We can’t hold on to things and move forward…

by Judith F Kennedy, PhD

North of Divorce

The irony wasn’t lost on me. After years and years of work as a psychologist and leadership consultant–working with couples and individuals– I found myself wondering how the rug got pulled out from under me. Humbling to say the least.

So I decided to write a book as both therapy for me as I traversed the mine field of ending a marriage and as a way to give back and curate the wisdom, clinical experience and resources that I have accumulated over many years.

Actually, none of us is exempt. A journey across the plains of any major loss takes courage, strength and resolve, just like a kite flying on the air tethered to a slight string. it eventually finds its invisible purchase in the air and rises. Even though we may not believe it, just like the kite, we will-and do–rise.

Know someone who might benefit from this book? Please pass it on. It will help in navigating the process of moving on after a relationship ends. There are also resources on my site http://www.intoabeautifullife.com.


“I remember a sunny but cold day in Plymouth, Massachusetts. I was living with my ex in a condo overlooking a golf course in the Pinehills. I took my

Chihuahua, Bella, to the market with me. She was a sweet, loving and affectionate dog although she couldn’t walk far because of two knee surgeries and a weakened heart. We finished our shopping and went back to the condo. I picked up a big bag of groceries, some bottled water and Bella from the car.

I walked up the ramp with my load through the first door into the building. At the second door, I hesitated. Maybe I should set things down and then walk through. No, I just pushed on through, bending over to find the handle of the door, balancing the bag of groceries, the dog and all. Then it happened. I dropped my beloved Bella. She landed on her stomach on the concrete floor, legs splayed. She couldn’t get her breath. As I knelt beside her, I could see her struggling, her little weakened heart racing. She was frightened and panting. We sat there on the cold floor for a long while. Finally. She caught her breath, and as I picked her up she licked my face.

I was horrified at what I had done. I thought I could push through that door, taking everything with me. I did not want to waste time, slow down, or let the rules of life apply to me.

I had the opportunity to put down my burden, open the door, cross gently and pick up what I needed. My ego blocked me from the reality of my situation. Time and time again, we are offered the chance to learn an important lesson: We cannot hold on to things and move forward. We must let go of the things that do not serve us including life itself. To enter a new life, we must let go of blame, ego, righteousness, hurt–, all the things that diminish us.

“To journey without being changed is to be a nomad. To change without journeying is to be a chameleon. To journey and to be transformed by the journey is to be a pilgrim.” Mark Nepo

We are pilgrims –you and I.