Divorce. It is one of the most stressful things you can go through, up there on the list with the death of a loved one and a major job loss. If you’ve been through one–especially if it was acrimonious–you’ll know that while it wasn’t easy, chances are it provided you with incredible learning opportunities (whether you felt ready for them or not). All of life’s challenges also bring with it the ability to heal old wounds–as well as the fresh ones. But, what if you’re not in that space to find the good and to find the lessons? What if you’re overwhelmed with the stress, frustration, resentment, sadness, and all of those emotions that work to dis-empower and distract you?
Divorce, if you’re not careful, can suck the life out of you.
As a spiritual person, I am constantly reminding myself to stay in the Now. Whatever my mind is focused on–the past, the future–is not occurring right now. For example, you might be thinking about how unfair it is that you’ve only got 50% of the time with the kids now. If you were to be present, you’d recognize that while it is unfair, it isn’t what’s occurring in the moment. Maybe you’re at home with your kids watching a movie. Be there with them in that moment. Maybe they aren’t there, but you’re doing the dishes thinking about the loss. Be there in that moment washing the dishes, acknowledging the feelings, but bringing yourself back to the moment of Now.
Your thoughts and behaviors serve a purpose.
Your thoughts take you out of a moment that you could be enjoying. So let’s say you might feel unresolved about sharing custody so you do a lot of thinking about it, thinking it might help even. You might be unconsciously drawn to drama in your life so you’re getting riled up because of your thoughts. You might be focused on the unfairness and how that might even be a theme in your life, but the thoughts are just touching the deeper issues of childhood wounds that need to come up and heal as well.
Your thoughts create a story. Let’s say that your ex cheated on you. You can think of the dis-empowering things associated with that and come up with a great victim story. Or, you can begin to shift your thoughts to ways that will move you forward and not keep you stuck. It will suck the life out of you thinking about the affair. Remember: You are 100% responsible for your thoughts, words, and actions so where, starting today do you want your life to go? Are you going to define your life by the pain, or are you going to redefine it creating a new life that honors and supports you, that is based on the lessons you’ve gleaned from your challenges?
Divorce is a major loss. You’re dealing with the loss of a spouse, loss of parenting time maybe, loss of some friends and family members, loss of a life you once dreamed of…There’s a lot going on, no doubt. But, if you focus on these things–the lack and loss of things–how do they make you feel? Are you healing or resolving the loss? Probably not. If you get stuck in a pattern of negativity–you’re not moving forward. This will suck the life out of you.
Here are 3 tips you can use to help you move forward today:
1. Do something different. Plan fun things to do to take your mind out of reverse (so to speak) and rev it up into a higher gear. Take up a new hobby–something you can look forward to. If you find yourself thinking crappy thoughts–thoughts that distract and detract from life–find more empowering ones.
2. Get inspired. Connect with nature. Go outside, notice the beauty around you. Go to a museum and take in the beauty of art and artistic expression. Find things that inspire you and when you feel like you’re being sucked down the drain of negativity, get out your list of inspiration and reconnect with the beauty in the world.
3. Find a supportive group of people who will help lift you up. There are some people who will foster the negativity or will put you down. Seek out a tribe that is supportive of you and helps you move forward instead of staying stuck. Consider hiring a counselor or coach to help you through a rough patch.