Waiting for something awesome to happen simply means waiting. Absent movement and change, nothing awesome happens. Sadly, we often forget that without struggle there is no change. We as humans generally don’t change our habits, lifestyle, mindset or anything unless something hits us smack in the face.
Therefore, while divorce is undoubtedly a life changing event, recognize your power over the situation, your choices involved in the situation and hit the process back by using the time for self-awareness, self-love, and learning to truly be there for the only person we have control over- ourselves.
Divorce is certainly a difficult time but made more difficult by our self-loathing and self-beliefs. The rejection, the pain of being left, the fear of losing friends, family, and the only identity we feel we have is scary. But stepping back and taking the time to focus on you isn’t selfish, it’s necessary if this process and struggle is to provide you anything positive in your life moving forward.
If there was ever a time to be self-absorbed, this is it. Use this process as a time to figure out YOU. What do YOU really want- not what others want for you or from you. Doing this will not only reflect compassion and care for yourself, but it will also teach you or assist you in learning the relationship we should all have with ourselves and often don’t and never do absent pain.
Too often in times of pain, we are inclined to substitute that pain with other people, places and things and only to end up in the same sad place we started, often more wounded and feeling less in control. Recognition of our responsibilities to ourselves and our ability to have a positive relationship with ourselves is the truest gift we can give ourselves.
To step back and find your true happiness alone gives you the power to be truly happy with others in the future. Most of us, up until divorce or death, accept our place in the world without a thought as to whether we are true to ourselves and happy in this place. It’s just the place we envisioned for ourselves because of our own initial beliefs and outside influences showing us what happiness looks like. This is the time to reverse this for good and learn to be your own best friend.
Obviously I am aware that everything in this article is easier said than done. But for me, I have learned that almost every day I will face something that triggers my lack of self-love or will show me an area of myself that I haven’t learned to embrace and love. Every single day something in our life will occur that challenges our own belief system and until we learn the tools to lean on and take that control back, every single day belongs to someone other than the only person who will never leave us- ourselves.
Therefore, while there is certainly no easy and clear path to self-love (or I haven’t found it yet), there are certain mindsets and actions to practice during this difficult time that can transform your life moving forward.
Tips For Transforming Your Life During And After Divorce
1. Don’t Obsess on Your Weaknesses. Focus on Your Strengths:
For most people, if they receive one insult and ten compliments in a day they will focus on the one insult. When you feel that happening, step back, write a list of 5-10 things you know you do well or that you know are your strengths.
2. Focus on Yourself. Be Self-Absorbed:
During divorce and separation, our roles as parents change. The kids are no longer with us every day, every night, every weekend or every holiday. As painful as this is, and believe me I empathize very much as to missing our children, rather than using the time to socialize more and throw ourselves into a dating frenzy, take some time alone. While socializing is certainly important, it continues our reliance on someone other than ourselves to validate our existence and importance and gives away our control over our happiness once again.
3. Be Determined To Gain Power Versus Focusing on the Loss:
It is incredibly easy when any relationship ends whether by divorce, death or even the end of a friendship, to blame yourself and engage in the “I’m not good enough” game. See that mindset for what it is – a game of self-defense and a means to make justify inaction. You get power in any situation or struggle you overcome if you focus on that aspect. It is, of course, easier to be a victim, convince yourself it’s your fault and you are unworthy, but remember that this is on you.
It’s safer to lay down and hide from our feelings, but it’s incredibly powerful and positive to learn to love ourselves even when it feels like no one else does.
4. Decisions vs. Conditions:
Practice recognizing the choice you have in the outcome of life. The choices we have daily to make ourselves happy. See that for most of us we rely on the perception of “conditions” because it’s safer. If we don’t see our actions and beliefs as choices but rather as conditions, we can theoretically have someone other than ourselves to blame.
Again, the risk in pain is there because we are owning our choices but the risk of gain and true happiness in our true selves can only come from seeing that most of our life is made up of choices, not conditions imposed on us like some life sentence.
Smiling in the mirror at the one person who will never leave you is the biggest source of comfort. We have absolutely no control over how anyone feels about us, looks at us, or views us. Showing ourselves a tiny bit of self-love with a simple smile in the morning can go a long way.
Showing the world we love ourselves openly is not narcissistic but in fact, is showing the world of our ability to love others as well. In other words, if we can’t smile at ourselves we certainly can’t expect anyone else to smile back.