March is all about spring, rebirth, warmer weather, and so what better month to focus on self-reflection. We can renew ourselves by the renewing of our mind and heart.
My Divorce Was So Painful
When I think back to my divorce over 24 years ago, it was a very painful time, frought with uncertainty, insecurity, fear, guilt, shame, and anger. I made choices that made me scratch my head, the biggest one being, “How could I give up primary custody of my 2 year old daughter?”
I felt a lot of guilt for wanting to be divorced, for being the one to initiate it. What was wrong with me? I really didn’t understand myself. It was this longing to know myself that initiated my path to becoming a life coach.
I was in a lot of emotional pain, self-loathing. I wanted joint custody, but I wasn’t willing to fight for it. On the surface, I appeared selfish, especially to my ex. Certainly, on some subconscious level, I didn’t want full custody…maybe I didn’t feel deserving of it, or that I could handle it. I also believed that I would be able to have a close relationship with Maddie, no matter what, and I did.
No matter how your divorce turns out for you, it’s likely that it will force you to do some self-reflection. You will experience pain at times, and over the long haul, you will look back and think, “Man, I learned a lot about myself. I am better off now,” and you may even feel at peace.
The divorce will cause you to evolve, to grow, to be a better person. But like with any loss, if the pain isn’t dealt with and the trauma healed, it can cause you to feel angry, resentful and bitter.
#1 So the first key to turning your pain into progress with your divorce is to be willing to look for a silver lining in the painful events.
What is this situation trying to teach you about you? My divorce taught me how much I had betrayed myself because I didn’t feel worthy of getting my needs met in a healthy way. Sure, I could blame him for that, but it wouldn’t empower to move forward.
#2 Meet yourself where you’re at. Whatever you’re feeling, it’s OK.
If we deny our feelings or are ashamed of them, they dig themselves in deeper. Feelings buried alive never die, as a book title suggests by Karol K. Truman.
Most of the time you will feel a dense, heavy emotion like grief, sadness or anger. And if you deny yourself access to the feeling, either because you consciously don’t want to feel a particular emotion, like anger, or because you’re subconsciously in denial and don’t even know what you’re feeling, you may think you’ve handled it, but you really haven’t.
You’ve simply shifted it around, compartmentalized it. The feelings will remain, until something else triggers you. Energetically, the emotion is stuck in the body.
#3 Use an energy clearing technique like meridian tapping to clear out the stuck energy.
Tap using Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), on whatever emotion you’re feeling. This is what I mean by meet yourself where you’re at. The feeling is already at the surface if you’re feeling it, which means it’s ready to be released if you tap.
At the karate chop point, say something like any of these scenarios or customize your own by repeating the indivdual sentence 3 times (see above video for instructions):
Customize: “Even though I’m feeling ___(insert emotion)____, because (insert scenario)____________________________________, I love and accept myself anyway.”
This last part, “I love and accept myself” is standard verbiage with EFT, but you can change it up a bit. Example D below has a choice statement ending, and whenever doing a choice statement, make sure the intensity of the statement is 5 or less on a scale of 0 to 10, so the mind accepts the suggestion.
A: “Even though I feel angry because my ex is acting insensitive and cruel, I love and accept myself anyway (or say I accept these feelings if that’s easier to say).”
B: “Even though I feel so anxious because I don’t know what to expect about my future, I’m lovable and capable (or I accept these feelings).”
C: “Even though I feel out of control when it comes to my finances and where I’m going to live, I deeply and completely love and accept myself (or I accept these feelings).”
D: “Even though it hurts that my ex is putting our kids in the middle and who knows how this will impact their future, I choose to remain calm.”
Then tap through the points shown above, repeating a reminder snippet from the sentence you created. For example, with scenario A, you’d tap using your fingertips as you say, something like:
Eyebrow: I feel angry
Side of eye: My ex is insensitive.
Under eye: My ex is cruel.
Under nose: He only thinks of himself.
Chin: All this anger.
Collarbone: I feel out of control when I’m so angry.
Under arm: I acknowledge my anger.
Top of head: It’s okay to feel this anger.
Wrist: I feel my anger and breathe.
Tap until you get the intensity of feelings down to around 2 or 3 on a scale of 0 to 10. Tap for however many minutes you have. The aim is to get relief. 5 minutes a day is awesome, and what I do. It IS enough. A little goes a long way with tapping.
If you want more access to this type of healing work, which will equip you to make the best decisions for you and your kids, I have two upcoming events.
Tue, 3/8/22 at 5pm: Women’s Empowerment Through Divorce and Loss (FREE)
Sat, 3/19/22 10am-5pm Heal Your Heart Online Retreat ($47 Early Bird by 3/12/22; $97 after that)
And I’m available to talk with you, to calm any fears you might have about joining a group or any other questions you might have. It will be a small group of women only. I create a safe space of respect, love and kindness where you’ll feel held and nurtured.