Divorce is hard. What am I saying, it’s very hard! Never (or at least that I’ve heard) has someone said to me “well, that was easy!.” No matter whose decision it was, or even if both parties agree(d) to the divorce, it’s one of the hardest experiences you will ever experience. There are always many factors at stake and when emotions run high it’s easy for things to get messy. It is exactly then when things start getting messy that we allow our emotions to get the best of us. Once we allow our emotions to take over and control our decisions it is a self-fulfilling prophecy of disaster. Feelings of hurt, overwhelm and resentment can quickly build up, and all it takes is one jab to escalate things to the next level.

Here are 3 scenarios that you may experience during divorce and things to keep in mind when faced with these experiences.

1. Your Ex is talking badly about you to friends, family, neighbors, or WORSE, your children: Before instantly wanting to stand up for yourself or retaliate back, take a step back. No matter what the other half is preaching to anyone, what is true is true and what isn’t, isn’t. Don’t feed into it. Doing so would make you just as guilty as they are. Instinct may trick you into thinking this is a sign of weakness, but the contrary is true. By NOT feeding into hostility or letting harsh words get a negative reaction out of you, you’ve shown confidence, control and grace. The next time you’re tempted to defend yourself, repeat this mantra: “What my ex thinks about me is none of my business.” Eventually, your ex will learn that their antics don’t work and tire out. It may take some time, but trust me, it works, they will get tired!

2. Your Ex won’t “let go”: Letting go is hard to do, and sometimes an ex has a hard time moving on. In more ways than one, you too could feel hurt, but for different reasons. It is normal at times for people to stay stuck and unable to “let go”. If your ex is struggling and expressing their heart ship with you, remember to try and stay neutral during this time. You are not there to console them and be their emotional safety net, I am sure you are struggling enough with your own emotional challenges. You also don’t want to be mean and ridicule them for their inability to turn off their feelings for you either. Instead, keep a neutral tone and limit conversations that could lead them to feelings of hope that you two will get back together. Time heals and over time things will die down and your ex will eventually move on.

3. Finding out there is someone else: Whether it’s before or after a divorce, sometimes hearing that there is now “someone else” in your ex’s life, can be a shocker. This doesn’t just apply to those that didn’t want a divorce, you may feel this way even if you wanted the divorce. Why is that? Well, it’s somewhat human nature. Deep down you may feel a little jealous. Not in a way that would lead you to wanting your ex back, but in a way that you want a “relationship” back. You start to question why things didn’t work out, what you could have done differently and ultimately, you miss the feeling of being happy and in love. Don’t mistake this tinge of jealousy for anything more than the need for humans to feel complete. This is where mindset comes in. If you are a strong, independent person that loves themselves, you are less likely to feel this form of jealousy or uncertainty. Instead, you may feel more of a relief, or even happy for your ex! If you do find yourself feeling confused about your past decisions, know that it’s false emotions playing tricks on you. Don’t act on these emotions by reaching out to your ex or stalking him/her. If you feel the need to talk about your feelings, speak to a coach, therapist or a close friend. Don’t let those moments of weakness take over and control your actions. Write your feelings down in a journal and figure out the real reason why you are feeling the way you are. Start putting yourself first and doing things for YOU, so that you can fulfill that self-love. Take on a new hobby, go out with friends, meet new people, the options are endless! It’s normal for you to feel confused or emotional knowing that your ex has moved on, but know that your emotions will come down to reality and you will feel better. Stay confident in knowing that everything happens for a reason and that you are exactly where you are supposed to be.

Love yourself, it will love you back. Remain cool when emotions start to get the best of you and never let others dictate or control your mood, happiness or self-worth! Keep reminding yourself that you are choosing to take the high road during this difficult chapter in your life. One day you will look back and be proud of how strong you have become!

The holidays are just around the corner and this time of year tends to encompass plans for 2019, holiday proposals, elopements and holiday-themed or tropical destination weddings.  If and when you consider getting married again, it is important to look past any current feelings of lust and butterflies. I can only hope that once upon a time you felt those same feelings with your former spouse too.  While this time around may seem or feel different, it takes acknowledgment and assurance of three things to fully validate and feel almost certain that you are in the position to take this leap. I will break them down for you here.  

 

    1. Are you true to yourself? I am talking about EVERYTHING in your life.  You should not feel like you are holding anything back from who you really are.  You should not be acting a certain way, showing interest in something that you’re not interested in, dressing in a style that isn’t your own, or altering your persona in any way.  If the person you are in a relationship doesn’t know you for “you,” they are in love with a person that doesn’t truly exist. While you can play that persona role now, the truth will eventually come out.  You will then feel resentful for “changing,” and they too will feel resentful because you basically lied to them. Sure, some of this may seem obvious, but I can not tell you how often this happens. Lust takes over and it’s like we as human beings lose our minds and get so hung up on the excitement that a new relationship brings, that we forget who we really are and become someone we aren’t even close to being, only because it mimics what we THINK the other person desires.  You can avoid this from ever happening by being yourself from the very start. Lay as much out on the table as you possibly can. . . “dirty laundry” and all.
    2. Are you over your Ex? People divorce for different reasons.  Maybe it was you that chose to divorce, maybe it was the other half.  Either way, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are fully over them. Even if you may not feel that you are “in love” with the other person anymore, any form of “baggage” you are carrying, means you have not moved past it.  Still holding resentment? Do what Elsa did and “Let it go.” Face your feelings, be honest with yourself and allow yourself the right amount of time to let old feelings fade. The goal here is to get to a neutral state. When someone says your Ex’s name, how does it make you feel?  If you feel hatred, you’re not over it. If you feel sad, you’re not over it, if you feel the same as you did prior to hearing their name, you have probably reached a neutral state and that’s what you want! Some great ways to work through this is to write a journal, take up a new hobby, meditate, travel and fall in love with yourself all over again.  The last thing you want to do is re-marry and go into that marriage with this bag of feelings that will ultimately backfire on you personally as well as the new marriage/relationship.
    3. Do you love yourself and put yourself first?  While we are raised to be selfless and care for others, loving yourself first is hugely important.  If you aren’t in love with yourself, you can’t fully love someone else. Remember, you teach others how to treat you.  When you alter who you really are as a person, that’s not loving yourself.  When you allow an ex to control your emotions, that’s not loving yourself. When you allow any other human being to dictate what’s right or wrong for YOU, you’re putting their feelings ahead of your own, altering your own values and not loving yourself.   Love others, care for others, show compassion for others, but never jeopardize your values, morals, or persona in the process. Loving yourself will bring a sense of calming that will show from the inside out. You will feel invigorated and whole. That wholeness will transition to wholesome happiness.  You will shine in the light of the person that you truly are and be full and open to accepting love from another and in turn, fully returning that love to them, without altering any being of yourself.

 

 

In the last few months I have noticed a very clear pattern with my clients. Maybe it is time to take that message and put it out in the universe to help others who are struggling with what seems to be an epidemic. You see the epidemic I am talking about is negative self-talk. Growing up, I didn’t have the most positive messages instilled in me, which made me develop a negative inner dialogue. Thereafter, I got married and without noticing it my inner chatter box, got worse and worse. Before long I was pretty much convinced that those messages were true.

Years of inner work, healing, and mindset shifting has changed a lot for me, and makes me pick up on this debilitating plague in others immediately.

Do your voices sound something like this:

  • I am not a good person
  • I am not worthy of real love
  • I am a failure
  • I am not lovable
  • I am not pretty enough
  • I am overweight
  • I am to blame

The longer and louder these voices keep persisting the more you begin to believe them and find ways to validate them. The reality however is very different! These voices aren’t even yours, they are messages others have said to you and without noticing you learned to internalize them.

I am here to tell you that you are a beautiful, magnificent, fabulous woman. The words of others do NOT belong to you unless you CHOOSE to accept them as your own.

So how do you fight these words and powerful inner critics?

Here are 5 tips that will help you overcome negative self-talk and teach you how to be kinder to yourself:

  • Know what triggers you

It is very important that you become aware what triggers you to get into a shaming critical spiral. One of the most popular methods of killing your inner critic is called cognitive behavioral therapy, which is based on the concept that thoughts trigger feelings, and feelings in turn influence behavior. Maybe you notice that every time you check out your Ex’s Facebook page you get sad and depressed and start putting yourself down, which then leads you to drink. Think about your most recent down in the dumps episode, maybe it was a constant thought that you have or tell yourself that triggered you to spiral out of control. The goal is for you to become aware of your trigger so that you can challenge them and create new healthier habits.

  • Flip it around

The next time you notice having or telling yourself a negative thought, flip it around to the exact opposite. For example: “I am so fat, and will never lose weight”, flit it around and replace it with, “I can and will lose weight”.  Most of the time our negative thoughts are far from the truth. Like if I tell myself “I am never going to manage this test”, is it really true? How many tests have I passed in the past. By flipping around a negative thought, your mind will automatically find evidence to back up that new position you just took.  By stating “I can and will lose weight”, your mind will find the evidence it needs and remind you that not so long ago you lost ten pounds.

  • Like attracts like

The more you allow yourself to think negatively the more negative thoughts and situations you will attract into your life. Did you have a day recently when you were in a positive mood, felt rested, grateful and excited about life. Did you notice how things just seemed to magically fall into place that day? You drove to work, found an awesome parking spot, had a great meeting, felt productive, had a great lunch…. Then I am sure you had the opposite as well sometimes. Didn’t you? Pay attention to your thoughts, I bet you that on the days where everything went smoothly your thoughts were positive, you felt good about yourself. That is the what the law of attraction is all about. When you put positive thoughts out there, they carry energy and that energy in turn returns more positivity. So beware and pay close attention to your thoughts. Shift them as soon as you notice them taking a wrong turn. You can always redirect.

  •  Playing into worst case scenarios in your head

Some people get stuck on overthinking and getting into dramatic worst case scenarios. When you find yourself in that state of mind truly challenge that fear and thought process. What is the worst that could really happen? What solution would you come up with if that were to happen?  If you are going through a divorce, does it really mean you will never find love again? See yourself in five years from now, feel that pain of your fear, experience it, and then what would you do? Think creatively, would you sit around alone forever or would you join a dating site, or start going out with some old friends? You see most of our worst case scenario fears are not the be all and end all. We are resilient beings and are built to survive and thrive.

  • Do you believe that about your friend

I have a client who recently told me, “I’m a failure because I am divorced”. I looked at her and asked her if she thought that way about me as well.  She looked at me uncomfortably and said of course not. To which I replied, well I was divorced as well, did that define my success or failure? If you feel like a failure because of your divorce get real quiet and ask yourself: “Is everyone who gets divorced a failure?”, “Do I know women who are divorced and this statement doesn’t apply to them at all?” No matter what your thought may be truly challenge it, either grill yourself or think of how you would talk to your friend if she were to talk this way about herself. I know, shocking how mean and cruel we are towards ourselves.

It’s not what you are that holds you back. It is what you think you are not!  Stop being your own worst enemy and step into loving yourself and discover who you really ARE! An amazing beautiful resilient strong woman.