Divorce has been compared to death because of the depth of the anguish it causes, the extent to which it affects lives, and the difficulty of recovery. The casualties of divorce are not only your marriage, but often friendships and your feelings of self-worth. During such a painful experience, it can be difficult to know how to recover and rediscover who you really are. So here are some reminders. You are:
A Mother, Daughter, Sister, Friend
Don’t forget that you still have friends and family who love you and will help you through this time. Rely on them for emotional support. If you have children, remember that they are a positive result of your marriage and can be a strength to you. Surround yourself with loved ones who will uplift you and allow you to talk through your feelings. Strengthen existing friendships and create new ones. New friendships will give you hope for the future and provide additional stability in your life.
A Part of Nature
Regardless of your marital status, you can and should still identify yourself by your relation to deity. You have a purpose in life. Look to whatever deity you believe in to find what that purpose is. Focusing on what your purpose in life and your relationship to a higher power can bring peace. If you consider yourself atheist or spiritual, turn to nature for answers. Try meditating; recognize the beauty of life through nature and your place in it.
An Exceptional Person
You have talents and ambitions that are unique to you. You can use your skills to enrich your life and others’. Make a list of things you love to do. When feelings of sadness start to overwhelm you, do something on your list. Sew, bake, paint, or go for a run. Your confidence will begin to increase as you feel more like yourself again.
Make another list of things you’ve always wanted to do, like travel to India or learn Korean. Write down everything, even if some things seem crazy (i.e. winning a world-championship hot dog eating contest). Don’t worry about time or financial limitations; you can work through the list slowly. Doing just one or two new things will help you find yourself. You may even end up finding a creative side that you felt your marriage was stifling.
An Attractive Woman
Many women feel especially critical of their looks after a divorce. They may have thoughts of “If I were prettier or thinner or more attractive, etc. we would still be together.” Don’t give in to those thoughts.
This is the time to learn to love yourself the way that you are. Hitting the gym can be beneficial; endorphins do wonders for your mood. But don’t feel that you have to look a certain way to be attractive. Someone will come along who finds you beautiful the way you are.
To remind yourself that you’ve still got it goin’ on, try getting that new hair cut you’ve been considering or that outfit you’ve been eyeing. Again, you don’t need to change yourself, but you should pamper yourself a little. Sporting a stylish new hairdo or amazing outfit can boost your confidence and help you recognize how attractive you really are.
No matter how hard things feel right now, take time each day to remind yourself of your worth and your identity. And be patient. With time you will feel happy and whole again.
Edson Senna is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about family matters, law, finance, and business. Edson sometimes does consulting for Provo attorneys at Dexter Law. In his spare time Edson enjoys biking, running, and reading.