Sunday, January 3, 2016

Divorced and Happy

*Because of numerous requests, this is a recap of the divorce class I taught at The Togetherness Project's conferences in 2015*


The "divorce class".

Ugh. 

I know what you're thinking. It's depressing to be in this class.  I mean, the d-word word often reeks of sadness, failures, broken dreams and broken hearts. It's when your life falls apart,  miserably.

I used to feel that way, too. I used to be embarrassed and felt ashamed that I was now part of this sobering statistic because it meant that I was a failure, it meant that I was unworthy and somehow labeled now, it meant that my life was ruined and I would never be happy again.

First and foremost, if you are here today and you are considering divorce, you are going through a divorce or you are divorced: YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE. 

5 words that can change everything!

Remember them. 

Keep them close. 

Believe them.

YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE!

You should not be embarrassed or ashamed to be here (or to be reading this blog post)… and it is my hope that I can help you realize that even more than you did before I also hope to provide you with some of the key tips that saved my life while going through my divorce, and while trying to figure my life out after divorce.

Finding happiness after divorce is hard and it comes with many challenges… but I (and many others) am living proof that it is possible… one day at a time… it is SO VERY possible and life CAN BE good again!

(This post will come in a few parts, so consider it a mini-series over the next few days :)

*DIVORCED AND HAPPY*

TIP #1: Let go of how it "SHOULD BE" and embrace "WHAT IS!"



I will not pontificate that I have it all figured out. I don't. No way. Not even close. It would be great if I did, but being on this journey of almost 6 years now, my motto is that happiness is a process, not a destination. 

So, time. Time is your friend. During the thick of it, I hated when people said that word to me… but it's true. 

TIME.

Let it help you heal. Let it help you let go of how it should be. Let it teach you how to embrace what is.

Someone said to me 6 years ago in my women's group:

"Never "SHOULD" on yourself."

(Yes, that it supposed to sound like "sh**" on yourself.)

Think about it….

Sh** is stinky! It's messy! It's a big ol' pile of crap, after all! Well, the same goes with this whole "should-ing" thing. 

I should have done this… 

I should have done that… 

It should be this… 

My life should be that… 

That stuff up there ^^^ Those thoughts… the things we cannot control or change… they're stinky, messy, and they'll pollute your mind and life like a big ol' pile of crap. 

Now is the time, no matter where you are in the process, to force yourself to get rid of these toxic thoughts and discover WHAT IS. Focus on WHERE YOU ARE. Work for everything that LIES AHEAD.

Steer clear of the "shoulds" and you'll be off to a really good start.


TIP #2: You Gotta Grieve!



6 years later and there are still times that I grieve. It'll just hit out of nowhere. I'll hear an old song on the radio, I'll stumble across a picture of our happier times, I see the real struggle it is for our son to have divorced parents and then I'll cry. 

It doesn't mean that I regret the choice of getting divorced.

It doesn't mean that I'm still in love with him. 

It doesn't mean that I'm not happy with my current husband, Seth. 

Here's what it DOES mean:

IT HURTS because it MATTERED.

Period.

End of story.

No other explanation needed.

It mattered to me. 

There was love and kids (one in my case) and hopes and dreams and hearts involved; all things that MATTER.

So don't feel bad for grieving. Don't feel stupid. Don't feel like it's "wrong" because everyone else *thinks* you should "get/be over it". They don't know. And if they do know because they've experienced something similar, their experience is different than yours. 

And while we're on the topic of "getting over it"… I don't think divorce is something you just "get over" anyway. It is (or was) a big HUGE significant part of your life… something that has lead you to where you stand…. something that has helped you become the woman you are…. something that is continually teaching you difficult lessons that have hopefully strengthened you. 

So don't make it your goal to "get over it" (whatever on earth that means)

KEEP GROWING FROM IT!

And while you're growing, and when you do grieve, make sure you're doing so in HEALTHY ways (yes, there are healthier ways to grieve and I wrote about some of those fantastic ideas in a different post here). If/when there comes a time when you feel that you can't seem to get out of the downward spiral, it may be wise to seek professional help. Remember, there is no shame in that, whatsoever.

*To be continued…*

1 comment:

  1. Thank you very much for you post. I dont know what is going to happen to my marriage, but my husband signed a lease for an apartment to move out in a month. I needed your love ans support today. It lifted my spirits

    ReplyDelete

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