Reconnecting to yourself after experiencing hardship is vital on the road to recovery, but not many people know that.
Several years ago, I was standing in line at the airport ready to board a plane to go to D.C. It was an exciting time for me, as I was going there to await the arrival of my first grandchild.
Waiting in line behind me is a group of women who appear to be traveling together.
I overhear one of the women say to the others, “Now that my divorce is finally over, I feel like I have no life. I don’t know which direction to go or where I’m headed. My purpose in life was so tied to my marriage. I love my children and career, which is a big part of my life. There’s got to be more than just going through the same old routine every day.
As a matter of fact, most days I just drift along and go through the motions. It’s so frustrating. I don’t know what my next step is.”
Why Is Reconnecting To Yourself Important?
Reconnecting to yourself is an important step in moving forward once on the other side of divorce. You are not the same as you were before. In addition, some of your roles are different along with how you identify yourself. It begs the question: “Who are you now?”
Learning the importance of self-care helps cultivate respect and more love for oneself. It’s not selfish. Furthermore, it improves self-esteem, creates positive feelings, and increases self-confidence.
Simple, easy steps like exercising, following a healthy diet, and getting proper rest helps you heal more quickly from the inside out.
Creating more harmony physically, emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually supports a more balanced life. In fact, it empowers you so that you start to celebrate all the wonderful things about yourself and validate who you are now.
Above all, you feel inspired to set goals and make plans for the future. You make better choices and decisions for the future coming from your higher self.
Here’s An Example
Jordan got divorced after 23 years of marriage. Having been married for a long time, the emotional upheaval and shock become more pronounced as Jordan dwells on the memories, her devotion, and her passionate commitment that she invested in the marriage.
All her hopes and dreams thinking that she sees her future clearly are now gone. Brady, her husband, was unhappy for a long time. He decides he doesn’t want to spend the rest of his life being in a marriage that no longer gives him happiness and joy. Brady doesn’t want to go to counseling or therapy with Jordan to try to work it out.
He feels that the marriage is at the point of no return. Brady believes he is still young enough to enjoy what life has to offer. As a result, he leaves to explore other possibilities and opportunities that could come his way.
Long after she and Brady are divorced, Jordan keeps Brady’s small home office just the way he left it. She doesn’t change a thing. On his desk, is the phone and his old headset. The headset reminds her of times he would walk around the house doing other tasks and he’d forget to take them off. Sometimes, he would go outside in the yard to do some work. The headset is still on his head.
How Did She Cope With It?
Jordan gains a lot of weight and is feeling out of control. Being a small person in stature, the weight is more pronounced on her small frame. Emotional eating is her coping mechanism. It’s her way of dealing with the situation. Jordan feels a lot of pain and anguish. Not only that, she doesn’t allow uncomfortable feelings and emotions to come into her experience. Instead of dealing with them, she stuffs them back down along with lots of food.
She eats those feelings and emotions away.
Under the circumstances, she doesn’t recognize herself; and emotionally, she doesn’t know who she is anymore. She’s lost her sense of self and her well-being. Jordan starts on the road to recovery and becomes “unstuck” when she realizes that by not taking care of herself from the inside out, she loses the power to take control of her present life. By rejecting that now her life is different, she’s not adapting to her present situation.
When faced with a life-altering experience, it’s important to realize that it changes you. As a result, you need to get reacquainted with who you are now and embrace that person. You have to focus on reconnecting to yourself.
How She Regained Control Over Her Life
For Jordan, the extra weight is an emotional crutch. Emotional eating becomes a habit, and subsequently, it puts a literal barrier between herself and others. She starts to isolate herself and becomes less social.
There’s good news, though. Emotional eating is just a habit, and a habit that she can break. Jordan can replace that negative behavior with more positive, productive ones.
Along with clearing out Brady’s home office and creating a workout space for the new exercise routine that she adopts, she starts cooking her favorite meals that are nutritious and healthy.
Here Are Some Action Steps
Jordan takes some simple steps so that she can once again celebrate the wonderful things about herself. Eventually, this leads her to feel empowered and take back control over her life.
- Become aware of the thoughts that come up that are associated with emotional eating. Write the most frequent ones down.
- Make a list of different behaviors she can readily use in place of overeating and put them in a conspicuous place so that she can easily be reminded of them. For her, the kitchen cabinet is the place. Instead of mindlessly going into the cabinet to grab some snacks, she chooses a new behavior from the list and does that instead.
- When the uncomfortable feeling does overtake her, all Jordan wants to do is get rid of it. Rather than eat, she needs to stop where she is right in the present moment and feel the uncomfortable feeling. She must breathe into the uncomfortable feeling with long slow breathes. As she does that, the breathing will take away some of its power. As a result, she will stay in control and make a better choice.
- Adopt a regular workout routine and consciously choose healthy, nutritious foods that will empower her to cultivate self-care from the inside out.
What Does She Learn From This?
Jordan learns to be present. She’s not distracted by thoughts of the past or the future. The past is gone and the future is not here yet. All we ever have is the present moment.
By becoming aware of her thoughts, she learns that the thoughts create uncomfortable feelings that trigger emotional eating. When she begins to become aware of them, she can push them aside. By pushing them aside, she is making space to replace the negative thoughts with positive ones.
When she does that, she feels less apprehension, worry, and stress about things that she no longer has control over. What she does start to cultivate is control over herself. By doing this work and reconnecting to herself, she begins to know, respect, and love who she is now.