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Karen Stewart

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Coping with Divorce

Posted: 09/16/2013 2:16 pm

Divorce itself, is not bad!

How we interpret it and how it plays out in our lives is what makes it bad.

When we hear the word "Divorce" we tend to have visions of tears, heartache, fighting, financial loss and children suffering.

Decades ago only a small percentage of the population was getting divorced and we had no problem compartmentalizing them into a small unlikely group of parents and kids. Them vs. us! "What goes on behind closed doors" is not our problem, was the common belief. We were quick to label this unfortunate group and their children in derogatory ways. We even went as far as to blame bad behavior on "the broken home."

Thank goodness, we are avoiding many of these clichés today but we still have a long way to go. Lets start by changing how we "cope with divorce" to "how we can embrace the lessons of divorce."

Lets start here:

  • Divorce does not define you: how you move through it will.
  • Divorce is not bad - by nature, it is neutral.
  • Divorce is only one experience of your lifetime, so do not let it create a lifetime legacy.
  • Your children are not Victims of Divorce, they in fact, can be blessed by the lessons it will teach them about love, forgiveness and hope.
  • How you chose to deal with your divorce will impact your children's self esteem -- so you can not afford to handle it badly.
  • Feed yourself with positive messages -- either by reading great books or surrounding yourself with positive people.
  • You are not a victim. Be accountable for your situation as it is the only way you will move forward and have a great future.
  • Ensure you are getting the advice you need not just the advice you want.
  • Do not date too soon. While it is tempting to jump to a new island you need to understand yourself and your lessons better first or you might find the new island has the same weeds as the old one. If you have been married for more than 10 years -- wait for two years.
  • Become very disciplined and aware of your self-talk. Find a way to stop negative self-talk. There are great books that will help you learn how to control your thoughts and direct them to more positive ones.
  • Try and see the gifts in this ending. Doors have to sometimes close before better ones can open - even if we have no idea what doors might open.
  • Trust that you are exactly at the right path at the right moment - this will help avoid the "what if or wish I had" conversations.
  • Be disciplined about your choice of words. Words matter and they can destroy or build. Chose to build vs. destroy. Yes - even with your ex.
  • Allow yourself time and embrace all your emotions including: anger, fear, sadness, anxiety etc. These are all normal and it is by allowing them to move through us that we will begin to heal. Just avoid creating chaos around you while you are experiencing them.
  • Make sure to set aside time just for you. Often with divorce comes a ton of other responsibilities and finding time just for you seems like a luxury you cannot afford. The truth is that you cannot afford not to give yourself some "me" time. It will give you the power to handle all that comes your way and prevent you from burning out.
  • When you look back five or so years from now -- you will not regret your divorce but you may regret how you handled it -- so don't let that be the case for you.
  • Lastly -- love yourself and just be the best you can be.
 

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