We tend to hear a lot of horror stories about terrible things people experienced as a result of a divorce through the media and our friends and family.
To make matters worse, society and even many people in our own lives tend to harbor very negative and judgmental points of view which are not exactly helpful, comforting, and encouraging to those of us who are coping with divorce.
All of us have been affected by divorce in some measure whether personally, or having someone close to us experience it. I would venture to guess that just about everyone enters into a marriage with the understanding that divorce is always possible, but it’s certainly not desirable. Often divorce comes sweeping into our lives, dramatically altering the landscape we have worked so hard to establish. During those moments especially, it is hard to view a divorce as something meant for our betterment.
But the truth is that divorce can end up being a positive occurrence in our lives, and in order to have a successful future and life after a divorce, we have to be willing to accept various changes that take place as a result. Adaptation may seem like a survival strategy, but by adapting, we are also growing. By accepting and adapting to changes taking place as a result of a divorce, we are ultimately making a choice in the direction of personal development.
It usually takes time and perspective to see the benefits of going through a divorce. Many people who have gone through divorce can look back on their experience, and recognize a time that at first seemed destructive, but ended up being rather empowering and productive.
Looking back also provides the necessary view of seeing how everything ultimately in one way or another turns out okay – that the difficult changes that took place did in fact bring about personal growth, opened new doors of opportunity and offered unexpected shifts in seeing ourselves differently.
So if you, or someone you know is going through a divorce, try shifting your view, approach it differently, and remember the following:
1. View divorce as an opportunity for personal growth. See and accept the changes taking place as a way of personally developing into more than you thought you could be. Bettering your life can only happen by first removing what is holding it back. The ‘old set’ has to be torn down first before a new, more vibrant one can be built. This is the only way circumstances will improve.
2. Recognize that divorce is hard to swallow in just one gulp. Give yourself the time needed to accept your divorce on your own internal timetable. Your internal clock ticks at a time different than anybody else’s. We transition through many stages of divorce that can range from denial on the one hand to commitment on the other. This process takes a different amount of time for each person. Surrender to the process and accept however long it will take to work your way through these stages. If others can recover from a divorce quickly, well good for them. Go only at the pace that’s right for you.
3. Conserve your energy. People spend so much energy fighting and resisting during a divorce rather than using their energy in more productive ways of acceptance and letting go. We can choose to channel our energy in more positive ways that can make us feel empowered to survive our divorce rather than seeing ourselves as mere victims of our divorce. When we direct our energy toward more positive ways of coping with divorce, we invariably create better outcomes.
4. Accept your divorce. Welcome the chance to emerge from this challenging and trying experience with much more strength than you possibly imagined you possessed. Strength brings confidence, and confidence is the necessary precursor to success. It’s all about acceptance!