I say: Use it to your advantage!
It’s a long way out from that black hole you called your last relationship. This huge thing that engulfed you, ate you up and has now spit you back out. You’re sitting here wondering what happened? How could I possibly have lost so much of myself? When did I stop being myself and how do I get myself back?
It’s not pleasant, but there is hope. This state doesn’t have to last forever. It can actually become one of your biggest blessings.
Being in or post- divorce, on the other side of a long-term relationship, wondering ‘who am I?’ can be frightening: You’ve given so many pieces of yourself to your kids, your partner and everything else.
You don’t recognize yourself in the mirror anymore.
What happened? Your life may have looked something like: Wake up, take kids to school, go to work, cook, clean, deal with the kids, fall in bed exhausted. Rinse off. Repeat. And if you were lucky you were able to carve out a few minutes of “quality time” over the weekends.
Probably this wasn’t at all what you pictured your life would be like when you were a kid.
You may have started your relationship excited and completely in “love”. But most likely what you thought love was, was actually infatuation. Infatuation feels sooo good that you believed, with your whole being, that it was love. But it wasn’t: You were learning to love.
At the beginning, you may have started making small changes to please the other person, or just to be nice, or because you thought it was expected of you and you were happy to do so: You would have done anything to keep the relationship going. But sooner or later, you start feeling the emptiness and the loneliness. The infatuation slowly leads to either two outcomes or both: You became clingy or resentful. Clingy because you felt you had sacrificed too much for this relationship and resentful… because you had given up so much!
Even though it hurts right now to be alone again… thank God you’re not in that relationship anymore!
Really this divorce may have saved your life! If you had kept going the way you were going, the stress could have made you really sick.
Also because you are forced to put you life back together, you are asking yourself questions you may never had asked before. And these questions can make your life so much more fulfilling and happier because once we learn to love, truly love, we feel happy.
Often, when we first meet someone, we feel that they are making us happy, but that’s only in the beginning. Slowly but surely the intensity of the emotions starts to calm down and nothing our mates does for us can take the place of us being actively engaged in creating our own happiness.
Truly, why should anyone else be in charge or more interested in giving us what we want than we are willing to give to ourselves?! When I work with clients who come to see me with long lists of things their partner is not doing right, we usually discover that they themselves are not actively involved in doing what needs to be done towards fulfilling their own goals and aspirations – especially when that partner has been giving up too much of themselves to others.
It’s not that we are not supposed to give or receive love from our partner as a source of happiness. It’s that no amount of love and support from our partner, or anyone else, can ever make up for the unhappiness and emptiness we feel when we are not actively involved in our lives! In fact, I find that the more we look for someone outside ourselves to give us the love we crave without caring about it ourselves, the more elusive that love becomes. It’s literally the story of the dog chasing its tail. It is OUR responsibility to look at all the different areas of our lives and bring out the best in them.
“My happiness is my own responsibility”: This is what one of the participants said she learned at the end of my Art of True Love one-day retreat (see my current online coaching program ‘Soul Worthy Love’) I offer on building conscious, fulfilling relationships: I knew then that her love life was about to get better.
The more I coach my clients, study, and live my own personal journey, the more I see that making our happiness our responsibility, is the basis for a fulfilling and joyful life and happy relationships.
When a relationship ends, it’s challenging, you need to let go of the hopes and dreams you had. But you can also use that challenge to drive you and it can become one of your greatest blessings as it forces you to do the inner work you would have never done otherwise. Many clients have told me how, ultimately, they became so grateful for this experience.
Magic happens when you start paying attention to yourself and giving yourself what your heart yearns. You end up feeling the joy of knowing that you are worthy of love because you are in tune with yourself. Immense gratitude and love for yourself and others starts filling your life more and more each day.
Love + Light,