If you are going through a divorce, separation or break up, I know how you feel. I hope this is something that can help you through.
I divorced from my husband after only 3 years of marriage. I also had an 18-month-old daughter at the time. I believe in marriage and truly thought I would be married for life. That’s what I believe marriage is about. Commitment. It’s a choice.
That being said, I don’t think marriage is always a safe place to stay.
There are circumstances under which it’s ok to walk away.
Personally, I tried everything I could to make mine work – to get through the tough space where opinions and values differ and reach the place so many people I know have found; respect, commitment, friendship and love, a best friend for life.
At 32, most of my friends are either just getting married and starting families or haven’t even reached that point yet.
I do have a few fabulous “marriage idols” among the people I know well. They are people whose marriages are the ones I truly respect and adore. They’re a reflection of what I would someday love for myself.
The lessons I’ve learned through my marriage, separation and divorce have been a beautiful silver lining during a very difficult time. I share them with you in the hopes that they may be able to serve you too.
The 7 Lessons I learned from Divorce:
1. Trust yourself – your heart always has the answer. If you quiet your mind, it will always guide you to what you need to do. I often used to over think every move I made. I made excuses for not taking action and used my daughter as a reason I “had to stay”. When I let go of my excuses, I knew the truth and what would serve all of us best.
2. Learn how to have your own back – only when we accept 100% responsibility for ourselves can we be in a whole and loving relationship with someone else. The same rule applies to your other half/future other half. No blame, no excuses, just take complete responsibility for you and your actions, emotions, words, responsibilities and so on. This will also allow you to say, “I give myself enough credit to know that I’ve got this”. Having your own back is a really, really great feeling! So get yourself in a position to rock your finances, support a household and live your life based on passion and purpose.
3. Connect with you Angels/Gate Keepers/Loved ones – there are people along this journey that are here to help you, guide you, support you and keep you safe. Lean on them. Yes, people will turn their backs on you at the hardest time in your life – but people will also step up that you could never have expected. Stay with the good energy and forgive the bad energy.
4. Be HAPPY – find every way possible to be happy NOW despite what is happening. Self-care and doing things that feed your soul are an absolute must during this time of stress and uncertainty. For me, hanging out with my 18-month-old daughter was what saved me. She lights up my life to this day. I also travelled, hit the gym, hung out with wonderful people, asked for help when I needed it and stayed close to my amazing family.
5. Find Gratitude – during the end of my marriage, my separation and throughout my divorce I kept a gratitude journal and made sure I noted the 3 (or many more) things I was grateful for each and every day – this allowed to stay connected to the positive things in my life even during hardship, doubt and pain. I have kept up this practice since because it was so wonderful for my daily mindset and appreciation of life.
6. Forgive yourself and your spouse/ex-spouse – this is the biggest gift you could ever give yourself. Forgiveness is magical in its healing properties.
“Forgiveness has nothing to do with absolving a criminal of his crime. It has everything to do with relieving oneself of the burden of being a victim–letting go of the pain and transforming oneself from victim to survivor.” ― C.R. Strahan
7. Dream again – dream, plan, and set goals for yourself and your future that get you fired up, feeling awesome, supported and worthy.
We all experience challenges in our lives. If we can learn to accept them as a part of the journey and move through them with trust, love and patience (especially for ourselves), we will find that we are always exactly where we are supposed to be.
As Steve Jobs has said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something – your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well worn path; and that will make all the difference.”