This blog originally appeared on IRIS.xyz
Although divorce is often synonymous with sadness, grief, and loss, it can also provide an opportunity for growth, renewal, change, and empowerment. Maybe not in the beginning, but as time goes on, glimmers of hope emerge that provide the signs that the tide will soon turn and life will create an upswing of positivity after living through months of turmoil and uncertainty.
And because all too often in life, when a major life event occurs such as divorce, we are quick to see the challenges instead of opportunities for growth and insight. We see obstacles rather than openings to a better life. Divorce is one of those things that, while in significant pain, our outlook, our lens, is clouded with uncertainty and despair. We feel limited to what we can do, the changes we can make, and the gifts that are hiding in plain sight during this time of turmoil. But, there they are - and eventually, when the dust has cleared and the turmoil has softened around us, we are able to see the trees beyond the forest.
Opportunities for Change Post Divorce
1.) Financial decision-making. All too often, many women were not in a position that afforded the opportunity to share in financial decisions or short or long term planning. Maybe you felt shut out or limited in what you could or could not do. Here is your opportunity to do something different.
2.) Improved emotional well-being. You are the captain of your ship when it comes to your emotional well-being. It may not be happy and pleasant all the time, but here is an opportunity to really get to know yourself. You will come to understand and accept how strong you really are. Maybe you didn't feel that way before. Maybe you were unsure. Over time, you will be able to manage your emotions better and make decisions that are more logical and rational, less emotional. This will change the direction of your life.
3.) Self-reflection. Doing the inner work that is necessary, will help you grow and heal. You will start to understand yourself in very different ways. You will have the time and space to examine any relationship patterns that might be holding you back from getting the relationship that you want and deserve.
4.) Self-esteem. Although at the onset of divorce you experienced fear because your world was turned upside down and was cloaked in uncertainty. But, eventually you will find energy you didn't know you had because much of your energy was directed towards trying to save your marriage or figure out how you would leave your marriage. That's a lot of energy. By taking this back, you will feel empowered and have a more take charge attitude. This will get you somewhere.
5.) Independence. You will be answering to yourself and creating a new life, with new experiences, new traditions. All your own. You will discover how capable you are in areas of your life that you felt you would never be able to manage on your own. All the small victories add up to feeling better about yourself. I remember the first time I figured out how to buy and use my very own first lawn mower. It was empowering!
6.) Children and parenting. No longer in an unhealthy relationship with your spouse, you can make decisions that are best for you and your children. You have a greater emotional and mental 'band width' to put that energy towards your children.
7.) Friendships. You are able to cultivate the friendships and relationships that are beneficial and healthy. Divorce has a way of letting us know who your friends are and who are not. The ones who have your back and stand the test of time will rise to the top. They are your true friends, your support system, the people you need and want. And if you were friends with someone because of your marriage but didn't want to be, here is your opportunity to decide how you want to manage those relationships.
Changing your mindset to seeing divorce as a life-changing event that offers opportunities and personal growth, could be the start that you need to get you on a different - and healthier - path for your future.