When my divorce began, I was somewhat naïve. I thought life would go on with the exception that I would now be alone. Well, that certainly was not the case. The first years were filled with ups and downs, deceptions, abandonment and disappointment. Through it all, I learned a lot and now am equipped to weather many storms.
Life changes rapidly through a divorce. Many, many people will come in and out of your life. Some will be wonderful and others not so wonderful. Whatever the situation, I tried to find the lesson or gift it contained. This was not always easy, but it helped me move on and through the process.
Here are 10 life lessons divorce taught me:
1. Don't make assumptions. I assumed that my married friends would not want to be around me, and I assumed if I went out on a date and did not hear from the guy again it was because of me. How wrong that was. We all have busy lives. If you do not hear from a friend or a date, pick up the phone and give them a call. You might be surprised as to why you haven't heard from them.
2. My attitude reflects the people I attract. If I was upset and broken, that is who I was surrounded with. When I began to heal and gain confidence and love for myself, I was surrounded by more supportive, loving people. It's the Law of Attraction at work.
3. Divorce does not happen to only "those" people. After 21 years of marriage, I never thought I would be "one of those divorcees." Divorce happens to other couples, not to me. Well, that couldn't be farther from the truth. Now that I'm one of those people, I learned to have more compassion for to others.
4. Be flexible and open to new people. I lived a fairly insular lifestyle during my marriage. When I was alone, eventually I went to new places and met people that previously were not in my world. My world became richer and more interesting.
5. Do not judge people who leave your life. Of course, it might hurt, but you are growing and changing. The past relationship might not fit in your new life. Think of it as gaining more energy to allow someone new to enter your life that is more in tune with the new you.
6. It's important who I surrounded myself with. Divorce puts you in survival mode. It is great to both give and receive. However, I learned to watch how much I gave. There were selfish friends that I chose to limit my time with. I chose to be with supportive friends that also gave.
7. Support comes from unexpected places. Trying to be flexible and living in the moment brought some amazing results. I would be struggling with an issue and then run into a friend who would suggest a workshop I could attend. Or a friend would buy me the book that provided the exact support I needed.
8. Being alone is OK. Much of our social media is narcissistic. On social media sites, it would appear that that everyone was having fun, traveling, and life was wonderful while I was alone watching television on my couch. I learned that everything has a season and for now, it's ok to be alone.
9. Forgiveness was the key. My anger towards my ex did not hurt him. He could care less; he had moved on and remarried. My anger was like drinking poison. It only hurt me. I learned to forgive, but not forget. It was time to move on and begin again.
10. Ultimately, it's my journey. Through all the friends, therapists, teachers and acquaintances, my divorce and healing is my journey. They all helped and I am grateful, but the healing is an "inside" job.
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