Seeds of Change with Aleathia Drehmer

A hundred times a day I remind myself that my inner and outer lives are based on the labors of other people, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure that I have received, and am still receiving.

Albert Einstein

In recent months my ex-husband and I have started to be friends again after 3 years of bitterness and anger from our separation. We had spent a good 16 years together traveling the country, sharing, laughing, fighting and loving each other, but somewhere along the road that was not enough for either of us to keep growing. And though we both needed the split, we were somehow angry about it. It felt like the biggest failure of our lives and through it we never communicated which left a mountain of tension between us which ultimately slide down the other side of the slope towards our daughter.

We really had to dig deep and find kindness to be able to see that after all that we had been through we were still really great people and great friends. It took the thought of continually breaking our daughter’s heart with our combined silences and awkward exchanges to make us stand up and take notice. We were not only hurting her, but we were hurting each other. We had lost the definition of kindness in the woods somewhere between my heart and his.

To commemorate our discovery we created a family night at my house where all three of us sit down to a meal, laugh, play a game or play Frisbee, or just watch a movie. We enjoy each other’s company in a true and whole way. Our daughter’s attitude about life has begun to open like a flower. Her love is expanding instead of contracting as it was before and we see her smile reaching out to people and her laughter reminding us of the glory of life; it reminds us of why we became friends in the first place nearly 20 years ago.

The other day my ex was in a bind with his new girlfriend. He was feeling like it was over and that somehow he had stopped trusting in her. I saw him moving through this negative spiral in which it is very hard for him to get out of. I learned that in all our years together. It was part of what separated us in the first place. I had an opportunity at that moment to do two things: I could tell him he was right and that it was over, or I could find a kind way to help him express his feelings so he could be heard. I reminded him that the seed in his head about his relationship was dragging the past behind it and that he had forgotten one important thing….he forgot to talk to his girlfriend about his concerns and that he had to do it in a way that wasn’t accusatory, but gentle and vulnerable and open.

He did this and their love is still intact. His heart is bigger and his trust in love restored. It seems a strange place to be, giving love advice to the man that I spent most of my life with, but in the end I have only ever wanted his happiness to return. It felt good to be an honest and caring woman. It felt good to know that loving-kindness isn’t fleeting and that I have shed the shells of anger and bitterness in order to make his life better. This is what friends do, they love and forgive and pay forward the kindness that comes to them in all the small ways they can.

Aleathia Drehmer edits Durable Goods, In Between Altered States and poetry at Full of Crow. She is a member of the Be Gentle, Be Love group and is slowly but surely working through a lifetime of damage and turning it into kindness. She has a collection of poetry from Propaganda Press called You Find Me Everywhere. Aleathia’s blog about discovering the great things in life can be found at


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