People confuse the experience of divorce all the time. Too many people think it’s a horrible thing but you just get through it. Others wallow in the loss of their marriages forever. Your future depends on how willing you are to do some personal growth through a divorce. Healing doesn’t just happen.
Saying that however, your personal growth doesn’t have to take forever either. And it shouldn’t. You want to figure things out sooner rather than later. But it’s not easy to do so during the initial crisis stage. At first, life will be pretty chaotic. But over time, if you’re open to growing through the breakdown of your family, your life will open up again. So let it.
Fantasies are the hope and trust we use to pull us out of bad situations.
Over time, you have to figure out who you want to be without your ex-spouse holding up that old mirror of judgment and support. Fantasies are the hope and trust we use to pull us out of bad situations or pull us out of pain. They’re hugely important with divorce! We hope the future will be better; we trust that we’re making the right decision. But in truth, the story of the rest of your life hasn’t been lived yet. Your life story isn’t finished. We have to create the future to determine if it’s better than where we are in the present. Got it?
Life happens to all of us whether we’re in a divorce or not.
One of the big pitfalls of going through a divorce is that we want guarantees. In this case, the hope or the guarantee that the future will be as good as you’re fantasizing about it. Unfortunately, there are no guarantees in life ever. No matter how often we beg or pray or plead. Life happens to all of us whether we’re in a divorce or not. Sometimes because of our actions perhaps and sometimes because of our inactions.
But either way, your experience of personal growth through a divorce may be similar (but different) than the personal growth someone else has to go through dealing with their loss or crisis. Inspired by people’s fortitude and strength, no matter how difficult things are in the moment, I remember to be grateful. That really stinks when you’re fighting with your ex-spouse or you just got another attorney’s bill. For sure. But, you’ve got this. In fact, you’ve been through tough times more than once and you’ve grown.
If you want your future to be as good as you fantasize about it, you’re responsible for making it happen.
Our culture wants a quick fix and an easy answer. We’re lucky, we get another chance at life when we go through a divorce. Other difficulties or crisis seem less harsh perhaps… possibly because they’re seemingly momentary. Like, God forbid, an accident… quick and easy. You deal with it.
I was hit by a car this past spring and have been healing nicely from it for six months now and know I will be just fine. A divorce in comparison seems to take forever. My divorce from my children’s took 5-years. That’s a long time to be scared and upset. In a positive spin, I call it, giving us the time to get used to our new life. Away from your old life. During my legal separation, I had a long time to think through some of my beliefs around divorce. Quick or long, it becomes our business to make our new life happen for ourselves.
Are you willing to do the personal growth through a divorce?
Some people may cringe when they read this. “She’s asking me to do MORE work?” they may be saying. Look, it’s your future, you get to decide to do whatever you want. But if you do decide on personal growth through a divorce, it looks like finding teachers and mentors. It means reading books written by people who’ve been through what you’re going through.
You might decide to join a support group or go to therapy. You will most certainly want to find a divorce coach or an “abandonment group.” The personal growth healing work, unfortunately, won’t always be easy. No one likes change! So who’s going to help you with your personal growth and healing? Find someone who can handle what you’re up against. (That is typically, not your mother….)
Create the courage to move on with your life, even when it’s difficult.
I believe the terrain between being married and being comfortably single isn’t for the faint of heart. There’s a mix of compassion and empathy for what you’re going through – did I mention how tough this experience is? And a bit of tough love, kick-in-the-pants kind of honesty we have to put into the mix. So do yourself a favor and surround yourself with people who can help you stay tethered to reality. Your marriage is over in a divorce. So, now what are you going to do with your life?
Ask yourself what you want and go for it! You can do what you need to do to make the kind of life that is something you fantasize about. So find someone who can tether you to what you want… your fantasy. Invest the time, the resources, and experience the personal growth going through a divorce. You’ll get everything you want and more.