Divorce will often leave you feel like less than a whole person. Maybe we gave too much of ourselves to someone we loved deeply. Perhaps circumstances and our giving nature, eradicated parts of our identity, and we found ourselves as I did sitting is restaurant on a date, literally unable to answer this simple question “What do you like to do?” Simple right, how can anyone not now what they like to do? It is pretty simple, because we start pleasing our spouses and children to an unhealthy level. We allow, partners, work, family, friends and children to take so much from us we are left a virtual shell of the person we used to be.
Firstly, we should acknowledge and then forgive that some of the blame for this falls on ourselves, there is really nothing attractive in being a martyr, and we as adults should not allow our needs to be lost in the shuffle of life. We must accept that, we at some time we let ourselves compromise and give to the point of little self-love.
Next, we really need, to take a long hard look at the relationship we were in, what about us allowed us to be used, or give in for these often decades long marriages. You will often find takers, targeting givers, after all, it is hard for two takers to get along, non-less marry. This step can take weeks, months or years, of self-analysis, but it is essential for us to not repeat the pattern of these co-dependent relationships.
The phase that I enjoyed the most after my divorce was learning to rediscover myself, and along the way, start implementing self-love tactics.
5 tips to rediscover yourself:
1. Revisit all or any hobbies or pastimes you enjoyed pre-marriage:
Golf, boat, buy shoes, dress up, paint, write etc. If at one time you liked it give it another shot, you may find you still love it, or that you have moved on from it permanently, but either way it will be fun to do.
2. Live a healthy lifestyle:
Basic, I know, but we all feel better when we look and feel our best, exercise, eat well and you will see you feel better.
3. Try new things:
I love this one. What better time to try new things than divorce, new activities, new places, new foods, meet new people, you never know what you may like so try it ALL.
4. Date (not to find a relationship, but to find yourself):
The more people, views, cultures, opinions we are introduced to in a neutral setting, the more it tends to solidify exactly what it is we enjoy or don’t.
There is nothing as beneficial to your psyche as getting away from it all. I found it very hard to think straight after my divorce in my house, at my work, but exploring unfamiliar places whether the next town over or an exotic vacation tends to reset your mind to see things clearer.
Your road to reconnecting with yourself will need huge doses of self-love along the way:
1. Positive self-talk and thoughts:
If you find yourself beating yourself up, not forgiving yourself or saying negative things about yourself, STOP. Replace these things with kind words, forgiving thoughts and daily affirmation of your worth.
2. Accept that, every single person out there is in fact dealing with something, with nagging self-doubt, insecurities, etc.:
We are no better or worse than anyone else, things look less dismal for our own selves, when we realize that we are all just humans and as such are enough as is.
3. Daily positive action, followed by praise of our movement forward:
Let us all celebrate our achievements big and small, as even baby steps get us places eventually.
4. Be kind to ourselves, treat our selves well:
Sleep eight hours, drink water, eat healthy food, punishing ourselves by using food alcohol, or any drugs etc. is a self-love destroyer.
5. Learn to say no, to anyone or anything that no longer serve you, or drains you of energy or happiness.
You and no one was put here to make everyone else happy.
Everyone’s journey and time frame is unique to them, do not compare yourself to anyone else. Make sure you are daily saying something positive, and doing something positive in your life to get to the end goal, of pure unconditional self-love. It is within us all to get there, and only when we are 100 percent happy, healthy and reconnected with our inner self, will we feel whole enough to get back out there, and give someone else a chance to love us wholly. It is the only way to a healthy relationship with both partners whole, happy and self-loving people alone, they can then enhance each other’s lives, not lose themselves, in the others life ― which never ends well.
To read more on my journey, my best selling book- My Dreams Recycled