The four must-know behaviors you need to start now!
Anyone going through a divorce is suddenly thrust into a world of unknowns. The safety net disappears, and everything as you know it comes into question.
I’ll never forget the sensation that came over me, standing in my home, now a Solo Mom, wondering what the hell I was supposed to do. I felt powerless, lost, and terrified. The foundation I had built my world on had been shattered, and I didn’t know where in the pile of rubble I was supposed to find the first block to start building again.
As this new reality continued to reveal itself, it felt as if my world were spinning out of control. There were attorneys, custody agreements, judges, accountants, random comments from people, dividing our things, other women, filing court papers. . . . Just when I would unearth the right blocks and start building, a new discovery would tear through and I would be standing in the rubble again.
I easily got caught up in the tidal wave of the situation, allowing my fear and emotions to take over. I was living life on the defensive.
What I discovered is that you can’t control what is happening around you, but you can control what happens within you. Learning to become more grounded in my daily life was vital in successfully navigating through a new world of unknowns and taking control of my healing process.
Described below are the four necessary actions for conscious healing.
1. Focus on your mindset
Think of your mindset as your foundation—the stronger you make it, the more storms your building can weather. Your mindset begins with one decision: to live from the highest version of yourself in everything you face and do, no matter what comes your way. Allow this thinking to permeate throughout all areas of your life.
The idea is simple but definitely not easy. Consciously attend to this on a daily basis, practicing, motivating, and learning. Be willing to make mistakes, be kind to yourself, and don’t give up. Living from the highest part of yourself will be continually tested, but the more you do it, the more natural it will become. Over time, your foundation becomes stronger, requiring a lot more to make you falter.
2. Stop telling your story
As a society, talking about our problems has become the norm. It is how we connect with one another and also what we think will make us feel better. We go to counseling, talk to friends, and sometimes even talk to strangers if we are going through something really difficult.
Repeatedly telling your story, however, can actually be more harmful than helpful, as studies, including this one in Time, have found. Every time you retell the story, you relive the trauma. Instead, take an intentional break from telling your story, and give yourself some much-needed space for healing.
3. Commit to live selfishly every day
Most of us have been taught to sacrifice our own happiness for that of others, especially when it comes our families. We put our wants, needs, and desires on the back burner, only to find ourselves depleted and feeling resentful. My guess is that when you were married, you sacrificed parts of yourself, and now that you are a Solo Mom, reconnecting with those pieces seems impossible. How many times have you said to yourself, One day . . . ?
Starting now, you must commit to living selfishly every day, making yourself a priority and taking the time to connect with your wants, needs, and desires. When life seems to be spinning out of control, nothing is more empowering than knowing, in that deepest part of yourself, what you need for you. The more time you take to practice self-love and self-care, the more centered and empowered you will feel. As a Solo Mom, this can be challenging, so here are some tips for you to follow.
4. Be courageous every day
Let’s face it, getting divorced can be scary, and becoming a Solo Mom can be downright terrifying. It’s easy to get caught up in the fear, obsessing about the “What if . . . ?” and “How will I ever . . . ?” thoughts. We tend to think these fears will fade over time and then we’ll be able to take action, but the truth is, fears build on one another until it’s really hard to get out from under them. At some point you are just going to have to face those fears.
Your willingness to be comfortable with being fearful will greatly increase your ability to heal and personally develop. According to Forbes, feeling uncomfortable is the key to your success. Being willing to take messy, imperfect steps on a daily basis and being OK with the knowledge that you will make mistakes (and probably fail a few times) yet still be willing to try anyway is how you will empower yourself to take control of your life and live it on your own terms.
To those of you who are reading this, know that you’ve absolutely got this. You are stronger than you realize and capable of things you never thought possible. I mean, after all, you are a Solo Mom, which means you are a warrior!
What actions did you take to heal after your divorce?
Jennifer Butler is a writer and transformation coach, currently working as a community leader for DivorceForce. Beyond an extensive education, Jennifer also went through a life transformation as a result of her own divorce and has dedicated her work to supporting others. You can connect with Jennifer at JennJoy Coaching and on Instagram.