Give Yourself Time To Heal
One facet of life that I believe to be true is that sooner or later everyone will experience pain and suffering in some way and for some unknown period of time. I believe that pain and suffering make us stronger and awakens us to what God truly wants us to be. Health related issues, family loss, financial despair and a myriad of other more direct issues which impact us in very unique ways can and will wreak havoc on our lives. Divorce is one form of loss that can cause unimaginable stress and can seriously impair one’s health if steps aren’t taken to counteract the emotional trauma.
How do we do this? What is the secret formula for effectively dealing with divorce, one of society’s most common and distressing experiences? First and foremost you need to breathe. This isn’t an attempt at being superficial or melodramatic. Studies show that the art of breathing can lower heart rate, reduce stress and even trigger chemical changes in your body to counteract anxiety. Taking this to the truly beneficial stage is called meditation and I highly recommend beginning this practice if you haven’t already. If you are like me in my earlier beliefs, meditation was something you saw Tibetan monks doing in movies or weird people doing cross-legged in the park who didn’t have anything better to do with their time. I started practicing meditation basically out of desperation over my own struggles with divorce, loss, pain and anxiety. I was actually experiencing debilitating physical pain as a result of my inability to noticeably relax my mind. To help you get started with this and to have an accountability system, I recommend downloading an App called “CALM” and start with the basic daily meditation. It lasts about 10 minutes is all but after a few weeks of taking this time for yourself I am quite sure you will begin noticing a difference in how you feel and how you are coping.
Second, work on being present. All too often we get caught up in the what-ifs and negative consequence thinking that drags us into the river and pulls us under the heavy current of fear, anger and dread.
Very few people can come to realize that tomorrow is not real. It is an illusion and you don’t know for sure what will come. The only reality is now.
Read that part again and again to let it sink in to your subconscious. Again and again, come back to the moment. Once you are able to realize that you have drifted and can come back to the moment, true happiness will increase substantially.
Third, lean on friends and family for support. They can be a great source of strength in this difficult time. Just don’t find yourself feeding your negative emotions off of their sympathy or pity. It is quite easy to frown and much harder to smile. Try them both and figure out which one makes you feel better. We’ve all had the friend or relative who constantly complains about how terrible their life is and how wrongly they have been treated. Negativity affects everyone around you so do your best to limit the pity party sessions or at least sprinkle in some positive projections to your conversations whenever possible. Start each day with a plan to work on you. You have a chance to do things very differently now. How will you take on this challenge? With zest and determination or with idleness and fear?
Finally, hold off on making any big decisions for a while.
Give yourself time to heal. Attempting to move on too quickly with a new romantic relationship for example will typically lead to further turmoil and unrest. Some decisions will need to be made right away such as living arrangements, budgeting, and even job searching. But don’t add more perplexity to your life by making non-essential purchases, moving far away from where you have been residing or adding someone new to your inner circle. Some people begin making decisions based solely on “getting back” at their ex. This is sad and unfortunate but quite often the overriding concern for an angry spouse. It’s perfectly OK and even recommended to spend time grieving. Buy a journal and start writing your feelings down every day to help clear your mind. Say all of the nasty, ugly things in the journal and then be done with them.
Slowly, your new life will begin unfolding. Give your worries, concerns and fears to God and let him carry those burdens. He has broad shoulders and is happy to take them from you. Remember, you will make it through and you will find happiness and peace on the other side.
“The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.” – Leo Tolstoy