“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”
― Maya Angelou

I’m a martial artist. For over 17 years, I’ve kicked, punched and pushed through classes, seminars and tournaments. I’ve survived hours of grueling black belt tests, exhausted and covered in sweat. I’ve twisted, choked and arm-barred workout partners until they tapped out. I’ve been twisted, choked and arm-barred by workout partners until I tapped out. I’ve thrown and been thrown countless times. I’ve fought tough women, strong men, agile teenagers and masters with years more experience.

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With all of this hard work and training, you’d think it made me into a badass. Well yes, it did. On the surface anyway. But there was one thing that turned me into a badass deep within my soul.

My painful divorce.

Being a badass requires specific abilities. Divorce was my crash course in learning and honing in on the skills leading me towards personal growth, strength, love and freedom.

To a badass, you’ve gotta be tough and you’ve gotta be strong. Strength is required to handle the roller coaster of emotions experienced through divorce. I admit I didn’t feel tough at first. I faked it until I made it. Over time, I gained momentum by building upon my strength every day. One morning I felt a surge of superwoman energy charging throughout my body. Right then, I knew I was tough enough to make it.

After the destruction of my marriage, the warrior spirit within was awakened. I was fighting the biggest fight of my life. I had to survive the trauma and rise above the ashes to regain my identity. No longer was I giving in to people’s expectations. I stood up for myself, sticking to my values, beliefs and morals no matter what. I put on my sparring gloves and fought all resistance, obstacles and challenges. I was determined to win. Nothing was stopping me from getting through this and finding true happiness and freedom.

After years of sharing responsibilities, I was now doing everything on my own. Like a true badass, I needed to be smart and strategic with my choices. Decisions involving lawyers, insurance, finances, car maintenance, home and lawn care had to be researched, planned and completed. I also needed to trust my intuition for guidance in all areas of my life.

Badasses are forces to be reckoned with. But first, they must forgive. Holding on to anger and resentment creates a victim mentality. Badassess aren’t victims. They allow their circumstances to make them stronger, wiser and more loving.

Forgiveness doesn’t free the offender. It frees you.

I had to forgive my ex-husband for our failed marriage, and myself. With the power of forgiveness, my compassion for myself and others grew deeper, and I became more connected with humanity.

Badasses never quit. I never quit. I persevered straight through the darkness into the light. Standing tall in the face of adversity gave me the confidence to confront challenges head-on. When my heart was sliced into millions of pieces, it took every ounce of energy I had to move forward, but I continued on my path towards healing. Every day, I pushed through tests and trials, bringing me to higher levels of consciousness and spiritual awareness.

After living with someone for 15 years, it was downright scary living alone. I was stepping into the abyss of the unknown. My heart jackhammered out of my chest and my stomach turned inside out. But I decided to face my fears instead of playing it safe and living a lesser version of myself. I believed I was better off alone for the right reasons than being in a marriage for the wrong reasons.

The effects of divorce knocked me down hard. So I took a deep breath, got on my feet and regained my composure. Standing there, I made a commitment to learn about my true self. I deepened my meditation practice, began journaling daily, reconnected with old friends and made new ones, discovered my life’s purpose, and created goals reflecting my authentic self.

Throughout this journey, I learned the value of focusing on my needs, passions and desires. I turned inward, choosing to heal my soul. There’s nothing wrong or selfish about concentrating on yourself for a while. Giving myself time to heal and process everything allowed me to become a better parent, friend and person.

Divorce is terrible tragedy I’d never wish on anybody. I didn’t wish it for myself. But it happened. Instead of being a victim wallowing in self-pity, I chose to be a badass. Now I’m ready to take on the world with courage, strength, determination and passion. Nothing and nobody is going to stop this badass from living my dreams, and having a life filled with love, happiness and joy.

Jodi Heis is a mother, writer and graphic designer who enjoys creating anything that brings more love and beauty into the world. Her passion is to use her creative and intuitive gifts of healing to inspire others to live their life and create miracles for themselves.

Find out more: www.jodiheisz.com

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