Divorce can be a time of turmoil in many ways- physically, mentally, and emotionally. Most people can’t wait until it is over. Here’s an invitation- create a new definition of divorce for the opportunity it really is.
Here are some thoughts to keep you steady, grounded, and coming out the other side of divorce in one piece and even with a new appreciation for yourself.
The thing to remember during a divorce is that your life is not on hold – it is happening now. Right now, you are responsible for the thoughts that you think and the things you choose as the object of your attention. Each moment gives you the choice of who you want to be and who you are becoming. In this sense, any divorce settlement will ultimately be with only you.
You are building your legacy, being a role model, and thinking the thoughts that will create your tomorrows. Yes, even in the midst of circumstances that appear to be “in your face.”
You always have options. You can parade the faults of your spouse up and down the streets of your friendships. You can wave the banners of “Poor me” and “Look what they are doing” at every family gathering. Or, you can use it as a time to get straight with yourself. Maybe the path of least resistance that became a false sense of comfort and lead to this dissolution is meant to become a broad road paved with strength, courage and a newfound, joyous life of your own making.
There’s a saying, “If you argue for your limitations, you get to keep them.” Indeed, limits and wrongdoings you perceive become part of the fabric of your days. You are always looking for evidence to fit your negative definition or experience, thereby just creating more of it.
Alternately, the divorce process can be an opportunity to discover and stand tight to who you are- not necessarily to what you want, but who you really are. The true self is not dependent on outside factors, but is recognized by a deep feeling of wellness and trust. What a gift to have this as an anchor.
The challenge may be to stay away from knee-jerk reactions. It may be to behave in a way that you can live with later. It may be to set an acceptable role model for your children. Or to be able to put your head on the pillow at night and be content with the choices you made that day.
So how do you keep a clear conscience? How do you keep in sync with yourself? How can you be at peace with your inner self during this time?
Divorce yourself from what feels heavy. Ditch the behaviors that leave you exhausted and feeling no better than when you began to speak or act. These would include blame, guilt, and regret for starters. You will be robbed of vital energy and clear thinking.
Then, get a good friend, mentor, or coach to ask you the following questions and listen to you in a neutral way, without offering advice. Or, if you are a writer or keep a journal, use that approach. The purpose is to look for the gold in what is happening and redefine the divorce.
1. What am I learning about myself?
2. How is it helping me grow?
3. Am I willing to decrease the amount of time each day that I think about controlling others or experiencing a loss of control? How can I do this?
4. Am I willing to increase the amount of time that I recognize my value? How can I do this?
5. Am I willing to increase the amount of time each day that I feel good inside? How can I do this?
6. Am I willing to stay out of comparison, unless it inspires me to be a better person?
7. Am I willing to increase the amount of time each day that I make choices and live in a way that strengthens my dearest values? How might this happen?
8. What is the true gift here?
You are free to think what you would like. You are free to redefine your circumstances. You are free to be who you consciously choose to be.