Divorce happens...and you will be OK!Aug 18, 2023
If you are starting the divorce process or anywhere in between initiation and completion, it can be so hard to believe that you will be OK. I have been there.
Some days during divorce are very, very dark, and we all have an internal judge. This judge has an endless dialogue in our mind where we judge ourselves, others, and circumstances.
Let’s look at a couple of examples of each.
The Judge of Self
Read through the lines below. Do any of these sound or feel familiar?
Judge: Of course, you’re getting divorced; you don’t deserve to be happy.
Judge: You always screw up relationships, and this is no different.
Please know these self-directed statements are not true! We all deserve happiness, and it is an inside job. Keep reading to see how.
Reframing the Mind: Transforming Thoughts. Transforming YOU.
A great starting point for reframing these false statements and helping you get through this challenging process more easily is through recognition. First, become aware and recognize when these thoughts come into your mind.
The ability to shift our thoughts from that negative spiral to something more positive or even neutral is powerful. It truly has the potential to change how your brain is wired and it can help change the way you respond to future challenges.
Judge: “Of course, you’re getting divorced; you don’t deserve to be happy.”
The Reframe: “Some marriages end. There is accountability from both people. My value is still uniquely amazing and beautiful. I am worthy of enjoying this one precious life.”
Judge: “You always screw up relationships, and this is no different.”
The Reframe: “Relationships take work and evolve over time. Relationships require participation and dedication from both parties. And still, the time can come for a relationship to end.”
The Judge of “Others”
Here is how the Judge of others might show up.
Judge: “If my spouse would only… (Fill in the blank), we wouldn’t be getting divorced.”
The Reframe: “Both of us have contributed to the marriage, and this is where we are at this moment.”
Another Judge: “If my spouse weren’t so attached to his/her mother, our marriage would be fine.”
The Reframe: “This relationship was ours to work on and facilitate appropriate boundaries with others around our relationship.”
The Judge of “Circumstance”
The third powerful (and entirely unhelpful) way the “Judge” shows up is by judging circumstances.
Here’s an example.
Judge: “I knew this would happen if we left our hometown and came to the big city.”
The reframe: “Our marriage has had struggles for many years and there are multiple contributing factors that brought us to this point.”
Judge: “If I hadn’t lost my job, he/she would have stayed with me.”
The Reframe: “My employment status is no reflection of my worth.”
In each of these examples, the ability to recognize when the judge is showing up is a critical first step to changing that thought process. We absolutely can change our thought patterns, and it takes work and repetition. And even as you start to become more aware, there will still be difficult days. On these difficult days, this is when it’s really important to remind yourself of what is going well and that despite the challenges now – you will be OK!
What are a few possible reframes you’d like to start using this week?
I will be ok.
I will be ok.
I am ok.
I am ok.
Using the present tense can influence how your nervous system responds, which you can use to your advantage.
During my divorce process and to this day, I developed what I refer to as a mantra mirror. I have 20+ sticky notes on my mirror of different mantras that would help me get through the day then, and they are still inspiring me now.
Can you think of a mantra or two to put on your mirror or refrigerator or your steering wheel?
I invite you to share your favorite mantras with us.