Divorce is rated among the top ten most stressful experiences in life.  A divorce can actually feel like death, and the mourning and healing process are at times similar. After all you are letting go of the person you once said forever to, and trying to come to terms that your hopes and dreams with them will never be! That being said if you are contemplating divorce you must read the TOP 100 questions to ask yourself before you actually do so.

Although I do write a lot about the healing process and how to grieve your divorce, this article is focused on getting you to think ahead and move forward. In every difficult challenge life throws at us there is also the great possibility for renewal and growth.

So here are some things that no one ever tells you about divorce:

  • It will be the best second chance you will get

If you are like many women out there, it is possible that during your marriage you may have lost your way and identity. Maybe your spouse wasn’t supportive of some of your dreams, or your children came to soon and you had to make sacrifices you weren’t ready for.  Your divorce will actually give you an opportunity to rediscover yourself.  You now have the time to try and focus on YOU, remember who you are, or who you wanted to become. This is your time to re-invent yourself and explore new possibilities.  Make a list of hobbies you once had and no longer pursue. What where some dreams that you let go of because life and marriage got in the way?  Get as clear as possible with what you want to discover about yourself and just go after it.

  • Children are incredibly resilient

One of the biggest fears mothers have when it comes to divorce is how their children will adapt. I remember during that time my greatest concern was  how my daughter would adjust to this life changing situation. I knew it was for the best, but I was still scared. I learned that children are resilient, and that they adjust to change much better then we expect. Of course you need to be mindful and pay attention to your children’s struggles, and changes in behavior or moods, but know that if you give them the proper love, support, time and attention they will turn into incredible adults.  Be sure to get them the right support, and maintain a positive, happy, healthy environment in your home.  If your kids see you adjusting well and having a positive attitude so will they.

  • You will learn not to CARE about what others think of you

My whole childhood was programmed around what others think of me, or will think of me. When I got married, it was much of a muchness. The most freeing experience I had was stopping to care about what others think of me. Yes I will admit, at first it bothered me a little that some people started treating me differently due to the divorce, but I learned soon enough that I had more important things to worry about.  Don’t waste time trying to keep up appearances or salvaging friendships you formed throughout your marriage. Some friendships are bound to end or fade naturally, or where just meant to be for a season. Focus on what is important, YOU, your emotional and financial well-being. You will see that setting yourself free from focusing on other people’s opinions of you, is the best gift the universe could have given you.

  • Nothing will stand in your way

Something remarkable happens when you experience the worst thing that you could ever imagine happening. You become less afraid of uncertainty and learn to be fearless. You got divorced, and guess what, you didn’t die. You are still here, breathing, feeling and soon will be thriving. Yes, I am sure at times you felt like your heart was so broken that you couldn’t imagine how you would get through the day, but you did and now you are here to tell the tale.  Going through adversity and challenges helps us develop a “what’s the worst that can happen” attitude, allowing us to open up our mind to take bigger chances. When you allow yourself to take risks you set a stage for growth and opportunity. Remember,  opportunity and success are on the other side of our comfort zone. And you sure as heck have been pushed out of your comfort zone.

  • A new chance at happiness

Once you have learned how to prioritize yourself and pursue what YOU want, let go of all limiting beliefs and become fearless, you will shift into a happier place. That is the beauty of this new chapter in your life. You are now free of all the fighting, painful arguments, loneliness and anxiety, and able to open yourself up to find happiness within. You now have the opportunity to take this second chance at a new life, no matter what that new life may be, and create it the way you had always wanted to. Start with small things as simple as redecorating your living room the way YOU like, join that dance class you had always wanted to try but couldn’t because your ex wasn’t supportive, buy something you never could just because you deserve to treat yourself. Prioritize you, reach out for support, heal yourself, love yourself and give yourself what you would give your best friend! It’s time for you to give yourself permission to finally love yourself and find happiness!

Remember, change is inevitable, growth is optional. Divorce can be messy, but it could also be an amazing opportunity for growth. So if you are contemplating divorce or already in the process be sure to read the TOP 100 questions you need to ask yourself at this time in your life!