is the foundation for huge growth.

When I look back at those days that stumbled in after Miss Universe’s boyfriend moved out of my life, I am amazed by the little powerhouse that I became. I didn’t know I had it in me.

No one teaches you how to get back up, in the same way that no one likes to talk about divorce at a wedding. No one tells you how to prepare for devastation. You can’t really experience your own strength from the stories of others. It’s not until your feet hit the fire that you learn how to dance.

From a distance I see the miracles.

After I was dumped for Miss Universe, I made a vow that I would never get involved with anyone ever again. When I realized how crazy that plan was, I settled on a 12-month sabbatical. I would not get involved with anyone for 12 months. It was the best 11 months of my life. At the end of the 11th, I got an offer I couldn’t refuse. Will asked me on a date.

YES – Will, the kind, funny, handsome, wonderful Will! The day after our first date Will shot a Cosmo Calendar… he was Mr. September. This is where truth get’s stranger than fiction. He was actually cast as Mister September in a Cosmo Calendar. I hit the jackpot and was feeling lucky. Something I had not felt in quite a while.

It wasn’t until after I was married to Will, a.k.a. Mr. Cosmo that I got the joke. God has a great sense of balance and a killer sense of humor. Left for Miss Universe and then I land Mister Cosmo. Can’t make that shit up. This is life. It has a delightfully frightening way of twisting and unraveling itself.

We will get knocked down, we will get back up, and we will get stronger. We may even get lucky, and in time, we will hopefully also get the joke.

 

Maureen Muldoon is a writer, speaker, storyteller and thought leader who helps you go from where you are to where you want to be in business, in love, and life. She blogs at www.communitysanctuary.com. ~ MaureenMuldoon.com and VoiceBoxStoryNight.com