|My daughter turned 21 this week!!! TWENTY ONE!!! How CRAZY!
It is hard to believe how fast time flies. Where did all those years go? I am stunned at how fast time flies and feel overwhelmed by not being able to figure out how that even happened.
She is also married for ten months and madly in love with her prince charming. My amazing wonderful son in law.
Yet I sit here puzzled and confused for it makes no sense to me.
It was just yesterday that my world was filled with most magical gift of all, when God blessed and granted me the most precious little heavenly angel.
I remember hearing her first cries in the delivery room, the emotions I felt are inexplicably. I cried tears of joy and was overcome by incredibly strong feelings of love. I never thought it’s possible to love someone this deeply and fully.
It is hard to explain how it feels to hold your own child for the first time in your hands. She was perfect, very small, fragile and so vulnerable. I knew I had a mission and a very important one. My life would now be all about her, her physical emotional and mental well being. It would revolve around seeing her grow and reach every milestone with pride. It would be about creating a world filled with happiness and safety.
When I close my eyes I can vividly see what she looked like, feel her little fingers grasp around mine like saying:” I need you mommy”.
I can feel her little toddler hands around my neck, holding tight, saying: “Mommy I love you”.
She gave me the “MOM” title, and ever since that day my whole world changed.
It is a love that is eternal, that no one can take away from you.
It is a love that surpasses logic, that overcomes all obstacles and challenges.
It is the one love that you cherish with you forever and changes your reality.
As she grew older she amazed me with her lively personality and vibrant attitude to life. She was courageous, fearless and fierce. Nothing stopped her from going after what she believed. Nothing stopped her from standing up for truth. Nothing changed her values and principles of honesty, integrity and love.
She is a light that lights up not just my world, but the world of everyone she comes into contact with.
My biggest fear was to see her getting hurt. I had sleepless nights when she started dating, worrying that she may make the same mistakes I did and be blindsided. I always had a silent prayer on my lips, hoping and begging God to guide her and give her the clarity and insight to make the right choices.
God answered my prayers, he sent her the most amazing incredible lover and life partner one could dream of. They are like two teas in a pod. They are one soul! Never saw anything like that, and as I write these words I smile and tears of joy are welling up into my eyes. I smile at the miracle and blessing God granted her and me.
He is an outstanding young man, who loves her to no end, who protects her, who takes care of her in every way possible, who respects her to no end, cherishes her, admires her and just simply adores her. He is a God sent. I don’t doubt it for a minute.
This week as we celebrate her birthday, my heart is overflowing with gratitude for the incredible blessings God has given me. To watch my daughter evolve into this young beautiful courageous loving woman, to see her being loved and happy, to see her shine her light into the world. What more could I possibly ask for?
Thank you God for letting something this amazing evolve from one of the most painful events in my life – my divorce.
Little did I know how much joy and happiness this pain will shine into my life.
Let’s be honest, at some point in our lives we all look over into someone else’s fence and compare ourselves.
The problem with comparison is that it is a sure self-confidence crusher, a catalyst to unhappiness and completely useless.
First off many times we don’t compare apples to apples. Imagine if I would look at a Picasso and look at my drawings and get devastated that I don’t measure up and should therefore quit my coaching business. How is that a fair comparison you might ask? Yet we all do it, instead of focusing on our strength we compare our weaknesses with other people’s strength, which is really an unfair and illogical comparison.
But what if you are comparing apples to apples? What if you look at your friends and see them in happy relationships, or having children while you are struggling to get pregnant or are currently divorced?
The other day a client told me she can’t stop comparing herself to her ex’s new girlfriend who is 20 years younger than her. It kills her to see how this young woman has what she doesn’t. When I questioned her on it, I asked her “do you know that she has what you have? Does she possess the wisdom, maturity and character you do?” Most likely not, so when you are comparing yourself to people’s “outsides” don’t forget that you can’t compare it to your “insides”. You have what they don’t and that is really the only thing that should matter to you.
I will never forget years ago someone had seen me and my ex play badminton a few weeks before we got separated. Someone thereafter told me, they couldn’t believe it, they saw me and my then husband and we “seemed” so happy, we even played badminton. Truth be told what we see on the surface of someone else’s life, is just that, SURFACE. We don’t really know what goes on in their private lives and in their hearts. Think of Robin Williams, he managed to make us all think that he was a happy guy, sadly it was the furthest thing from the truth.
So how do we break free from comparing ourselves to others and letting it rob us from the joy of living our lives?
The first step to breaking this cycle is to become aware. Notice when you start comparing yourself, who you tend to compare yourself to and what triggered it. If you discover that you get triggered when you go through peoples pictures on social media, who’s lives “seem” perfect, while you are struggling, avoid scrolling and looking at other people’s lives. Become aware of when you get triggered and what you usually compare yourself to.
Once you become aware that you are comparing yourself to someone, and catch yourself in the act, STOP! Acknowledge the thought, but gently shift your focus onto things that bring you joy.
Here are some things you could shift your focus to:
- Count your blessings: We are all blessed with things in our lives which we seem to forget when we start comparing our lives to others. Think about all the things you are fortunate to have in your life. They could be simple things such as drinking water and internet access (which can be utilized in such powerful ways), your health, people who love and support you and the air you breathe. If you can’t find anything to be thankful for visit a hospital ward and you will quickly become aware of how truly lucky you are.
- Focus on your strength: Focus on your strength rather than your weaknesses. We all have our strong points, yet sometimes we seem to forget about them. Celebrate them! Take pride in your strength. Make a list for yourself to help remind you when you get into a dark place and feel like you have nothing to offer to the universe. If you are struggling to make the list ask a friend to help you.
- Accept your imperfections: Please accept this as truth – NO ONE is perfect! As much as you know this to be truth, somehow we all tend to criticize ourselves for our imperfections. Learn to accept and embrace yourself with your imperfections. No one is perfect and no one ever will be.
- Focus on the journey: Don’t focus on how you are scoring compared to others. No one is traveling your journey and no one is exactly like you, with all your challenges and circumstances. Life is not a competition, but rather a journey and we are all here to travel our own path. Each and every single one of us is here to learn, to create, to become something. Your journey has nothing to do with how well others are doing. Just focus on yourself and what you want to accomplish.
- Learn to be content: As long as you will compare your life to others, you will never have enough and always want more. No matter what you may have in your life, you will always find something you don’t have and want that. Learn to be content with what you have. If you have shelter over your head, food on your table, clothes on your back and people who love you, you are blessed. Many people don’t have that. So anything you have above that, is more than enough. Guess what if you are reading this blog you surely have more than enough. Focus on that and you will learn to be content.
Let me leave you with this thought: “Your story is so unique and so different that it isn’t worthy of comparison”. No one is the entire world can do a better job of you than you.
Getting back into the dating scene after a divorce can be a grueling experience and one that many well-meaning friends and family members will try to push you into. They mean well, but you really have to focus on first finding yourself before you get back in the game. You know how they say “You can’t love someone else if you don’t love yourself first”, well guess what, it’s true.
After a divorce we are generally not in a great place as is, and starting to date when we are in that frame of mind usually leads to more of well, that frame of mind. Think of it this way, you are not going to enlist in a marathon right after you took off a cast from your leg, will you? No I am sure you would take time to recover, do therapy, allow your leg to heal and get back your strength. Now that you are divorced, people will try and push you into the dating world again, or you might even want to do so yourself. You are lonely and are looking for ways to connect with someone who will make you feel better. The only problem is that you will most likely attract someone that isn’t in great shape either and it won’t evolve into an unhealthy relationship. So why subject yourself to more pain? Instead focus on dating yourself. Yes you heard right, dating yourself.
You might wonder what does it take to date yourself? The same ingredients it takes to date another person; develop a good understanding of who they are, a physical connection, learn about their hobbies and what makes them tick….
And what does it mean to learn to fall in love with yourself after your divorce? You will need to find that same spark that hits you when you find the “one”: see the positives, have fun together, excited to be with one another, and reaffirm that love. And this all applies to you my love, the woman you should be dating after your divorce, before you find your prince charming.
Connect with your Body
I know you must have heard this a thousand times, exercise is super important, and yes I will say it once again. Exercise is a great feel good outlet that allows you to relieve stress and get your endorphins going which release feel-good hormones in your body. It doesn’t matter if you run, join a dance class or do yoga, they all give you the same benefits.
After my divorce I joined a yoga class for the first time in my life. I will admit it took me some time to really feel comfortable (since I was sooooo unfit), but ever since it has become my lifeline, the oxygen I need that keeps me going. I look forward to the classes like a little kid looks forward to ice cream. It is my safe haven where no worries exist, and I get to recharge my batteries.
Rediscover who you truly are and want to be
When we are in a relationship we often lose ourselves and adapt the habits or desires of our spouses. Did your ex make you watch sports on Sunday? Would you have rather joined a dance or painting class but never did? Now is the time to get really clear with what YOU want in your life, what you enjoy, what you would like to explore. Truly take the time to rediscover yourself, think of who you were before you got married, what changed during your marriage, who you are now and where you want to go from here. One of the things I realized after my divorce was that I had stopped drawing and painting, something I was very passionate about when I was younger, and something I picked back up. I realized that I was so consumed with trying to work on a marriage that was beyond repair that I had stopped living and having fun. Now is the time for you to learn to have fun again on your terms. Do what makes you happy.
Become more introspective.
Well, you might not like this one so much because you will have to take a look at yourself in the mirror so to speak. You know how when you meet someone you will spend time analyzing what bothers you about the other person? Like do I like his lifestyle? Do I like the choices he is making?
Ask yourself: do I like the woman I am today? Are you happy with your job, your lifestyle, your friends, your parenting skills…? Take the time to think about the changes you need to make in your life for you. Maybe you will discover that you need to end some friendships because they are too negative and are holding you back from growing, maybe it’s a change of lifestyle, like getting healthier or quitting smoking. Be really honest with yourself, switch off all your distractions. Do you like who you have become?
You are a victor
We are our own worst enemies. Seriously, stop a moment and listen to the negative voices in your head. I noticed that most women are really good at criticizing themselves, and don’t give themselves any credit for all the amazing things they do.
Years ago while doing my own inner work I was asked, do you ever celebrate your victories? My initial reaction was like “celebrate myself? How does that align with being humble?”. I learned that embracing yourself and celebrating your qualities or small accomplishments or wins are not a contradiction to being humble. Start by complimenting yourself for a job well done, or a victory you accomplished. It doesn’t matter how small. Constantly give yourself that positive verbal feedback, and kick the negative chatter to the curb.
Have fun – period.
The other day a client told me she feels bad about herself when she watches a movie. She feels like she is wasting her time. After delving into the depth of where this negative message came from she realized it was her ex husbands voice living in her head. She remembered that during their marriage any time she did something to relax he would tell her she was wasting her time. What are things that help you feel happier and relaxed? Do you know? Or have you forgotten to honor that part of yourself? When you are dating someone you want to know what they enjoy doing, you are curious to discover what makes them tick, and you are excited and happy to give your date an experience they enjoy. When was the last time you had some fun and did something crazy? You wouldn’t want to date someone boring would you? So go out there and have some fun and make the most important person in your life happy: YOU!
When the going get ruf, love you
We all have bad days, and you will have some days where you will feel like crap. It’s just part of life. On days where you feel like that remind yourself to be kind and forgiving towards yourself. Wouldn’t you do that for someone you love? Do the same for the most important person I know: YOU!
Once you have learned to truly love yourself and enjoy dating yourself, who knows, you might want to stay single. 😊 .