If you’ve gone through a divorce recently, you might feel lost, confused and heartbroken, among many other feelings.
Yes, you’re angry beyond words and hurt beyond feelings to the point that you’re numb from the suffering.
What you’re really feeling hopeless about is the future. Will you survive this divorce? What happens next? Is there even a future for you? Will you find happiness again?
Having survived a failed marriage, heartbreak and profound sadness, I feel like I can share my experience with you and remind you that, yes, all those things are possible.
In fact, I want you to know that my heartbreak and eventual divorce was the best thing that happened in my life and that I am more grateful to my ex than to anyone else I know.
If you’re emotionally drained, mentally strained and physically tired from the pain and burden of a broken heart after divorce, I want to share these 21 reminders with you to help you survive divorce.
21 powerful reminders as you’re navigating the darkest days of divorce:
1. You’ll survive this.
You’ve gone through similar painful experiences in your life. You’ve stood strong before and you can do it again.
You will go through ups and downs, the darkest hour and your life’s lowest point, but I know that you will come out and still be standing when the pain goes away.
No matter how much you want to disappear from the world and how far away you want to go, know that you will make it through.
You’re a survivor – you keep going even when all hope seems gone because you know in your heart that things WILL get better. You know that your day will come.
2. Your life starts over when you forgive.
It seems like you can’t move on and do anything.
You see your ex around and you’re filled with rage, jealousy, anger and resentment. What your ex did to you was criminal – how does he get away with such pain and torture while you’re left to suffer?
When you see yourself as the victim of heartbreak and divorce, you can’t move on. The only way out is to forgive your ex – early, often and throughout your grief.
You might think that you have to get to a place of forgiveness to forgive.
You forgive first even when you don’t feel like forgiving. You then receive the benefits of forgiveness – peace, compassion and healing. The act of forgiveness comes first…
You must be willing to let go of the grudge no matter how badly your ex treated you, even if he or she betrayed you and intentionally hurt you.
Only you can choose when you’ve had enough of the pain and suffering.
When you’ve had enough personal turmoil, forgive so that you can move on.
3. You don’t need a reason why this is happening to you.
We strive in our lives to know “why” about everything.
When we know why something is happening, we can understand it.
Let go of your desire to know.
At the end of the day, your divorce is happening simply because it is – not because you’re a bad person or because it’s your fate or karma or any such thing.
Life happens in cycles. You’re going through a downturn, but like housing markets, stock markets and Mother Nature herself, your life’s going to be back on the upswing.
Sun comes after the rain. Dawn breaks after dark.
4. Your suffering will lead to growth.
Don’t ask me how or why, but your greatest self awaits you after your divorce.
Once you go through a divorce, you begin an intense process of self-reflection, introspection and self-awareness.
Once you stop thinking about your ex and what went wrong in the relationship, you’ll begin to reflect on your behavior, habits and characteristics.
Remember, there’s nothing flawed about you and you’re not inadequate in any way.
Allow the healing process to give you an opportunity to make adjustments, improve yourself and become the best version of you.
You divorce will help make you better than before.
5. Your ex will be your greatest spiritual teacher.
Do you think you need a spiritual guru to gain insights into yourself and discover who you truly are?
Nope, your ex-lover can help with all that. Your former spouse can be your greatest spiritual teacher.
You won’t believe how much your ex has shaken up your life, penetrated your heart and awakened your soul.
When your relationship rocks your physical and emotional worlds, you are ready to learn the spiritual lessons of life.
Your ex will help you learn forgiveness, gratitude, how to let go, how to live in the present moment and how to embrace life’s changes.
6. Your divorce will open your heart to new love.
Your old relationship may have been dysfunctional and full of fights; it didn’t serve you very well.Isn’t it time to celebrate the fact that it’s over and that you now have the opportunity to find the right person for you?
How could you find Mr. Right if you were with Mr. Absolutely Wrong?
You know yourself better now, so when you are ready to meet people again, you’ll have a much better understanding of yourself and who you’re looking for.
7. You have to grieve before letting go.
Time will not heal your wounds.You can’t deny that your relationship ended. You must acknowledge that it’s over and go through the grieving process.
You’ll have to experience the feelings that come with heartbreak, learn to cope with them and then release the unhealthy emotions.
Practice self-compassion and take care of yourself emotionally and physically while you’re grieving. Keep your support system close.
Build up your forgiveness muscle so that you can forgive your ex and heal your heart.
8. You choose when you’re ready to move on.
Again, time won’t heal your wounds, but you can choose when you’d like to move on.If you’re ready to move on now, start the healing process now.
Begin with forgiveness. Let go of the past now. Start embracing your emotions now.
If you resist the healing process or can’t accept that the relationship is over, you’re simply postponing your ability to move on.
9. You don’t need a relationship right now.
As much as you think you should, don’t start another relationship right now.
While loneliness and sadness will consume your life, do yourself a favor and stay out of a romantic relationship.
You need friends, supporters, family and colleagues who will be there for you – not someone who will help you avoid or resist the grieving process.
Say “no” to a new relationship until you’re truly ready to move on.
10. You’re going to be able to embrace massive changes.
If you were change-resistant before, divorce will change that. Now that the unexpected and the unimaginable have happened, you’re going to be able to deal with anything that comes up in your life.
Once the world as you know it has flipped upside down, you’re going to have the strength and resilience to confront anything else like this in the future. You can embrace any change.
11. Your purpose is waiting for you now.
You might have been waiting your whole life to discover your purpose and your life’s calling.
Well, now in the midst of agony and sorrow, you’re going to find it.
Your life’s purpose will call out to you in the midst of tragedy and pain.
You will get clearer than ever on why you are here on earth.
12. Your deepest pain will deliver your greatest insights.
Not only will you discover your life’s purpose, you’ll have all kinds of insights during your grieving period.You’ll get insight about the meaning of your life and who you are as a person.
You’ll have the opportunity to go within and get the answers to many of the questions you’ve had in your life.
The way to get these insights is to ask the questions and listen to the answers. The answers will come to you through your wise inner voice; be more observant of it.
13. You’ll learn what’s important to you.
Maybe you were having trouble figuring out what you care about and what’s important.No more.
When your world feels upside down, what matters will matter. You can cut out everything else from your life.
If an activity or person is bringing you down, let it go. Now is the time to protect yourself.
Keep what matters and let go of what doesn’t – friends, activities, hobbies and even your job.
14. You can get through one day at a time.
When you think about the entirety of your relationship from beginning to end, or about the gravity of the breakup, you won’t be able to get out of bed in the morning.If you think about how devastating this is, or how gloomy your future looks, you’ll feel paralyzed.
You can get through the days if you take them one day at a time.
Think only about what you’re going to do today and how you’re going to make it through the day.
Write up a short to-do list, prioritize your day the night before and keep your commitments to a minimum. One day at a time is the only way to survive this rocky period.
15. Your compassion and empathy meters will skyrocket.
Once you survive divorce, you’re going to be more compassionate about and empathetic to others’ pain.This is one of the gifts of divorce that will change you as a person.
Before, you might not have been as perceptive or considerate of other people and their feelings as you are now.
You will see and feel more pain in others around you – the same pain you’ve suffered yourself. When you see others’ pain and suffering, ask yourself what you can do to serve.
16. You’re going to care a lot about what people think, then never give a damn again.
When you are going through a divorce, not only will the pain be too much to bear, the embarrassment and shame of having to explain your status to others can be difficult to face.
Initially, you’ll care a lot about what others think. Others in your life will pry and try to get at the personal details of your life. They’ll judge, spread rumors and gossip.
Now is the time to realize that these opinions don’t matter. Let these people feel and say what they want. Know that their actions and behaviors don’t have any bearing in your life.
Living your life to the tune of others’ expectations will only lead to misery and sadness. You now have the opportunity to stop caring about what other people think.
17. You need friends and supporters on your side.
No matter how embarrassed or ashamed you might feel, it’s too much to bear the pain on your own.Seek out your friends, family and supporters and spend time with them.I didn’t do this for some time, and it was probably my biggest regret.
You don’t have to unload your relationship issues to them – just spend time with them and enjoy their company. Allow them to be there for you.
18. Caring for yourself isn’t selfish.
During all the other times in your life, you would have felt guilty getting a massage, taking a vacation or buying yourself something nice.
As you’re feeling the pain of heartbreak and the grief of loneliness, you have permission to take care of yourself.
It’s not selfish to take care of yourself physically, spiritually and emotionally.
Get a massage, take a yoga class, get more sleep or take some time to exercise every day.
Visit a church, temple or flower garden to take in the scenery.
Paint, visit museums – do whatever it is that you used to enjoy doing. Now is the time to indulge.
19. Others love and want you.
Just because your partner walked out or ended the relationship doesn’t mean that you’re unworthy or unwanted.
Think about all the people in your life who love you and deeply care about you – your parents, kids, uncles, aunts, family and friends.
Your colleagues at work and the people you’ve helped in the past.You’re a gift in this world. The fact that one person can’t appreciate you doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you.
You are here for a purpose; you are here to give and share and love.
The fact that one person doesn’t want you frees up your energy so that you can be there for the people who love and value you.
You’re going to see your true worth now, minus the person who has held you back.
20. You can choose to stop replaying the past in your mind.
Yes, you can.
The reason you’re likely replaying the past is the same reason I was replaying my relationship over and over in my mind.
See, when our relationships end or when we confront major changes that we don’t want to experience, we can hold onto the past by replaying it in our minds.
Even when the world is falling apart, we can go back to this happy place and replay the good days and times with our ex.
The problem here is that you’re resisting what’s happening in your life now and keeping yourself stuck in a past that no longer exists.
Catch yourself slipping away to the past and bring yourself back to the present. Look at the past with gratitude, but wish it farewell.
21. You can rewrite your life’s story.
There are two distinct stories you can tell yourself about what you’re experiencing.
Your heart’s broken, you’ve wasted your life and you’ll never find love again.
Or you can rewrite another story with the same set of facts.
You found yourself in a relationship that didn’t work, but in the process you learned a lot about yourself and relationships in general. You’re now much more insightful and know exactly what type of partner you’re looking for. You’re ready for a more compatible relationship and ready to meet your soul mate.
I know how devastating the end of a relationship can be, and how much turmoil it can cause.
I want to remind you that you are going to survive this and come back stronger than before.
You can rewrite the story of your life’s heartbreak and welcome new love into your life.
To pick up my book, 10 Sacred Laws of Healing a Broken Heart, click here.
* Photo credit Ansel Edwards