Divorce makes it easy to feel defeated and like a failure. That's exactly how I felt for quite some time during and after my divorce. I thought, at 32, life was over and I had lost my chance at a life full of happiness, love, fulfillment and success. I was so wrong.
What I've realized, in retrospect, is that divorce (as with any challenging situation) actually contains within it many blessings. A decade later I am full of gratitude for my divorce, the opportunities that have crossed my path, and who I've become.
If you're at a stage where you're having a hard time finding the bliss inside the mess, here are 5 reasons your divorce is a blessing:
1. You get to learn who you really are, and now your life is all about you. If you got lost in your marriage, or your identity was tied up in your spouse, you have the opportunity to learn about yourself now more than ever before. Learn a new language. Take a pottery class. Go try a spin class or take yoga. Schedule that vacation to Africa. Read the books on your bedside table. Attend a Train concert.
2. You will learn what you're really made of, and how strong you truly are. Divorce is not for the weak. It takes courage to face the stress and challenge of going through the process. The stress and overwhelm of the divorce process can bring even the most optimistic and strongest people to their knees. Easier said than done, but true nonetheless, you will survive and then you will thrive. You've got this!
3. Now you have a new blank canvas. You can paint any picture you want on your canvas, with crayons, paints, or colored pencils with brushes or fingers. Your future is literally yours and yours alone to create, and you can create with anyone you choose. You can go wherever you want. You can finally explore people, hobbies, events and interests you didn't when you were married (maybe because you were married). Now is the time to start dreaming about how you want your life to be, and start working on making that vision a reality.
4. More positive energy equals more joy and happiness. Unless your divorce happened in literally one day, you most likely lived in a toxic situation for many months, maybe even for many years. Now that you've "lost 200 lbs" (in the form of your ex), you can turn your face to the light and create an environment of positive energy.
5. You have time to focus on your kids, your friends, your work, and yourself. All of the negative energy that existed within your relationship probably took up a lot of your time: time to deal with it, talk about it, worry about it, and lose sleep over it. Now that the situation itself is gone, you have some new "free time" to repurpose into spending time with the loved ones that remain, and be sure to include yourself on that list.
Your blessings include the opportunity to peel back your many layers, and discover all of the wonderful things inside of you. No-one gets married expecting to get a divorce, but with the right attitude and some positive expectation, you can truly turn this lemon into some delicious lemonade. Hang in there, the best is truly yet to come.
If you've been divorced, what's the best thing to come into your life as a result of your divorce?