Life does not stop after divorce, it begins anew!
Many of us after divorce often feel jilted of what we once believed would be our future, and because of another (our ex) our life path veered off course through no choice of our own. Though that may or may not be true, we are nonetheless; left to deal with the aftermath that is divorce.
After divorce, many of us feel like victims, especially if we did not choose to leave. There are also a whole host of emotions to contend with such as: being sad, frightened as to what to do next, anger that spreads far and wide and the big kahuna is feeling like a failure. And, though those feelings are all natural and will take time to work through, the one thing you can do for yourself along the journey of healing is to not think of yourself as a VICTIM.
The word victim means “somebody hurt or killed or harmed or duped.” So, according to that definition, is everyone who gets divorced a victim? The most likely answer to that would be yes, you are a victim. You have been hurt, you been harmed, lied to or cheated on or treated badly or called names or dumped. All those things are possible and probable, and playing the victim for a little while may help you garner sympathy while you try to grieve, but keeping it going for the long haul is not healthy for you and for the people closest to you.
If you truly want to recover from your divorce, there comes a time when playing the victim needs to stop, and it’s time to pick yourself up off the floor, dust yourself off and start your new life. I’m not trying to make it sound simple or easy, because it’s not. But, you have two choices. Play the victim and blame everyone else for the rest of your life, or go out and grab the life you want. And THAT is a simple choice, isn’t it?
As those who have embarked on the quest for happiness after divorce know quite well, a crucial milestone on the path involves taking personal responsibility. Taking personal responsibility means not blaming others for your unhappiness. It means figuring out ways in which you can be happy despite others' (negative) behaviors and despite the external circumstances. A person who has taken personal responsibility recognizes an all-important truth about happiness: your happiness depends much more on your attitude than it does on objective, external circumstances. And, by not taking responsibility for ourselves, we too often allow others to take responsibility for us. And in doing this we are essentially giving them permission to take charge of our lives.
One way to do this is to take control of your life. Here are a few suggestions:
Take back ownership of yourself.
This is much easier said than done since this involves extricating yourself from a relationship where you’ve really been a passive participant. It means standing your ground and not being satisfied with the status quo. But before you can fully take your life back you may need to acknowledge regret for time lost. The only way to move forward is to acknowledge what has happened to you—how you got there, and what you need to do that’s different from what you’ve done so far.
It’s also about recognizing, acknowledging, and accepting that you have been responsible in part for the life you find yourself in, since you allowed he or she to treat you the way they did. It’s also about shifting your attention to your own needs and goals, by prioritizing what is most important to you. In this way you will foster your self-esteem that has most likely knocked down a few notches.
Recognize and acknowledge you hold the power to your future happiness.
You may have felt out of control by past events, but it is now up to you to make your future your own. Now is the moment. The past is just a memory. The future is a mental projection. You can choose to dwell back in the past for learning and reflection. You can choose to dwell in the future for visualization and practical planning. However, any time your awareness floats away to the past or future frequently for negative purposes, you are suffocating your ability to thrive in the only moment you ever have… the now.
Challenges are gifts for your growth.
Without challenges you cannot unlock your full potential. If we begin to look at obstacles as opportunities for growth it shifts our whole way of thinking and creates opportunities of self-discovery instead of falling back into the VICTIM mindset. The world needs the richness of who you are, and it is through your experiences in life that you unfold into that completeness. How can you demonstrate willpower and strength if your resolve has never been tested? How can you role model love and compassion if you have never faced the opposite? Knowing there is a higher purpose within dark times, is what leads you to be at peace in the midst of those storms.
Forgiveness is choosing happiness over hurt.
We do not forgive others in order to free them of the situation, burden, guilt or regret. We forgive others to free ourselves and walk into compassion and love by doing so. It is in freeing ourselves that our energy level rises, our consciousness rises, and in doing so those around us benefit too. The words of forgiveness have a positive impact on those we forgive, but ultimately forgiveness is a choice that allows us to be happy again. This doesn’t mean you ever have to utter the words I forgive you to your ex, it’s good enough to think it, and in truth it may take a very long time to get there. Although, after divorce, the most important person you can forgive would be forgiving yourself. After all, it all begins with you.
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