Hermosa Beach, CA
“Names have power.” – Rick Riordan, The Lightning Thief
Free to be me.
I am Catherine Grace O’Connell.
A name I call myself.
Not my birth name,
A name that I have chosen,
My new name, LEGALLY!
My divorce was finally over in 2009.
I believed I was free.
I had a lot to learn about freedom.
I headed West.
Like Thelma without Louise
Me and a dog named Boo.
Ok, her name was Tuli.
Ready to change my life.
Ready to be free.
To live free.
I left almost everything behind.
Except that f*#king last name.
Why in the world would I take that Albatross with me?
The thing about freedom is, it isn’t a piece of paper, a divorce decree, that gives you freedom. Freedom is a gift you give yourself.
You see, I left an abusive marriage, a marriage that left me broken into a million pieces – a marriage that would destroy my sense of Self – a marriage where I slowly constructed an inner prison … one without Grace.
Abuse has a way of seeping into every fiber of your being, holding your thoughts hostage, as it turns you into the abuser, your abuser, over time.
Moving west, thousands of miles away, leaving my life and everything that went with it behind, I thought my life would magically change. It would change but it would take time – a very long time – as I had a lot to learn and a lot to “unlearn”, to understand, about freedom – true freedom – about how life works and how to change a life from the inside out.
Over a 20 year marriage, what I learned was how to hate myself. That was a lesson that lived inside of me. It was time for a new lesson. It was time to learn how to love myself.
Abuse has a way of taking over our subconscious, filling our minds with negative thoughts – thoughts that aren’t ours – thoughts that belong to the abuser – thoughts that keep us tied to the abuser.
It would take time – lots of time, therapy, gut wrenching inner work – to understand the power I had given away, the power I needed to take back – power that wasn’t outside of me – power that was inside of me.
It would take tears, a lot of tears, a lot of grief and a lot of grace to move forward and to leave my past and those chains behind.
Every negative thought, every negative emotion, every angry word spoken about my marriage, my past, was a chain, a link, that would keep me bound in an inner prison of my own making.
Freedom would come by taking back my power, by becoming awake and aware, by focusing forward – not backward, by consciously dismantling the inner prison I helped to construct.
Freedom is a feeling.
Freedom is a choice.
Freedom isn’t out there.
Freedom is in here.
It takes Moxie to be free and to live free.
Moxie is the key to freedom.
Moxie is believing in yourself,
believing that you are a force of character.
Moxie is learning to love the f*#k out of yourself!
Moxie is letting go of the past.
Moxie is taking back every ounce of power from
someone who never deserved it.
Last Friday, I walked out of the California Superior Courthouse with a new name, Catherine Grace O’Connell – leaving behind Catherine Anne McCormick and the last tie to my past and a marriage that nearly destroyed me.
I left the courthouse, feeling free, finally free, free to be me – not from a piece of paper with a new name, but from an inner world without a prison, an inner world that belongs to me.
One that’s full of Grace.
Need More Moxie?! See all my Moxie On Monday’s!