One day, one step, one moment at a time

Udaya Pillalamarri
2 min readJul 28, 2020

I’m sitting here in this room, filled with soft hues and some fantastic acoustic guitar music playing in the background from my Spotify account. Allie, my chocolate lab, is beside me and I can hear her breathe peacefully as she falls into deep slumber. Her presence, breath and this music are giving me semblance of comfort and peace.

Divorce during a pandemic. I’m not sure what is more painful honestly; emotionally, physically distancing myself from this divorce or living through this pandemic. Time, on certain days, feels suspended and there are triggers everywhere. I could be walking on one of my favorite trails, enjoying outdoor sunshine, breeze amongst trees and next thing I know I’m falling deep into sorrow. I had such a moment earlier this evening after I’d finished my walk with Allie. And it didn’t even hit me till much later during my divorce care support session when I just burst out into tears.

In the past I might have cried myself to sleep but today though I picked myself back up quickly. And a lot of that has to do with practicing Ikigai and figuring out ways I can appreciate the present moment. I go on runs, walks with Allie to help me breathe and practice gratitude for being alive. I’ve taken up childhood hobbies of singing, painting and putting together thousand piece puzzles to unearth moments of calm and gain solidity within. However, today that support group was my rock and their stories put my grief into perspective. They made me realize I could do far much better than indulge in moments of depression. That I had much to offer for myself and consequently this one immensely valuable life I would like to lead.

The group coordinator read a poem at the end of our session and it resonated deeply with me. So dear reader, if you’re in need of strength and courage, I hope it gives you what you need to get through this moment and more to come:

The Knots Prayer

Dear God,
Please untie the knots in my mind,
my heart and my life.

Remove the have nots,
the can nots, and the do nots
that I have in my mind.

Erase the will nots,
may nots,
might nots that may find
a home in my heart.

Release me from the could nots,
would nots and
should nots that obstruct my life.

And most of all,
Dear God,
I ask that you remove from my mind,
my heart and my life all of the “am nots”
that I have allowed to hold me back,
especially the thought that
I am not good enough.