Empowering Choices: Navigating Divorce with Hope and PossibilityAug 21, 2023
Divorce is a difficult choice.
Does it feel like you are backed against a wall? Are you unsure of what steps to take? How often does it feel like there are no options for you in this tumultuous process?
I'd like to share how much choice you DO have in this process.
Consider an image of a dark cloudy day. By the looks of the clouds, there is no way we will see the sun. You still get to choose what to do on this cloudy day.
How can you choose to make the most of this cloudy day?
You could choose to complain and bemoan that your plans were interrupted. Or….you could decide to get curious about the clouds and see the color and shape variation. Which of those examples will set the tone to shift your day?
And even on this dark cloudy day as a breeze comes by, we see a little peek of sunshine through the clouds and it warms your face. This tiny change can inspire you to create more change within yourself, influencing how you handle the challenging stuff.
Finding and realizing that you have choices going through your divorce is that peek of the sun. Build on that little by little, moment by moment. And the clouds will drift away.
Separation and Divorce are experiences, not life sentences.
There is hope and self-discovery- even during divorce. Every experience offers us insight and opportunity to learn and grow. We may not see it in the moment, yet it is there. Believe in that and the shift begins to create new neural pathways in your brain. Truly!
And one thing is certain. We know the sun is always behind the clouds. Always.
Consider some of the ways that you do have a choice!
You get to choose how to go through the process in a way that keeps you grounded. We cannot change another person, however, we can choose to create small shifts in ourselves. Our positive energy can become its own contagion to dampen the negative energy around us. How can you shift slightly to positivity in your day to help yourself and influence those around you?
The emotions surrounding divorce are often wild and ferocious. This is true whether you initiated the divorce or are the recipient of this devastating news. While it is a different experience on these two sides, you still get to choose how you will successfully navigate this process. You can also decide how to create and navigate your next beautiful chapter. Finding a way to return to a place of calm and curious thinking helps you decide the next steps.
So many choices!
You can choose how you enhance your physical and mental health in this process. And everything we do for our physical health, including nutrition, sleep, and social connections, also has this remarkable cyclic effect of helping our mental health. Imagine how powerful it is that your brain and nervous system reset with a good night's sleep. This allows us to think more clearly and be less reactive. And when we are less reactive, this will enable us to respond from a place of thriving rather than surviving.
Responding, not reacting, is a powerful option for you, whether stuck in traffic or a divorce negotiation over custody. Victor Frankl, holocaust survivor and author of Man's Search for Meaning, speaks of a space between reacting and responding.
"In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness."
Can you choose to find the space and respond to one challenging situation today?
I often found myself repeating, “I can't.” I can't do this. I can't lose the kids. I can't lose the house. It is a scary experience to be tossed around in your mind, constantly dodging the "I can't."
One of the counselors I've worked with over the years said something to me, and it resonated. If we break apart the contraction can't- it means “can not.” I can choose not to lose the house; I can choose not to lose the kids.
What else can you choose not to do to get yourself to the next page of this beautiful life?