“Each of us has the most amazing, magical facility to change our experience, instantly, simply by altering our perception.” — Yogi Amrit Desai
The first step towards positive change after divorce is to recognize that the marriage as it was is over. To do this, you must re-condition your thoughts and words.
Many people who separate or divorce hold onto the thought that their ex-partner will come back someday. They find themselves putting life on hold — waiting for their partner’s return, and out of fear of changing too much all at once. This drains a lot of energy that could better be used for other pursuits. You must be consciously aware of pulling your thoughts back from the past to the present moment in order to maximize your energy to create a positive, forward-looking present. Even if you initiated the separation, you may experience a period of “suspended animation”: waiting for your new life to begin, for the papers to be finalized, for him/her to be nicer to you now that you’re not in the same house, for support payments, for your weekend with the children, for the children to come home. It’s easy to see how you could spend a lot of time and energy just waiting!
Since you’re apt to find yourself waiting (in one way or another), consider changing your experience from a negative to a positive one — if you can’t change your situation, change your attitude. Try using the following list of affirmations during those times when the forward motion of your life has been temporarily delayed. And don’t just wait for a miracle — expect one.
- Be kind to yourself.
Perfection is not necessary; there is no arriving, only going. There is no need to judge where you are in your journey; right now, it’s enough that you are traveling.
- Make a commitment to creating a great future for yourself.
Such a commitment enables you to bypass your fears, mental escapes, and justifications, so that you can face whatever is happening to you at the moment.
- Get out of your own way.
The main block to transformation is the thought that we shouldn’t be where we are, that we should already be further along in our growth than we perceive ourselves to be. Where you are right now is perfect for you; remember, it’s just a stop along the journey, and you’ll be moving along again soon.
- Affirm yourself.
Who you were and who you will be are insignificant compared to who you are. You really are strong enough to handle this, and to use this opportunity to grow as an individual.
- Realize that your life has not been a waste.
Every person in your life reveals a part of you that you need to encounter, and serves as a medium through which you can see yourself, grow in awareness, and come closer to God within. Live every experience and every event you encounter as a learning opportunity, rather than as a threat of failure. Problems are just opportunities in their work clothes.
- Remember that fear is not always a bad thing.
If you allow yourself to experience fear fully, without trying to push it away, an inner shift takes place that initiates transformation. Feel it fully, then release it — you’ve just taken several huge strides along the path to a great future as a stronger, happier, more self-aware person.
Above all, remember there is no experience in life that doesn’t have the power to lead you to freedom. If you change the conditions of your life, you have changed little or nothing. If you change yourself, you have changed your whole life.
Pamela D. Blair is a psychotherapist, Interfaith Minister, personal coach, writer and lecturer. She is the founder of the Divorce Resource Network, and publisher of “Surviving Divorce: A Newsletter to Support Women and Men in Transition.”