I have two more posts in the series with my guest, Carlos Phillips who’s been divorced now for about ten years. During that time he’s learned to forgive himself and his ex, to be the rock star dad and to fall in love again. He’s taken all that experience and turned it into a book, Healed Without Scars and into the Healed Without Scars Ministry to help others with divorce recovery. Here’s Carlos to talk about them:
The book was really what I learned in that seven-year period between being divorced and remarried, crystallizing the best practices for how to move past the pain of divorce, to the place where you are ready to be remarried again. From that, my wife and I have started our own organization, Healed Without Scars, and we focus on doing divorce recovery classes for individuals who need it, step-parenting classes, individual consultation for step-parents and also individual consultation for divorcees. Everything that we can do in those areas and those arenas is what our ministry is about.
Our ministry is open to anyone of any faith because what we want to do is administer or minister help to individuals who are hurting. That’s really what’s at the heart of the word ministry for us; we want to administer help to anyone who is hurting from this pain because I’ve been there. Anyone who is in a step-family situation, my wife wants to address because she’s there now and has seen the ups and downs of it. Regardless of your faith, regardless of your beliefs, we just want to share things with you that we have learned through our own situations that will help you move forward so that you can get to a place of healing.
I had never written a book before. Amazingly, the book came out of the journaling I was doing after my divorce. I was finding myself every morning waking up and sitting next to the window in my apartment with a notebook and writing down how I felt that day. I don’t know where I got that idea from, but eventually all of those hundreds of hundreds of pages of notebook turned into the book.
When I was in the book store, I would see a lot of women books, books for women, books by women, but I didn’t see too many written for or by men, so I wanted to have individuals understand from a male’s perspective what it means for them to heal and what hurt for a man looks like so that even if you have not gone through divorce yourself or you know someone who has, you can just pick this up for them, maybe it can help them to move to a place of healing for themselves. I really wanted to help somebody.
Men are knuckle-heads. We really are. We would rather drink our sorrows away or smoke our sorrows away or try to have sex with as many women as possible to bury the pain, rather than picking up a book or listening to a CD or something that will help us, because we’re taught to not have hurt. We do hurt, but we’re taught not to express it. That’s one of the greatest challenges is to have a man that’s vulnerable enough to say “I need some help” and then to seek it out and actually find it and go and get it.
If you can do the work on yourself after your first marriage has ended, and I mean really get down to some serious core issues as to why you do what you do or why you did what you did and how and why you think the way that you do, and get answers to those questions and get healing from whatever pain may have caused you to have those mind sets, then you’re able to move forward in a healthy way and be in a healthy relationship.
It all has to begin and end with forgiveness. Un-forgiveness is just like walking around drinking acid. It’s killing you from the inside out. When you can get to a place of having complete forgiveness,
“Yes this happened, no I didn’t appreciate what happened, I didn’t appreciate the pain, but I refuse to live another day further being angry with what this person,”
when you can get to that place and really mean it, then I believe that’s going to be the beginning of you healing and being the person that you’re supposed to be.
The Divorce Coach Says
The Healed Without Scars Ministries is now Carlos’s full-time work alongside his wife Clarissa. Career changes and divorce often seem to happen together – a number of the women I’ve interviewed have changed careers. I think divorce has a way of opening up the mind to new possibilities. Sometimes the career change is because of the need for greater financial self-sufficiency. Sometimes it’s a coincidental new and exciting opportunity. Sometimes, like in Carlos’s case, there’s an opportunity to build on your existing career or to branch off in a new direction. For myself, I took a severance from my twenty-plus year career in financial services three years before my divorce but both events are connected. I can see now that they were both about my journey to be true to myself.