After Divorce, You need to think differently!
The only way you’re going to have an experience after your divorce that is different than pain, is if you let yourself think differently about your circumstances. You can look at all the drama and trauma of what is wrong about your situation, and how it’s not supposed to be like this, but you will only prolong your suffering.
People come to me because they’re tired of hurting so much and for so long. Your first task is to infiltrate your mind with newness. New thoughts and ideas that empower you to see potential in your future instead of more of the same struggle you might be experiencing today.
There are many sides to a story! And not one of them is any more true than another. That means your story of what is happening to you, is simply that. A story! It may be a compelling story that has victims and perpetrators, good guys and bad guys. But it’s only a story. Each story is told from a specific perception. Here’s an exercise to see how your story is preventing you from being happy.
Expanding Perception Exercise #1
Take a moment and tell your story from your perspective. Write it out in a paragraph or two and then set it aside.
Now, this is the hard part. Write the same story from your partner’s perspective. What does he or she think about the situation? Who does this person blame and for what grievances? How do they see the problem and who do they cast as the victim? What would be the best next step from this perspective? Do this again from at least three different perspectives.
If you are able to put yourself in the shoes of other people…. I mean, really put yourself in their shoes, you will see that you have increased your perspective. You may not like it or want to go along with what you discover, but that’s not the point… it’s simply to expand your perception and see possibilities that didn’t exist before.
Being able to step out of your shoes and into another’s will give you a unique perspective that gives you access to new ideas that you could never, ever see if you were tied into only one way of perceiving a person or situation.
After Divorce, you need to Speak Differently!
I have found that the way we speak has a lot to do with how happy or unhappy we are. Bring conscious awareness to the words you speak to yourself. You might not even be aware of how harshly you are berating yourself. Maybe you’re not so hard on yourself, but even those clients I work with who are incredibly on-top of things and making all the ‘right’ choices have negative self-talk. Your perception will change when you bring your awareness to everything you are saying to yourself about who you are, what you’re capable of, and your general sense of worthiness.
Expanding Perception Exercise #2
Stop yourself several times a day and write a short paragraph about what you’re telling yourself in an internal dialogue. See if you can start to catch yourself as you tell yourself negative messages. This exercise is only about expanding your perception around how you are treating yourself and the repetitive negative messages you tell yourself. Once you have an expanded perception of what you’re telling yourself on a regular basis, you can consciously choose to speak more kindly to yourself. Yup! It’s like setting a boundary with someone who isn’t nice to you.
After Divorce, you will need to Act Differently!
Thee is no other time when your behaviors will be as important to your future as when you are going through a divorce. Most people (not all) tend to keep patterns of behavior that no longer serve them. You may need to set stronger boundaries, or you may need to access a strength and courage inside of you that you didn’t know was there. You might need to take risks to meet new friends and try new things. Taking new actions will expand your perception and enable you to see new ways of behaving in the new world you’re creating for yourself.
Expanding Perception Exercise #3
Notice the behaviors that you engage in that are routine and see if you can mix them up a little. You don’t have to cut the ends of the roast off any longer. The world is big enough for you and your bold life. It’s time to start living it. Take at least ONE new action each week. Try a new food, pick up a new hobby, meet a new friend. Write about what you notice as a result.
Expanding your perception will bring you happiness!
At the beginning of Brene’ Browns TedTalk on vulnerability, she explains how her research expanded her perception in ways that completely changed the way she lives, loves, works, and even how she parents. Staying tucked into a metaphorical box of limited perception will only give us more of what we’ve already created. If you’re not 100% happy with your life, then do everything you can to expand your perception of your circumstances. Think about it… there is a huge difference in perceiving your relationship breakup (or challenges) to be a huge failure instead of thinking of it as opening you up to a new wonderful experience of your life. Which way of walking through the fire do you think will bring you more happiness? Are you a victim or your circumstances? Or a powerful co-creator with the Divine? You choose!