11 Lessons I Learnt From DivorceSep 12, 2023
1. Nothing in life is certain.
No matter how much you try to make things be a certain way, things won’t necessarily go your way. From my experience, the tighter you try to grasp things, the less likely you will keep hold of them. The truth is, relationships change, people change, and that’s a part of life. If we choose to have less expectations, life will feel more in flow. I love the quote “the wind doesn’t break a tree that bends.” Don’t take things for granted, understand that things won’t necessarily go your way but that it’s always a beautiful opportunity to learn more about yourself and grow. Open yourself to the possibility that your new life could be even more magical than you had ever dreamed of.
2. Life is about the energy you bring to things, not the outcome.
It’s so cheesy, that phrase “life is about the journey not the destination.” But oh my gawd it’s so true. If you focus on the one thing you can control - how you show up and focus on bringing the energy you want to a relationship rather than focus on the outcome, you will be honouring yourself and choosing love not fear. When we focus too much on the future and the outcome we become afraid and we become ruled by our limiting beliefs: “what if they leave me?” “what if I don’t meet anyone else?” Instead focus on bringing in joy, spontaneity, trust, fun, excitement, balance, safety… whatever the energy is that matters to you. You will evolve so much if you bring this principle to your everyday life.
3. We are all on our own journey, so there’s no point in comparing.
As much as we might try to keep up with our peers and society’s expectations of us, this won’t make us happy. I have a hard truth for you: compare = despair and comparison is something that is within your control. I used to compare myself to absolutely everyone and now my brain doesn’t work like that anymore. I have literally re-wired my brain to recognise if any comparison is coming up in my mind and my awareness of this will divert the thought to something more useful and kind. Once you realise that comparison is pointless and really harmful, you get to choose to work on changing this.
4. What you accept in a relationship matches your level of self-worth.
If you accept someone who doesn’t treat you very well, or meet the standards of a relationship you desire, you are doing this because you deep down don’t believe you are worthy of more. You instead settle because you think things like “I am running out of time” or “I won’t meet someone better. You fight for your limitations rather than your expansion. It’s not your job to convince someone to love you the way you want to be loved. It’s your job to walk away if they don’t. You teach people how to treat you by what you tolerate.
5. You have to have a life separate from your partner.
So often we become reliant on the other to validate us. Our identity is so entwined with the other. We have to remember that we are our own unique selves and we must learn to enjoy time on our own and learn to rely on ourselves. In order to maintain desire within a relationship we have to feel separate from our partner. When we become enmeshed with our partner, spending all our time with them, it’s not so sexy! Freedom and autonomy are essential for desire to thrive.
alt = "self-worth coach lessons from divorce"
6.Someone else cannot fix you or make you happy.
Understanding that another person cannot fix your emotional problems or become the solution to your pain is key to a healthy relationship. You are responsible for your own happiness. Your partner can contribute to it but you are fully responsible. It’s important to take the time to understand your inner world, your traumas, your triggers and manage your reactions. Otherwise you will end up blaming the other for things that are likely to not actually be related to them.
7. Your partner cannot and should not meet all your needs.
We have 6 fundamental needs that need to be met to feel like we are living a fulfilling life. These are safety, connection, growth, variety, significance and contribution. Whilst you partner can meet some of your needs, you friends, family, community, lifestyle and work can meet the others. When you place a reliance on your partner to meet them all, you are setting yourself up to fail.
8. It only matters how YOU feel.
You are the only one in your relationship / break up / divorce. How other people feel about it may help bring some clarity or it may confuse things for you. You have to go through your break up your own way. You have to listen to your feelings because they are there to teach you something. Your feelings need to be processed without attaching to a story - i.e allowing yourself to cry and be sad without attaching to “I messed everything up” or “I’ll never find love again.” Pure emotions releasing from the body will get you one step closer to acceptance. We create meaning from big events in our lives - choose to make meaning that is going to help you thrive. I now believe my divorce, as sad as it was, is the best thing that happened to me.
9. Some people will be there for you, some won’t.
And that’s ok. It’s not a reflection on you or even necessarily a reflection on how much they love you. Some people in your life have the capacity to be there for you time and time again and others don’t. Everyone is juggling their own stuff and might just not know how best to support you - they might even assume you are doing well and don’t want to talk about it. A good tip - if you need more support, ask for it, don’t assume people will approach you. When I got divorced most of my friends had 1, 2 or 3 little kids to deal with! Ask for support and also ask for what you need - do you need advice and feedback? Or do you just need someone to listen?
10. You did what you could with the tools you had at the time.
Part of the grief process is regret, ruminating and bargaining - “if only I had said x or done y.” “If only we had help to work through things.” “If only the timing could have been different.” All of these questions are natural and they can turn you into a crazy person! To the point where you can feel like you have totally lost yourself and you overthink and over analyse everything. Remind yourself with compassion that you did everything you could with the tools you had at the time. Then take responsibility for your part in away that inspires you to make meaningful change to your inner world so that you can start to relate in a better and more healthy way.
11. The best thing you can do for any relationship is to learn to love yourself.
When you love yourself on a deeper level you are more likely to meet someone who also loves themselves. When you learn to love yourself you can set healthy boundaries, you can understand your triggers and pain points and you can stop projecting your shit onto others quite so much! You have more compassion and less judgement. When you judge yourself less you also learn to judge others less. You understand your wants and needs and how to meet them and you are able to have the difficult conversations. The relationship you desire is often on the other side of the conversation you are afraid of having. Loving yourself is an incredibly valuable skill, one that will change your life for the better and forever.
Are you struggling with a break up or divorce? I have two ways in which I would like to support you:
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