When faced with challenges and adversity in our lives, with have two choices and two choices only.
We can either become victims or the victors in our story. After my divorce I have to admit that I started feeling a little sorry for myself shifting into the self-pity zone. But after a while of being there I realized that I wasn’t getting anywhere, and really hated feeling sorry for myself. Yes I got hurt, yes I got the raw end of the deal, so now what? Would sitting in self-pity help change anything? I had to face reality and made a decision to snap out of it and to step into my victory mode. I sat down and took a good look at my story and said to myself: “I am now going to see what I have learned from this journey, and utilize it to create a better future for myself”.
Here are five things that I learned from my divorce:
Realistic expectations: When I first got married, I was perhaps naïve in my perspective as to what marriage and relationships should be. I think I kind of had a fairy tale vision, where the princess gets rescued and they lived happily ever after. I learned that relationships need work from both parties and that there will be times when the going gets rough, for which you need to have the skills and tools to better handle those times. As a women I learned that we have a lot of power and insight into aspects of emotions that men don’t really have, and we can utilize these insight to help improve our relationships and build something beautiful.
What really matters: After the divorce I got a much clearer understanding of who I am and what it is that I really need in a relationship. The things that I was attracted to initially now seemed trivial, and it shifted my mindset to what truly matters in life. Sometimes we think attraction is the most important thing, while missing serious red flags, or we get swept off our feet by superficial things that in the long run won’t matter. You want to make sure that the foundation of building a long lasting relationship is there. Do you share same values? Do you respect each other? Do you share the same dreams? Do you understand and know the different love languages? Do you know your own flaws and triggers?
Get to know yourself: The most important thing I learned was why I ended up in the relationship to begin with, which led me down a long journey of self-healing and therapy. Going into my marriage I had no idea how my own self-image could possibly impact my relationship, but I learned that people will treat us the way we treat and see ourselves. I had to travel back to my childhood and deal with many uncomfortable and painful feelings and realities to gain a better understanding into myself, and how it may have manifested itself in my marriage. If you find yourself in a place in which you haven’t fully learned to love and embrace yourself you might want to work on falling in love with yourself before you pursue a new relationship.
You are much stronger then you know: Humans are emotional being, and so we are greatly impacted by pain and hardships. However as fragile as we are we are a lot stronger then we realize. When I felt like giving up I had to keep pushing, you know why? Because I had a beautiful daughter and I had no choice but to keep going. As Winston Churchill said: “the only way to get through hell, is to keep going”. You might feel scared, lonely, sad, overwhelmed and panicked, but something deep within you will give you a sense of strength you never knew you had. Believe it or not, you don’t know what you are made of till you are pushed to the limits.
Change can bring gifts: When I first got divorced I stayed in the condo we had bought, but after a while I was desperate to get away and start fresh. I wanted to put that chapter behind me and find my new life. The changes that divorce brings can really be a huge gift, a gift for new beginning, a new future. Take this time to honor who you always wanted to be in the marriage but couldn’t, take this time to truly get back to who you are at your best, at your most passionate and start living your dream. He may no longer be a part of your dream, but you can create a new vision and pursue all the things you never had in your marriage.
No journey is the same, and most likely yours might be different to mine, but I am sure there are things you can learn from your divorce. Take those lessons and utilize them to change your life for the better.
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