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A Divorced Dad’s Journey: Fatherhood and Following One’s Heart

A Divorced Dad’s Journey: Fatherhood and Following One’s Heart
Today, we’ve interviewed Jason from Australia, father of two beautiful children from a former marriage, creator of “Alchemy of Love” and facilitator of initiation journeys for men, that open the doors to healing past wounds, shifting perception, following inner guidance, all with the purpose of forming and embracing healthy conscious relationships.
Jason reveals his inspiring life journey, speaks about his own divorce experience, what determined this life-changing decision, how kids cope up with such change of scenery, what can be done to ease the process, make peace with the past, and his reason for nestling on the sacred land of Ubud, Bali.
This story comes as a loving invitation towards conscious relating, be it with a former partner or current partner, letting go with love, reinventing yourself and trusting your body’s wisdom and intuition, as to regain your inner power.

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What led you and your former wife to end your marriage?

The idea to separate from the mother of my children came almost as fast as the knowing that, this same woman was going to be the mother of my children. We had been together for 11 years. Most of them happy, content and healthy. However, towards the end there was a distinct feeling that we were partners, more in operations, than in love. We worked really well together, and there was a lot of love. The spark had gone though, and after 11 years, I had a crush on another woman. I knew that this meant something deeper for my wife and me. She had also started to stray with her desire. Neither of us followed that desire to a point of dishonoring the other, yet the shift was obvious. She headed to Europe for her brothers wedding and while she was away, we really felt the energy of how we were holding each other back. We had been working so hard at making it all work, that, I can only speak for myself, I felt that I had lost myself in the equation. I was there as a father, a husband, a provider, a fixer of things in life and at home.

I recall a specific moment where I was doing a meditation out in our back yard and I tuned into my inner flame. What I saw scared me… I saw the ash from a great bonfire, grey and powdery. I swept away the ash looking for the fire underneath. All I could find was the glow of a tiny ember. In my mind’s eye, I blew on this ember and started to feed it with kindling. The tiniest of twigs, just to bring it back to life. I saw this as a metaphor of my inner flame. One that I had disregarded for too many years, long before the marriage had started, exalted by my situation in the last years. I swore to myself in that moment that I would never dishonor my own flame like this again and I would make myself a priority, so that I can be strong and powerful within myself, to be able to share this with my children and the world. When my wife returned from Europe, we had many conversations about ‘life’ as we described it to our 7 & 9 years old children at the time. These times were filled with tears and heartache until one night about 2am after another long night of conversations, we spoke the words… “maybe we should separate”. It was incredible, the weight that was lifted in both myself and my wife. All of a sudden there was relief and joy in our beings and we began to laugh together…

What were your challenges after divorce and how did you find relief and balance?

For me, the hardest part of separating was the void that was created. Being a father that loved to be involved in our girls lives, school drop off & pick up, reading to them in bed, taking them to the park and building things for their rooms, the absence was the hardest part for me. And because of the pain that is created through the absence, it can be torturous to leave them and go to my empty home after visiting them or having them stay with me. The transition took time as there was a lot of love between their mother and I, but I went into a very dark place of completely losing my identity.

I was a father, a husband, I had a 9 to 5 job. All of this disappeared from my life and I started to take drugs as a way of avoidance and to rewrite who I am. This only created a greater disconnection from their mother as she started to lose trust in me and the girls being with me. It just added to the negative spiral I was in and I went deeper into the abyss. There was part of me that needed to put myself first, and work my way out of this and my path was through Tantra. A place where all is possible and it was up to me to begin to witness what fuels my inner flame and how can I support that. Tantra, for me was about awareness of Self. Becoming a witness to what I am doing, how I am doing it and how that serves me… or not. There were times where I was deeply selfish and I put myself first. I felt that I needed to to survive. It really felt that way.

From your experience, what are some of the emotional difficulties children experience when their parents divorce?

For me the emotional difficulties for children with a divorce is the self-blame that happens. Both of my daughters went through a phase of blaming themselves for our separation. That if they had made it easier for us in some way that we would be together still. I truly feel that we have been able to move past that. The strongest feeling that resides is that of abandonment. Both of my daughters still have an element of feeling that they are not important enough for me to stay in the marriage and especially after moving abroad for 3 years, they feel that there were times where they were not loved. I love them always, and there were times while I was abroad and so caught up in the world that I was living, that they were not very present in my world. I have learned from this and we are building a supportive, dynamic and loving relationship again now.

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What is the conscious way that leads to “good divorce” as far as children are concerned?

The most important thing in a “good divorce” in my mind is that there is a mutual respect for each other as adults. Negative talk about the other in front of the children can be very harmful for the relationship with each other and the children. It creates sides that the children need to support or fight against.

Staying together “for the children”. What is your take on this?

Staying together can look like many things. I know people who have stayed in the same house, separated their sleeping areas and are co-parenting in the same house. I think this is amazing, when possible, as it creates the least disturbance for the children. This can be quite challenging for the parents though, especially as they become interested in other people romantically. In the version where the parents stay together in a toxic environment, where there is a lots of aggression, verbally, emotionally, hopefully not physically, I am not a big fan. From my experience, I know that our children are much better off with their mother and I separated. They now get to live with parents that provide them a loving home, filled with joy and love. I also really like the spectrum of upbringing that is created when the parents take responsibility for themselves and live the life they are most excited about. This gives the children a greater range of what life can look like, in comparison to the compromise of the 2.

Why did you decide to come to Ubud, Bali, after your divorce?

There are a number of reasons that I came to Bali and the first was to be involved in creating communities that support living in harmony with the earth, with each other and our unique expression as souls. I was on a journey to find myself. I had been separated for a while and I needed to shift things. The mother had moved on, found a new partner and they had a child together. The girls were in a safe and loving place. It was time for me to take myself to the next level of acceptance of myself and bring my inner flame that was growing to the next level.

Bali is a unique location, especially around the Ubud area where I was living. I remember traveling back to Australia to visit my children and my friends and family would ask me why I like Bali so much. My response was “it feels my soul”. And at this point, my soul needed feeding. I needed to take care of myself. It was an incredibly painful and expansive time for me. I remember the heartache I felt every time that I drop the girls at home as I made my way to Bali for another few months. I can say that after being there for most of 3 years, that I am more myself than I remember in a very long time and I found a place where I have said “I have not been this happy since I was 5”.

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What is special about Ubud and why do you think people travel there when they experience a major life change?

Ubud is a very unique place on the planet. The simple fact that Bali is a Hindu island in the middle of a Muslim country is a testament to the strength of the spirit that resides there. To be in a location where there is so much worship going on that the energy is palpable is infectious. Being in a restaurant where there is an alter and 3 times a day a member of the staff will put on ceremonial attire and ask for blessings for the all the patrons, the staff and all things really. They even have days where they worship metal that is being used like cars, cutlery and the like. The most integral for me though, and I feel that this is where much of the magic lies in Bali and Ubud in particular, as the spiritual hub of the island, is the recognition, honoring and worship of the dark. They fully own that we are not only light beings, but that there is a darkness in the world and within us and if we acknowledge this, there is a potential to harness this great power that is not evil, it is a force from within.

All of this and more creates an energetic vortex of people that travel from around the globe to come to this Mecca for creative, spiritual individuals. If you are looking to see yourself more deeply, Ubud will help you. You may not like what you see, though it will be true. She will show you what you need to see about yourself and how you are in the world. Bali is a place for the emotionally and spiritually brave.

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You are running initiation journeys that support men to shift their perception, step into authenticity and heal past wounds so they can have healthy conscious relationships. Tell us more about this work you dedicate yourself to.

The Initiation Journey, A Men’s Integration Immersion is a 6 days deep dive for men who are looking to have a deeper understanding of themselves and have a desire to move past the limiting beliefs that are created through life. For all people, men & women, the stronger we love and are aware of ourselves, the more we are able to show up for love and ourselves in the world. Through these 6 days we deal with some of the greatest hurdles that are present for men today. One of the first topics we discuss on this retreat is competition. We live in a world where the Alpha male is still a big part of our society. Where any sign of vulnerability is seen as weakness and a power-over dynamic results (1 man overpowering another man). As we have more awareness of how this shows up in our world, we are able to move this alpha role within and we become our own leader.

We do not need to lead others, for the fear of otherwise losing control. We do not need to follow others, for the fear of otherwise losing love. When we can come to a place of inner strength, where we are aware of our own boundaries, values and desires, we can truly take command of our lives. There are many men who are looking to take more control of their lives and are finding it difficult to find role models in the world of how to love, live and be in the full power of self, without hurting others. This is my desire over these 6 days. To allow men to move into their own power, by having the place where they can truly dive deep into their vulnerability and find the strength in that. It is an honor to hold this space for other brothers and to hold space in men’s circles at the YOUniverse retreat, as a man who is more in his power than ever before, and understands that it is my vulnerability to see those parts of me that I most do not want to see, that has brought me here.

 

GO ON A HONEYMOON WITH YOURSELF

 

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