I can’t imagine who better to inspire us for moving on when life seems impossible than women who we look up to for their tenacity, their fighting against criticism and judgment from the world, and their obvious overcoming to become the women they are.
Here are inspirational quotes from prominent women who have overcome major obstacles in their lives, including divorce, betrayal, and disappointment.
I wish I could have applied these pearls of wisdom to the early days of my divorce when everything in my life seemed impossible. At that time, I had one three-year-old and one four-week-old. I had a big house in a New York suburb and no job and no money. My husband skillfully used a job transfer to another city to leave us the day before Christmas. He sent me $100 a week to manage all this. In anger, he would not say goodbye to his children and would not acknowledge Christmas. These uplifting quotes would have been helpful to me at that time.
I’ve added a thought of my own to each wise saying, and I hope you find them both helpful to move out of what seems impossible to you – little by little, step by step.
1. “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” - Maya Angelou. I cannot emphasize enough that for me, one day at a time really worked.
2. “Holding on is believing there’s only a past; letting go is knowing there is a future.” - Daphne Rose Kingma. Clinging to the past may be the toughest to overcome - regrets for the children come to mind. In order to move on, I had to see the positives in their lives and keep hoping the best future for them.
3. “Don't mourn over your bad decisions. Just start overcoming them with good ones.” - Joyce Meyer. I found I had to forgive myself my bad decisions but more importantly, to acknowledge that I indeed did choose this man as my partner.
4. “There are no regrets in life. Just lessons.” - Jennifer Aniston. Well, regrets are hard to get rid of. It takes time. And when children are involved, regrets last longer. Focusing on positive outcomes helps. I focused on how well we eventually worked out a cooperative plan for our children and how we dropped our animosity for their sake. We indeed learned.
5. “No motive is pure. No one is good or bad, but a hearty mix of both. And sometimes life actually gives to you by taking away.” - Carrie Fisher. In hindsight, over time, I came to realize my husband was human and so was I. We both gained wisdom eventually from what seemed like an impossible ending.
6. “Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim.” - Nora Ephron. This took a long time for me because I have a little Irish martyrdom in my background, but the key finally came to be that I deserved to be happy too.
7. “It's never too late- never too late to change your life, never too late to be happy.” - Jane Fonda. Amen, Jane.
8. “There's always something to suggest that you'll never be who you wanted to be. Your choice is to take it or keep on moving.”- Phylicia Rashad. As I kept on moving, I found more understanding of who I was. That way my next choices fit me better. (My choice became to not marry again, but each of us must choose for herself.)
9. “Turn your wounds into wisdom.” - Oprah Winfrey. Again, hindsight. Over time I saw how life has made me a stronger and wiser woman and certainly more confident.
10. “My friend, the dear Princess Leia said: "Take your broken heart, make it into art." - Meryl Streep. And this I have done with two book-length memoirs and numerous essays. Enough time has gone by that I can even write humorously of the past. I believe this will come to you also. Write your memoir, put your pain into a painting, read, read, read what others have done to overcome the impossible. Enjoy creating something you love with people you love.
My hope is that these inspirations will help cause the impossible in your life to become possible.