Happy Wednesday, Everyone!
Although we are moving right along in our Move the Hell On series, I wanted to take this week to pause for a second and remind you how freakin’ awesome you are.
This is you. Every damn day. Don’t forget it. Image via Jackie Bolen.
Think about it—regardless of the stage you are in with your divorce or separation–whether it’s the agonizing decision at the beginning, the hell-hole of the actual divorce process, or the void you may feel after all is said and done–you are handling one of the most traumatic life events with grace.
We’ve been doing a lot of exercises these past couple of weeks–ones that help you overcome your divorce grief, ones that help you find yourself again–and next week we’ll start back up with learning how to define your future as part of learning how to move on.
But this week, I want to remind you of something you probably have not heard nearly enough during your divorce journey, and that is….
Divorce can be the best thing to happen to you.
I’m not shitting you here.
For many people, divorce is someone’s worst nightmare. The heartbreak, stress, and panic can leave you waking up in a cold sweat (if you can sleep at all), unable to concentrate at work, and feeling like every day is a bad dream.
That’s quite a lot for anyone to handle. Fortunately, in my time as a divorce coach, I have seen a shift in this old-fashioned notion of divorce ruining your life forever. While hard feelings may linger, remember that not all the divorce after-effects are bad. Once the heartbreak subsides, divorce can actually liberate you. Let’s examine how.
Divorce has made you a survivor. And survivors can do anything.
It is commonly said that when it comes to the most stressful events in somebody’s life, divorce is ranked with the death of a loved one. While most of us wouldn’t wish these events on anyone, consider this: because you have made it through one of life’s most stressful events, you are a survivor.
Many of us don’t give ourselves the credit we deserve for having gone through the trauma that is divorce, but think of all the incredible things you accomplished during that time. You navigated the crazy legal labyrinth and did not get lost. You held your head up high even during your most painful, heart-breaking moments. During your most stressful times, although you did not know it, you were performing crisis management, because you no doubt continued to live and work and carry on with grace despite the fact you were going through a mess.
If that isn’t facing your fears and proving you can do anything, I don’t know what is. You demonstrated to yourself that nothing is insurmountable for you as you continue to move on with your life.
No way we were going to avoid a Gloria Gaynor meme! Image via Giphy.
Divorce has given you the gift to rediscover who you are.
Many of us tend to view divorce as a loss—loss of security, loss of the partner and life we thought we knew, and the loss how we even identify ourselves. But divorce can actually be a gift because it gives you a chance to really get to know yourself.
As you part from that part of your life that identified you as being the other person’s spouse, you have a chance for a kind of introspection that you never had when you were a part of a couple. Being on your own will give you the chance to deep-dive and examine things you may not have even thought of before.
What were some of the things in the relationship that you did not like?
What were the things you did not like about yourself during the marriage?
Were there certain parts of your partner’s behavior that you know you could not have in a future partner?
Now that you have the ability to look at the relationship from an outside perspective, you have the gift of better understanding yourself—knowing what things in a relationship cause you stress or anxiety, what makes you angry, and being able to clearly identify non-negotiables so that if you choose to have a future relationship, you can have an awareness that will hopefully prevent the same unhealthy patterns and dynamics that occurred previously.
Divorce has given you a second chance at life.
When we feel devastated, wondering if we’ll ever be able to move on after divorce, it is easy to forget that we are actually being given a second chance. It can be difficult to regard divorce as a second chance when we are heart-broken and think the life we knew has been taken away from you, but it’s essential to remember the opportunity it has given you.
Whether you had wanted it or not, divorce allows you a “do-over” with your life. It gives you myriad second chances that you had never imagined possible: to be happy again, to be independent and answer only to yourself, to grow and challenge yourself unlike you ever have, to travel, to understand yourself better, and to define life on your own terms.
It’s not to say that accomplishing these things had you stayed in the marriage would have been impossible, but life after divorce accelerates this opportunity, pulling you out of your comfort zone.
So, while many may think that divorce is a huge loss to be mourned, it is important to remember that it is actually the chance to liberate yourself. You are a survivor who can do anything. You now have this incredible gift of introspection that can serve as a guide if you let it. And you are given a second chance at life that many others long for but may never receive. Embrace your gifts of divorce freedom. The best years of your life are waiting.
Next week, we’ll continue the Move the Hell On series and we’ll discuss how to define your own future like the boss you are. You won’t want to miss it.
As always, I’d love to hear from you! If you have any questions or comments, let me know! I love hearing from my readers and learning how I can help you get back to being happy.
Until next time, remember to take care of yourselves. You deserve it.