How to move forward gracefully after a divorce

Divorce, and break-ups in general are very difficult to process and move on from.  For many reasons, separating from someone we love leaves us feeling lost and desperate for answers.  Many times we blame ourselves in hopes that if we take ownership of the breakup we can then fix it and not have to suffer with this pain any longer.

The pain can be so deep that it triggers other emotional issues inside us, ones that we thought we buried and would never see again.  Sometimes break-ups are the Universes’ way of getting us to deal with our issues instead of filling voids and living the day to day as if these issues do not exist.  That’s called denial.

Being divorced twice and losing both husbands in a similar and pretty traumatic way I realized the Universe was sending me a message…it was the same message both times and this time I listened.

Below are my simple tips of letting go and moving on after a divorce (or breakup):

  • Let yourself go through the stages of grief/loss – A divorce or breakup of a significant relationship is quite similar to a death.  In order to move forward you must go through the stages of grief.  The five stages are  denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance and they are a critical part of the framework that makes up our learning to live without the one we lost. They help us to gain the tools we need to help us identify what we may be feeling, however there is no exact timeline when it comes to the healing process and you may bounce around from grief to anger and back to denial before you hit acceptance.   Healing is not linear.
  • Accept that healing takes time – As I stated, there is no time table and healing is not linear.  Just  know, you are where you are meant to be, healing.  The more difficult the relationship and break up the harder the hit is to your body, mind and soul.  You need to be compassionate with yourself and accept that it can take years to recover and that is OK!  Honor yourself and where you are at, at every moment.
  • Allow yourself time to heal – solo – Fix yourself and heal first before bringing someone else into your world otherwise you risk repeating the same patterns until you have learned the lesson you were meant to learn – the Universe is speaking to you so listen.  The only way over it, is through it.
  • Do not fill voids by immediately trying to replace your ex – Believe it or not, you are not ready for a new relationship!  By jumping in to a new relationship, you are trying to fill a void to escape from hurt, that never works, it delays the healing process and puts other people at risk for heartbreak.
  • Allow yourself to feel anger, fear and sorrow – These feelings are normal and are part of the healing process.  Feel every feeling until you are numb to it.  Stuffing your feelings does not work, facing them head on speeds up the healing process.
  • Fill your life with interests and activities – Now is the time to try something new (new hobby, take a class, start an exercise routine), make new friends, and start some Keystone Habits (see my blog on Improve your life with these simple Keystone Habits).  This creates a full and satisfying life.  Become a better version of yourself!
  • Make peace with your loss and try to forgive – If you focus too much on the loss and don’t let go of the story you will not get to acceptance and you will prolong the healing process.  There is a lesson in all this, take the time to learn what it is.
  • Let go of the story – Yes it was traumatic – yes you are in pain – yes you miss him or her – but if you do not let go of the story and make peace with what happened and why it happened you will delay creating a new and better story, one that doesn’t involve a traumatic breakup.  Learn the lesson and move forward.
  • Make time for yourself and figure out who you are as a person – I imagine you have spent a majority of time focused on your relationship and your significant other.  Now it is time to focus on yourself and figure out who you are and what makes you tick.  Fall in love with yourself!
  • If you want to find a happy, nurturing, compassionate relationship, look for those qualities inside yourself – Do you have those same qualities you are looking for in another person?   Remember … you are holding up your mirror so be who you wish to meet!  Its that simple.

Once you change your mindset from loss to opportunity, the healing process will be a much easier Journey to the next story of your new and wonderful life.

Namaste’

Please share this with others who you think will benefit from this article.

– what is it that you need from a relationship? –

Whether you have initiated the break up or have been broken up with it’s important to understand the lesson you are supposed to learn from the experience.

It’s so easy to focus or dwell on the good times and the things that you miss about the relationship but it is important to recognize what you didn’t get from the relationship as well.

There is a saying, a popular one that states when one door closes another one opens.  I believe in this.  Think of it this way, the door is closing for a reason and once you determine what that reason is, it can open you up to so many possibilities.

The other piece of this is, some people are just not meant to be together long term.  There may have been a short term compatibility but people do change and grow over time.  Basically because we do not stay the same person throughout our lifetime (thank God).  With that, our needs and interests change as well, drawing us to new people and experiences.

Since I am on my own personal Journey I figured I would share my list of non-negotiable’s with you in hopes that you will draft up your own list and start focusing on what you need vs. what you have lost 🙂

Here are the basic things I need from a healthy relationship, that he could not give me:

  1. Trust
  2. Respect
  3. Honesty
  4. Humility
  5. Appreciation
  6. Healthy love
  7. Patience
  8. Support
  9. Truth, always, no matter how it hurts
  10. Honest communication
  11. Conflict resolution
  12. Comprimise

In my opinion they are as basic as it gets.  There are others, but they fall into another category meant for another blog.

Basic needs sometimes are the hardest to have filled.  If you ever talk to someone who is in a toxic relationship they will tell you all the reasons why they are together but you learn right away their basic needs are not being met.

It has taken me nearly two years to understand that these simple and basic needs, I deserve to have them met.

Everyone deserves to have someone appreciate them, support them, communicate honestly with them, to be respected, told the truth.

I ask myself often, why would I ever accept less than this?

You cannot possibly respect yourself if you are willing to tolerate someone emotionally abusing you.  Even if they are not consciously doing it, by not treating you with respect and by not being honest with you or supporting you, they are emotionally abusing you.

This type of abuse comes in many forms that are sometimes not even recognized (i.e. talking down to you, name calling, gas lighting, crazy making, lying lying and more lying.)  Its all emotional abuse.  But this is a topic for another blog, at another time.

I digress 🙂

So as I stated before I went off on my tangent, it is important to look at why the relationship didn’t work out vs. remembering all the good times and wishing you were still together.

I read a study recently about memories and how our brains recall them, here is an excerpt:

“instead of remembering the actual memory, you’re recalling the memory of the last time you remembered it and any mistakes that might have been introduced there. Like a game of human telephone, those mistakes can build on one another over time, leaving out details and introducing mistakes.”

“a memory is not simply an image produced by time traveling back to the original event—it can be an image that is somewhat distorted because of the prior times you remembered it,”

“your memory of an event can grow less precise even to the point of being totally false with each retrieval.”

So this is why it is important that we do not live in the past and we stay in the moment as much as we can because our memories are not exactly a true depiction of what actually happened.

So break out your journal and draft a list of YOUR non-negotiable’s in a relationship.  Start with the basics like I did and then move towards specifics.

Dig deep…you find so much when you do.

Love, light and happiness always

-A

 

 

 

 

 

Daily Post: Toxic

via Daily Post:Toxic

What’s toxic…let’s see….there is toxic food, toxic (poisonous) chemicals, and of course, my favorite thing to avoid, toxic people.

People can be super toxic, especially emotional vampires so beware and know that you do not have to tolerate toxic people or toxic behaviors.

There is a way around toxic, avoidance.  Run, fast and far from toxic people.  Hide from them.  Do what you have to, but do not engage with toxic, there is no benefit.

Namaste

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

8 Critical Tips for Self-Love and Healing

I know what you are thinking, what is self-love and where do I even begin.

If you Google self-love there will be many articles and blogs that will help you on this topic.  I have read every single one of them, ok maybe not every single one, and now I am a self proclaimed expert on the topic.

We read it, we hear about it and everyone says it...you can’t experience true love and vulnerability until you love yourself.  On the outside so many of us appear to be happy and love ourselves.  However, deep down we struggle with anxiety, we lack a sense of purpose, maybe even suffer from a bit of sadness.  As a result a number of us look to outside sources for comfort or validation.  We live our lives through our children, we focus on our husbands and our families, we over-eat, drink too much, exercise too much, work too much, or we do just the opposite and can’t get out of or own way.

Outside perceptions are not always our reality. I know in my life, looking in the window from the front porch everything appeared “pretty”.  Reality is, that was so far from the truth.  We all have our story and we all know our “truths”.

Self-love for me came after an extremely traumatic event.  Everyone consoling me would say “you have to take care of yourself” or “you need to love yourself” and I had no idea what any of this meant.  Once I discovered the true meaning of self-love I couldn’t believe how I was living in my previous life.  I would say I was functioning but not living.

Self-love takes work.  It is beyond getting your hair done, a nice pedicure and good clothes.  It is beyond what you post on Facebook (GET OFF FACEBOOK if you want to be truly happy).  Self-love is truly getting to know yourself, discovering who you are, honoring that person and always putting that person first above all else, yes even your husband and children.  If you are not living as your highest self, what good are you to those who need and love you.

I encourage you to read some of my older blogs that will give you ideas on how to create a morning or an evening ritual which is such an important catalyst to self-love and living your as your Highest Self.


Below are some tips on how to start loving yourself, today!

Start by honoring who you are today and where you are at this moment. 

Maybe you have anxiety, are suffering from depression, are unhappy at your job, have family life stressors, aren’t happy with your appearance or your marriage.  Wherever you are in your life right now….honor it knowing that with each and every day you have the opportunity to make a change.  Buddha says “every day we are born again”.  What a beautiful concept.

Evaluate where you find your worth and where you look for validation. 

Do you look to external sources – do you thrive off the attention you receive from other people? – does your productivity or your accomplishments define you? – are you a people pleaser?  Self-love comes from validating and pleasing yourself.  If you are always looking for someone else to validate you, you will be continuously spinning on a wheel seeking validation and will feel empty until you receive it.  That love, that feeling of accomplishment, the ability to soothe yourself during a tough time, comes from you.

Know, right now, no matter what you are going through, that you are enough! 

You have everything in you to be enough!

Be kind to yourself, your body and your soul! 

Watch the words you use when you talk to yourself or about yourself.

Exercise:  grab your journal and describe yourself as if you were describing a friend of yours.  Don’t focus or plan what to write, just grab your journal and a pen and start writing and see what comes out.  Are you mostly positive or negative?  Remember how you view yourself is what you are putting out into the Universe.  You will find from this exercise what you need to change with regard to your own beliefs about yourself.

Practice things that bring out your inner calm. 

Gardening, yoga, journaling, blogging, cooking, crafting, singing, meditation.  Your mind and soul need a break from our every day circus.  Soothe yourself with a calming activity.

Allow yourself to heal. 

We all have a story and unfortunately its not always a pretty one.  If you have dealt with any sort of trauma (death, divorce, illness, family dysfunction, childhood “stuff”) and have never really dealt with it.  I encourage you to allow yourself to heal and to forgive yourself and those who have hurt you.  There is nothing more freeing than letting go of the bond that ties you to your trauma.

Let it go. 

Whatever you are holding on to that is no longer serving you, let it go.

My strongest advice is to start a morning/evening self-care ritual. 

See How do you start your day? for ideas.


Commit to self-love and your life with start to change.  Keystone Habits are also a must and we will talk about this in my next blog.

Grab your Journal, put todays date on it and enjoy your Journey to self-love.

Until soon!

Namaste’