You’re in a marriage for 12 years. You feel miserable and know you want to break up. You finally do it and lo and behold you feel miserable. Why does this happen? I remember after I finally took the steps to end my marriage I felt worse than when I was in the marriage. This shocked me since it was something I’ve wanted for so many years.
According to The Grief Recovery Handbook the definition of grief is: “The end or change in a familiar pattern, causing conflicting feelings.”
Divorce, or a break up is the end of a familiar pattern. We can be happy that we are moving on from an unhealthy relationship but scared about all the unknowns that lie ahead. These unknowns can cause chaos to enter our lives. Our emotions can go haywire, leaving us feeling as if we just went through a tornado. It’s also the finality of any hopes we had toward the relationship. At times we are also dealing with feelings of rejection, even if we were the ones who wanted the break up.
I remember sitting in my apartment alone during my separation, for the first time in many years, unsure what lay ahead of me. I thought about how I would survive financially, how my children would get through the changes, if I would find my soul mate and contemplated all the unknowns I could not predict. It made me miserable and at times left me in such fear, I found myself gasping for air.
There were several things I did that helped me heal, move on and learn to thrive again, but two in particular that made the real difference.
The first thing I did was surround myself with supportive and positive people who would help push me forward into my new life. I joined a spiritual group, led by a friend called Rising Heat, where we met every weekend and discussed ways to create peace and happiness – Choice Theory, The Five Love Languages and more conscious Philosophy. This proved to be extremely helpful in my healing and allowed me to find my power again. The support I received from the group, combined with the philosophical discussions gave me the motivation and assurance to heal, move on and succeed.
The next thing I did was to begin figure skating and mountain climbing. I grew up skating but never learned how to fly and dance on ice. I’ve always been attracted to mountains and dreamed of climbing in Colorado and beyond someday. Both of these dreams seemed inaccessible to me during my marriage.
When I got divorced I knew I needed to create myself anew, express myself and allow myself to live completely. Figure skating and climbing in the great outdoors taught me to not only love myself by providing me with hobbies I’ve always dreamed of but I learned to value myself. When I stepped out of my comfort zone onto the ice or packed a backpack to summit a mountain I reaffirmed my strengths, passion, talents and the gifts I have to share with the world. When I was on the ice I felt free. The mountains shared its stillness and power with me I couldn’t get anywhere else. Both of these activities helped me renew a part of me I thought died long ago.
I learned that healing from an ending or a change in a familiar pattern takes a tremendous amount of self acceptance and self love. Surrounding yourself with supportive tools and people can help you let go of your past life and old patterns and help you recreate yourself in the way that you want.
The most important thing to remember is the only constant in life is change. Allow yourself to grieve and mourn the finality of your hopes toward this relationship. But know this is not the end, rather the beginning and you have the choice on how it will look. By choosing who you surround yourself with, the activities you do and the love you give yourself you are making a conscious decision to start off your new life with a spring in its step. This will cause a spiral effect of more of what you want to see, live and be.
Every moment we decide who and what we want to be, by the choices we make and the actions we do. Let’s choose them wisely.
Author Biography: Esther Adler, author of Breaking The Chains To Freedom is an international speaker and trainer, where she shares cutting edge techniques on Breaking your chains of pain and grief, finding true freedom. You can learn more about Esther here: http://estheradler.com/weekly-thoughts/how-to-get-through-a-break-up/