There I was in my mid thirties and about to divorce my second husband. I was commiserating with my brother, Randall about the terrible turns my life had taken. He was going through a divorce too and I expected sympathy from my brother. I don't know why. If you've met my family, you know we're the most unsympathetic people on the family.
"Your life is the way it is because you choose for it to be," he said.
It took me a minute. Did he really just say that? I didn't choose to marry men with problems. I got upset and in true Thompson fashion, I masked it. I don't believe I even responded at the time.
But his words followed me around. I began to look at my past decisions and experiences. It didn't take me long to realize that he was exactly right. I chose to put myself in those situations. The only person I had control over was myself, and at that moment I realized I could change.
I began talking to my brother with a new awareness. He pointed out that I was always looking for a man to make me whole. I needed to be me and then find a man who would appreciate me for the woman I was rather than molding myself to be the woman he wanted.
Through that year of separation and then the divorce, I took time off from men, which is what you're supposed to do. That old saying the only way to get over a man is to find a new one is ridiculous - you'll find yourself right back in the same type of relationship even though you're with a different man.
I spent time with my family. I really got to know my mother and little did I know then but I would only have a few more precious years with her. I spent time with my kids. I went to school. I worked. And I got to know God as a God who loves me despite my past and my problems.
Your life is the way it is because you choose for it to be.
Those are the words that hurt, but they changed my life and I am so grateful to my wise little brother for telling me just like it was even though it hurt.