The Morale-Boosting Saying I Kept Telling Myself During My Divorce

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Writer Monique Honaman did what we'd all like to do during divorce: She took the high road with her ex and not only survived the separation, but came out stronger because of it. Below, Honaman, the author of The High Road Has Less Traffic: Honest Advice On The Path Through Love And Divorce, shares what got her through the hardest days of her split and tells us about the sweet way she pays it forward to other women experiencing divorce today.

The Saying
"I remember always telling myself: 'I can’t control what happens to me; I can only control how I react to it.' For me, that meant controlling how I handled being a role model for my kids in terms of how to get through this successfully. I soon coined my own phrase that I relied on, and still use as my life mantra: 'Live purposefully. Think rightly. Serve generously. Forgive quickly.' There is no doubt in my mind that forgiveness is the key to surviving divorce."
The Pay-It-Forward Move
"I didn’t drink coffee prior to my divorce. I can’t say that now. For some reason, I became addicted to iced vanilla lattes from Starbucks during my divorce. I think there were days my body needed the caffeine and one thing led to another. Some habits are hard to break! As a result, I’m now carry the Starbucks Gold card. I am frequently asked to meet with women who are going through divorce to lend a listening ear, provide advice and give input and my signature pay-it-forward move is to meet them at Starbucks and treat them to a cup of coffee. It’s $5 well-spent to give someone the opportunity to sit and vent, laugh, cry, hope, bitch and moan while enjoying a cup of coffee together.”
The Splurge
Monique Honaman
"I wanted something I could wear around my neck and close to my heart that would serve as a reminder of what was important to me. I worked with a friend, Michelle Rhodes, who is an incredibly talented jewelry designer to make a necklace. It has three sterling silver stamped tags which say patience, faith and strength -- the three things I needed most during my divorce. On one side, it has a small silver disc that says Philippians 4:13 (that's the Bible verse that says, 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me'). It also has a peridot charm which is the birthstone for both of my children -- that served as a reminder of my desire to be a role model for them. I wore that thing daily, and depending on what was going on, I would hold onto one of the various charms. I had friends tease me that 'strength' or 'patience' were going to be rubbed off. Strange as it sounds, that necklace really served as a talisman to get me through my divorce successfully. It brought incredible comfort."
The Songs
"I’m not sure too many women can say they survived their divorce without dancing and singing to Gloria Gaynor's 'I Will Survive' at some point. I remember my moment. I was celebrating a friend’s 40th birthday party, and the DJ started playing this song. I was on the dance floor in a nano-second dancing and singing and just releasing all of my stress. I knew then that I would survive no matter how tumultuous this divorce was -- and let me tell you, this was a particularly bad day in the scheme of things, so the timing was perfect! I also got a kick out of jamming to Pink’s 'So What.' Some lyrics just seemed too perfect: I guess I just lost my husband / I don't know where he went [Chorus:] So, so what / I'm still a rock star / I got my rock moves / And I don't need you"
The Distractions
Kevin Wells via Getty Images
"I went for some long walks during my divorce. Something about getting outside in nature, and just walking, burning off steam, getting some fresh air, and getting away from it all seemed to work for me. I also wouldn’t have gotten through my divorce without my girlfriends who rallied around me big time. Some knew to let me cry, some knew to make me laugh, some knew to send me cards, some knew to take me out. Each one was amazing in her own wonderful way."
The Book
Monique Honaman
"I started writing my own book. Talk about cathartic! It was incredible to put down in words all that I was going through. What I learned is that I love to write and I love helping others survive divorce through my writing. The result has been two published books, The High Road Has Less Traffic: Honest Advice On The Path Through Love And Divorce and The High Road Has Less Traffic... And A Better View! I tell people that they have to remain open to what they learn about themselves as they go through divorce. I never intended to become an author, but discovered a gift and a love for writing that I wouldn’t have realized if my divorce hadn’t happened."
The Sign
Monique Honaman
"I had a friend give me a framed sign during the midst of my divorce that says, 'Let Go and Let God.' I put it in my kitchen where I would see it daily. It’s still there! What a great reminder to let go of the little things in life (or even those big things that we just can’t control) and have faith that everything will turn out the way it is supposed to."

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