5 Unexpected Life Lessons I Learned From Divorce

Divorce is never easy, irrespective of whether the decision is mutual, the marriage was abusive, or the relationship was short-lived.

Things are much harder when kids are involved, but being child-free, it is not my story to tell.

What I can tell you is how I learned certain life lessons when my marriage ended, lessons I would never have learned otherwise.

So if you are going through a divorce, have been freshly divorced, or are simply considering one, take a look at what you stand to gain from your loss.

5 unexpected life lessons I learned from divorce

1. Divorce is empowering

Of all the things in the world, empowering is a word one would never think to associate with the failure of a relationship that is supposed to last forever.

However, that is exactly what it is, especially if your marriage was not healthy. In my case, I was unable to be true to myself when I was married.

Even something as personal as coloring MY hair was a problem for my partner. It goes without saying then that writing about mental health, a topic dear to me, was not something I was encouraged to do.

So guess what I did after my divorce? I started blogging about mental health and dyed my hair red.

Uncoupling is what enabled me to be true to myself on every level.

I used to be a directionless writer, today I have found purpose as a sociocultural and mental health blogger.

2. Anyone can get PTSD

It’s a common assumption that only certain people can get PTSD, like soldiers back from war, or survivors of violent crimes. However, anyone can get PTSD because the definition of trauma varies from person to person.

An event that barely affects me might scar you for life, and vice versa. And I learned this personally because the way my marriage fell apart caused me Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder aka PTSD. 

A therapist diagnosed me with it after a suicide attempt and low-functioning depression landed me in her office. It took a while, but I’ve learned to function pretty well in spite of my deep-rooted trauma. 

Some days, I’m surprised I’m able to even breathe, but it never fails to astound me how far I’ve come along in my recovery. Trauma can be reduced and managed with the help of therapy and coaching.

3. You can learn to be resilient

If anyone had told me I would lose my life partner and survive the heartbreak, I would have laughed in their face.

I am a highly sensitive person and honestly, struggle with codependency issues.

So when I was officially single again, I didn’t think I had it in me to heal my heart and rise from the ashes. I had crumbled and I thought I was always going to be broken.

My psychologist proved me wrong by teaching me how to build my resilience, that is, my ability to bounce back. And if someone as weak as me could become emotionally strong, so can you.

Given that I also have traits of Borderline Personality Disorder, a condition that makes it hard for one to have emotional stability, there could be no better proof of the fact that over time, resilience can be learned by anyone.

4. There is no such thing as undying, unconditional love

Like most of us, I too used to believe that true love is unconditional.

This is nothing but a toxic lie perpetuated by pop culture, and I snapped out of it only because my marriage failed. We all know marriages end and divorce rates are on the rise, but for some reason, we all think we will be the exception.

Psychological reasons aside, I think the primary reason behind this is that we have romanticized till death do us part to an unhealthy degree.

It’s unrealistic to think that love is unconditional and marriages should last forever — every relationship is built on the foundation of some condition or the other, and it’s perfectly normal for a relationship to run its course.

Like me, once you see the illusion for what it is, you’ll be thankful for this much-needed reality check that will change your entire life for the better. Of course, true love exists, but is it conditional? Yes, and that’s a good thing.

5. You are not your relationship status

Just like your job, your marital status doesn’t define you. Your self-worth does not rely on whether you are single, married, separated, divorced, or widowed.

The most important thing you need to remember is this: you are not divorced, you have been divorced. It is an event of the past, not a label that you need to define yourself in the present. I learned this empowering life lesson not in therapy or from personal experience, but by reading a piece of writing of the inimitable Bhavana Nissima.

The second I realized the truth in her words, I felt powerful and back in control. There’s no denying that it hurts to get a divorce, but sometimes, the best thing we can do for ourselves is accept reality and do our best to work with what we can.

No matter how bad it gets, life goes on and time heals most wounds. At the end of the day, you are all you have, and the most important relationship you need to work on is the one you have with yourself.

I have learned to put myself first without feeling guilty about it, and I hope with all my heart you learn to put yourself first too.

Are you ready to turn one of your hardest times into your greatest achievements?

My name is Mahevash (pronounced Ma-hey-vash) and I am a blogger, author, and poet. I talk about culture, society, and mental health so that you and I can help make the world a better place — and be whoever we want to be. You can find me at https://www.mahevashmuses.com/.

*Photo credit

In Love But Worlds Apart During the Pandemic

I met a wonderful woman in my most recent travels to Bali.

She was in Indonesia because her brother had just passed away. Her brother took his life because of a painful breakup and rejection of a young woman he had fallen in love with.

I was in Indonesia because I had fallen in love with Bali and maybe…to have been there for her during one of the most painful times in her life. As we spoke about grief and loss, our affection for each other began to grow.

At that time, we were living with rose-tinted glasses, like lovebirds without a care in the world. Time was on our side and the world was filled with promise and possibilities. It was pre-pandemic, pre-Corona times in early 2020.

Only when we both left Indonesia, did we realize that there may be something there more than a passing interest in each other. We both valued simplicity, spirituality, and living closer to our families. We both were from the East but living in the West. We both had experienced profound loss and heartbreak. We both had been divorced.

As she returned to Europe and got back to work, I stayed back a little longer in Asia. My plan was to head back to India for the spiritual experiences and cheaper cost of living. I wanted to go back to Kerala to spend more time with a Swami I had met late last year.

When I was visiting Malaysia where my family lives and is originally from, I found myself in the worldwide lockdown and shutdown during the coronavirus pandemic of 2020.

Initially, the distance was wonderful to allow love to bloom. We had plenty of time for video calls, twice daily Whatsapp calls and lots of love-filled texts throughout the day. We would be together soon, we both kept telling ourselves and each other. In the meantime, all I could do was keep sending my love virtually and local chocolate cupcake delivery through the internet.

We celebrated our one month anniversary which became 3 months and most recently, became 6 months. While our love for each other has grown over time, our optimism about being able to see each other hasn’t.

With each passing month and with more countries tightening restrictions and making it virtually impossible to travel, I wonder if and when I can ever get to Europe to see her.

To top it all off, I have an American passport which means I can literally travel to 15 countries and most of these countries aren’t in Europe. Asia and Europe has pretty much stopped Americans from traveling to their countries so I’m stuck at the moment.

I happen to be in the one country that I can be in the moment, Singapore, with very few places to go. I ended up here by a fluke and through an odd exception. Most of Europe is out of the question for someone with an American passport so I have no idea what to do next.

This pandemic feels like our generation’s world war. We are living apart in different countries around the world unable to travel, not because of any enemy threat, but a viral one. We are not able to see each other, be with each other, or love each other.

We are not alone in this struggle either. Plenty of couples around the world have been separated due to the virus. In fact, there’s been a movement to help unmarried couples reunite, with its own set of hashtags #lovenottourism #loveisessential. You can read more about it here.

Organizers are trying to remind the European Union that couples are not visiting each other because of tourism but because they are in a relationship with each other. There have been some successes as you can see in this article but not all countries are allowing for an unmarried couples visa. Even if they are allowing you in, each country has varied requirements about what’s sufficient for couples to meet each other.

This is a fascinating time for someone who used to practice US immigration law, where I helped reunite hundreds of fiances and spouses. I never thought that I would be on the other side of the immigration system, trying to unite with a loved one. I also never imagined a day would come that the U.S. passport would limit the countries I can travel to but here we are.

The travel restrictions have brought us closer together as distance does make the heart grow fonder, but also making us question if this relationship is viable. Can a couple be together if they are not physically able to be together? Should we keep trying? Should we keep waiting? Should we meet other people? Should we move on?

Right now, we are choosing to stick together and see what laws change and how soon. We are choosing to stick together because we know how hard it is to find relationships and people who are compatible with each other . It’s no easy task to find someone you get along easily with. It’s not easy to find someone with your shared values and the same outlook on life.

Life seems a little unfair at the moment. On one had, I met the person of my dreams. On the other, a worldwide pandemic is keeping us apart. Were we just a passing fancy that will remain memories in each other’s hearts or will we get together soon and live happily ever after?

I’m not sure what the answer is but I will keep you posted. In the meantime, if you have any thoughts or travel strategies, please do feel free to share.

Also, everything that I did to attract and find this person in my life can be found in this book that I wrote a few years back. Pick up Does True Love Exist today (affiliate link).

How To Process the Unbearable Pain of a Breakup

I couldn’t process the unbearable pain of a breakup and my ultimate divorce.

I have never felt the depth of intensity of emotional pain as much as I did then.

It was so scathing that all I wanted to do was hide from the world.

My inner world felt like the combination of a raging hurricane, a bullet shot to the heart, and like drowning in a tsunami.

This probably sounds quite morbid, but the unbearable pain of a breakup felt like all these things.

My divorce crushed my spirit and soul. It crushed me emotionally and also helped me realize something that nothing in life had ever prepared me for.

I was incompetent and clueless about my emotional being.

Until that point in my life, I had actively denied my emotions. As a child, my parents told me in no uncertain terms that boys didn’t cry and to be more like a man.

Looking around my family, I noticed that all the men didn’t show emotions.

I thought that to be a man was to bottle up my feelings. When I was married, I regularly felt intense pangs of emotions and reminded myself that I had to be emotionless.

Of a long series of mistakes in marriage, it was probably my biggest one. Whoever knew emotions were that important?

Not only did I not know that emotions were essential, but I also didn’t know how to process them. I didn’t know what to do with them.

Emotions have such an overwhelming influence on our lives, and I wonder why it is that society doesn’t teach us much about them?

Why isn’t everyone required to take a class called emotional regulation?

Anyway, if you’re going through the unbearable pain of a breakup, I’m here a simple message for you today.

The key to surviving and thriving through your breakup is learning how to process your emotions.”

It’s going to be tough if you’ve never had any practice or experience processing emotions but no better time than when facing your most unbearable pain of a breakup for you to start working on your emotions.

There’s nothing wrong with emotions.

They make you feel terrible, but they are not evil, bad, or have any sinister intentions. Emotions are there for you to get insight into your life. To be human is to have emotions. To be a healthy human is to be able to process emotions ell.

There’s nothing wrong with feeling bad.

One of the first things I hear from people who reach out to me is just how intolerable the emotional pain of a breakup is. They tell me it’s the most unbearable pain they have experienced. They tell me that they hurt beyond words.

I feel for them and feel their pain, and I want to say to them that it’s ok to feel this bad. It’s important to your grieving, letting go, and moving on. There is nothing wrong with feeling bad.

Imagine you had some incurable disease. What you’re doing is feeling the pain of that incurable disease and then feeling bad for feeling the pain of that incurable disease.

You’re wanting to hide that pain from others, keep that heavy pain to yourself so that you can show the world that you are fine. You want to be strong, so your ex and your network of people don’t see you in this hurt place.

The way over it is through it.

The way to get over the pain is to get through the pain, which means that you have to be willing to feel the unbearable emotions, process them, and then release them. You can’t step over it or avoid it.

Let’s say you’re feeling bad about feeling bad, so you do something like find another relationship, distract yourself or find some other unhealthy vice. What you’re doing is avoiding doing the work. You are going to be carrying around unresolved pain and trauma for years of your life just because you feel bad about feeling bad.

Get curious about the pain.

Let your curiosity be greater than your fear,” Pema Chodron has said, and it’s one of my biggest lessons from her book When Things Fall Apart (affiliate link).

In the book, she suggests that we get curious and examine the things that are paining us. Let’s examine our emotions and look at it with interest. Let’s try to learn from it, understand it, and see what it has to say to us. Instead of simply feeling our emotions, we can think of our emotions as a sweet friend that we are trying to understand and extend compassion to.

It’s this very idea that makes you into a spiritual warrior. One of the most powerful passages from Pema Chodron’s book is this one.

To stay with that shakiness — to stay with a broken heart, with a rumbling stomach, with the feeling of hopelessness and wanting to get revenge — that is the path of true awakening. Sticking with that uncertainty, getting the knack of relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic — this is the spiritual path.”

I talk about it more on my Youtube video.

What this passage means to me is that the person doing this deep emotional work is walking the path of the spiritual warrior. When you catch yourself going through all the emotions, that’s when you’re doing the work. In this place of anger, bitterness, sadness is where the spiritual warrior operates.

If you find yourself in this place of facing a breakup and dealing with unbearable emotions, then now is the time to face the emotions, process the emotions and let go of the heaviness of the emotions that are consuming your life.

To process your emotions when facing the unbearable pain of a breakup:

  • Identify the emotions. Just naming the emotion or calling it out is a big first step to processing your emotions. Identify your emotions for yourself, so you’re familiar with what it is you’re feeling.
  • Observe your emotions. Notice the heaviness, darkness, and overwhelm of your emotions. Get better at observing your emotions. Use your curiosity to gage and understand the emotions you’re feeling. Be familiar with the common emotions whenever they arise.
  • Get to the root. Identify the circumstances in your life that are creating the emotions. What specifically about the breakup is making you feel bad? What is at the root cause of you feeling the way that you are? What event or thought is triggering your current emotional state.
  • Allow yourself to feel the emotions. Instead of judging or resisting your emotions, allow yourself to feel your emotions. It will be unbearable and painful, but if you are mindful of it, you’ll be more aware of the emotions you’re experiencing.
  • Express your emotions. Say it out. Write it out. Sing it out. Dance it out. Find a way to express your emotions in a healthy way. Use poetry, writing or art. Use talk therapy or intimate conversations with friends. If you find your emotions too heavy to handle, share your emotions with a friend or professional if needed.
  • Face your emotions with compassion. Look at the emotions that arise with compassion. Inquire about your emotions. Find out the message they have for you. View it through a lense of kindness and compassion. Thank them for alerting you to whatever it is they want you to know. Thank your emotions for looking out for you and supporting your life.

At the end of the day, you’re going through a grieving process. This is what grieving looks like. You have to process in order to let go. The heaviness of the emotions will decrease over time if you continue doing the work of processing your emotions. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

You will not only come out healthier because of processing the unbearable pain of a breakup, but you’ll become more resilient in life. The people who are able to get through the hard stuff can process their emotions better and can be more open to love in the future.

The people who can’t process their emotions, suffer, and want to harm themselves or pick up unhealthy habits. Remember, emotions are emotions. There’s nothing bad about emotions and nothing to be ashamed of.

Face them, welcome them, speak to them, understand them, and process them. Go through the pain you’re feeling so you can let go of these unpleasant feelings.

If you need some support, reach out for coaching here. If you’re seeking some advice, send me an email here. For my book on letting go, pick up The Sacred Art of Letting Go here. (affiliate link)

Heartbreak Can Kill: Why You Must Heal Your Heart Now

When I tell people that I write about heartbreak all day and coach the heartbroken, I get all kinds of reactions.

Often, I don’t mention the work that I do at all because I can’t explain this phenomenon to other people. I can’t tell them why I’m willing to do work that seems depressing and dark. Why I’m swimming in sadness and grieve.

Yet I don’t see it this way. To me, heartbreak is the first step to a complete life overhaul. When heartbroken, people make the greatest improvements,

It may seem like sad and depressing work but I find it the most empowering work I can imagine. If you have suffered a broken heart, it’s worse than

As far as writing about heartbreak, I started writing about my own breakup in the beginning because I was hurting so much after my divorce.

I wanted to share my path to recovery and my journey to help other people get over their own breakups and divorce.

Heartbreak Can Kill 

Most people suffer in heartbreak after their breakups. They feel knocked out but the gravity of the breakup.

The pain is about the worst thing you could humanly experience. Heartbreak can kill our soul, our spirit, our emotional center.

Yet, now I’m realizing that heartbreak can kill people. This doesn’t get talked about much.

The media doesn’t talk much about suicide because of heartbreak because they don’t want more and more people copying others and taking their own lives.

I Have a Stronger Reason Now 

Not only does breakup take people’s lives but it took the life of someone very close to me.

The woman whom I am dating now and I only met because of a tragic breakup. Her younger brother took his own life by suicide. He killed himself when the woman he fell in love with rejected him.

The woman I am dating and I met while she was returning home to Indonesia for her brother’s funeral. She wished that her brother had spoken to her about his relationship problems and his breakup. They handn’t communicated.

Then he passed away.

Her returning to Indonesia for her brother’s funeral was how we had our most unlikely meeting.

We met in the midst of tragedy and ironically on Valentine’s Day.

Love Can Kill

So many of us don’t have the tools to overcome heartbreak and move on with our lives. Our first heartbreak or most passionate heartbreak can be life-crippling and soul-crushing.

It can tear us down and make us plunge into depression, lead us to the midst of darkness and or make us wonder about the meaning of life.

Heartbreak can also lead to death.

Heartbreak kills people who can’t cope with the pain of the breakup when they chose to end their lives through suicide.

Heartbreak can lead to broken heart syndrome, a medically-diagnosed disease, also called stress-induced cardiomyopathy. According to the American Heart Association, “In broken heart syndrome, a part of your heart temporarily enlarges and doesn’t pump well, while the rest of your heart functions normally or with even more forceful contractions.”

It’s time to do the work.

Now more than ever, we must process heartbreak and come out on the other side of it.

If you’re going through heartbreak, don’t sit on the pain and sorrow for months and years on end.

The myth about heartbreak is that it will get better on its own and with time. I never found that to be the case. It took a grieving, processing, and rebuilding to heal from heartbreak. It took reframing and self-love.

I want to make sure that everyone going through heartbreak finds their way out. Heartbreak may not just take your peace of mind but your life.

Someone very close to me lost her brother due to heartbreak and suicide. I’m going to work even harder now to help people with broken hearts heal and move on.

Pick up one of my books to get started, like The Sacred Art of Letting Go or the Sacred Laws of Healing a Broken Heart to show you the steps for healing (affiliate link). If you’re still reeling from heartbreak, send me an email with your situation.

Will I Find Someone Better Than My Ex?

Did I think I could find someone better than my ex?

My ex-wife is an amazing woman who overcame so many challenges in her life to become the woman she has become today.

She is a doctor, beautiful, smart, outgoing, organized, and charming. She was a great cook and great host. She had a great laugh and enjoyed living life to the fullest.

How was I ever going to find someone better than my ex?

Believe it or not, I was devastated about the divorce because I thought that the most amazing person I could find was going to be in my past.

When someone is so beautiful, smart, and gregarious, how could I ever compete?

I didn’t want second best.

I already met the most wonderful person and spent years with her so how would anyone else ever come close?

If you are feeling regret about letting go of your ex, I want you to listen particularly close today.

I’ve made it to the other side.

I struggled for years to let go but was finally able to. Letting go of my ex was my life’s biggest struggle but with all the work I did, I have become a free and happy person once again.

I started dating and found it frustrating for sure. I never found anyone that even came close to my ex until the person I am with today.

The Gods must have decided to throw me a bone by bringing this miraculous woman into my life.

We met in the most unbelievable circumstances while a friend was waiting in the transit lounge on the way to Bali.

Yes, my woman friend met her. My friend met this beautiful village girl in an Asian airport and told me about her.

I was with my friend one day when my friend decided to call this beautiful Asian girl. Said beautiful Asian woman was doing her hair at the hair-dresser.

Within an hour call, I suddenly found myself on the call with her as well. What started as one call with her at the hair-dresser’s has turned into one of the most beautiful relationships I’ve ever had.

She too is amazing.

Then, I realized that she’s actually more amazing than my ex in this way.

She’s perfect for me.

She may not be as smart as my ex, ambitious as my ex, a go-getter like my ex but we fit each other like a jigsaw puzzle.

She’s a simple girl who told me that her number 1 priority in life was being happy. Ummm…yes, please!

So although she is not necessarily better than my ex in any objective way, she is better than my ex in the way that it counts most. She’s a great fit for me.

We share similar values, views of the world and have similar life goals.

In my view, since I found someone who is a much better fit for me, I found someone better than my ex.

If you have come out of a relationship or have been out one for a while and feel like you won’t meet anyone better, I’m here to tell you otherwise. If you’re still hoping your ex comes back, I have good news for you.

The only thing that’s in the way between you and someone who’s a great fit for you is your belief about your ability to find someone who’s right for you.

Here are 4 things you can do to improve your prospects of finding someone who’s better for you than your ex.

1. Let go of your ex completely.

I’m glad you’re here because I’m going to teach you how to let go of your ex. I’m going to show you how to forgive, change the story about your past, and get to the root cause of what’s keeping you stuck.

If you need support and want to move on sooner, consider hiring me to coach you. I’ve been where you are and can help you get over your breakup and get your life back.

2. Believe it’s possible to find someone new.

Change your beliefs about love. This is going to be challenging if you came out of a bad breakup or divorce. You’re going to have painful and twisted beliefs about love to start with. This is going to require adopting a new set of beliefs and practicing trusting people again.

I wrote two books to help you along on your journey to find someone better than your ex. Pick them up Does True Love Exist or Love After Heartbreak in the Amazon store today (affiliate links).

3. Improve yourself and rebuild your self-worth.

The most important thing you can do to find a better partner is to become a higher quality version of yourself. If you’re vibrating at a higher frequency, you’ll attract people who are at your energy level. In addition to raising your vibrations and your worth, do the inner work of self-discovery, self-examination, and improvement.

Work on improving yourself daily and raising yourself worth. For my book on raising your self-worth, read this book on Loving Yourself After Heartbreak (affiliate link). Watch this video here.

4.Know who it is you’re looking for.

You can’t find someone better or find someone compatible until you know who it is you’re looking for. You need to spend a few minutes outlining this person. I found the person I was looking for because I outlined them in this dream partner worksheet, got clear on them and envisioned them daily.

Do this worksheet and listen to this to audio meditation more than once. Do this worksheet weekly or monthly if you’re able to. Visualize the person you want on a daily basis.

You can absolutely find someone better than your ex by finding someone who’s a good fit for you.

But remember, this is going to take some work. I’m not sure if I mention this enough in my articles. Reading my articles or knowing what the process is not enough.

I wish you the very best on your relationship journey and wish you all the love and happiness you’re looking for.

It’s going to require active steps, daily habits and work on your part. If you do the work you will reap the rewards of a new love that you never imagined possible.

If you need support or coaching in this process, reply to this email or fill out the coaching inquiry form here.

How To Deal With The Rachel Hollis Divorce News

Rachel Hollis is getting a divorce.

She and her husband, Dave Hollis, announced this on their Instagram accounts.

People are understandably upset by this news as Rachel and Dave set themselves out to be relationship experts who taught people how to deal with marriage, parenting, and kids.

They were the go-to couple, showing millions of parents how to survive and thrive.

Their divorce has sparked outrage, anger, judgment, and feelings from people who are feeling duped. People are feeling upset because Rachel and Dave put out an image on social media that does not match with their divorce announcement.

Here’s how I feel about their divorce announcement.

I believe that they were portraying their marriage as it was, at least the good parts of it. And you know what, they are human and no different than any other couple.

Everyone is surprised when a couple gets divorced because the couple’s public perception is so different than what was going on at home.

No one wants to show people the problems, the negativity, the challenges that they are experiencing.

I think Rachel Hollis and Dave Hollis were simply being human in trying to portray their marriage in the best light.

I would also like to believe that they gave their marriage their all, did whatever they could to try to save it, and worked on it in every way they knew how. I know this is being extremely naive and giving them the benefit of doubt but that’s what I believe.

They couldn’t have faked their relationship on Facebook Lives and Instagram Lives for months and years on end. There’s good in marriages and bad in marriages. The Hollis’s just showed us the good in their marriage.

By announcing their divorce, they also showed us how difficult marriage is. Even the best couples with the most photogenic kids who work on their self-growth and have a strong faith practice can get divorced.

Even the couple who looks they have it all together on the outside can have marital problems and strife. Even what appears to be the strongest of relationships can fall apart.

It doesn’t seem like this relationship was a complete fake or Rachel was putting on a show for the world to see. She looked genuine and happy. She and Dave were regularly irritated and annoyed with each other on social media. They also enjoyed laughing together and loving each other.

Anyone who’s in a marriage that’s falling apart, doesn’t want it to. They are going to work on it as much as they can to make it work. I truly believe Rachel and Dave tried. They not only wanted to make it work for themselves and for their kids but also for their business. They knew their business bottom line was tied to showing people how to have strong marriages.

They had a strong interest in making this relationship work both on a personal and professional level.

Yet they couldn’t do it. With all the resources, support, counseling, faith, family and friendship they had, they couldn’t do it.

Just reminds me that marriage is hard and you have to get to a pretty bad place before you decide that you’ve had enough and it’s time to move on.

As far as their marriage and life, let’s give them a break. Let’s let both of them move on. Let’s hope they can separately amicably and find peace in their separate lives. Let’s hope they can find love and happiness again.

Now, the secondary issue has to do with how they were doing business and portraying themselves.

This seems a little more suspect and uncertain to me.

Is it ok to make your life look like this big fairytale on the outside? Is it ok to use social media to only show the good and not the bad? Is it ok to always present the story you want to present to your fans?

I know it’s not right but I do know that a lot of people do this.

When you don’t post the full story, it comes across as inauthentic and you’re trying to mislead people.

For example on my own blog, I give people the whole picture. I don’t try to make anything look better than it is.

When my life sucked, I detailed it to the maximum here. I explained every emotion and heartbreak that I went through. People appreciated the honesty and regularly tell me that I speak their pain and their journey.

I wouldn’t have tried to make my situation sound any better than it was.

But what if I had started a business around my marriage, my relationship and my kids, would I have tried to portray a positive image that wasn’t true? Would I have tried to continue perpetuating this image to the public even though we were struggling?

A lot of this is speculation. If they were only struggling and portrayed it like they were a happily married couple, then, yes, I’d be in the streets.

If they were doing their best and portraying a particular image on social media that was the truth, but not the whole truth, I could try to understand. Like it or not, people put their best life on social media for others to see.

I’d also be pissed if you read and believed that Rachel said about working through the hard stuff and making things work. If she made it seem like you weren’t trying hard enough or weren’t getting what you wanted because of your efforts, then it’s fair to be upset with her.

And finally, probably the more unforgivable part was running a big business based on this message they were putting out there. They were raking in money from conferences and workshops where they were indirectly telling you that you too could have the lives of the Hollis family. You could come and learn the secrets to having a great love and life.

Overall, I can see the humanity of the Hollis’s. It looked like they were trying the best they could. Could they have shown the negative side of their relationship? Yes. Do most people? No.

Should they have shared the full story on social media? Yes. Do many marketers put the negative side of their product or message on social media? Not really.

Should they have continued to profit if the life and relationship was not what they made it out to be? Not really but again, I don’t believe it was a complete show. I believe they tried, and failed. I believe they are humans with human failings.

The take away for me watching the Hollis’s is a reminder to be authentic myself in my writing and social media. It’s also to be a little more suspect of other people’s social media accounts and stories. Every day, we continue to find out that people mislead us and portray an inaccurate image. Your job is to discern who to trust and who not to. Here are the other lessons I picked up from the Rachel Hollis divorce.

You have a right to be upset with the Hollis’s for their social media practices and misleading advertising of their message.

You also can practice compassion, understanding and empathy. You know they’re human too, at the end of the day.

This isn’t exactly what they wanted but something they are going to go through together. I may not agreeing with everything they did and their ways of conducting business but I wish them the best in the next chapters of their lives.

They both have self-help books on how to navigate life during the tough times. They now get to apply their knowledge and wisdom from these books and put it to use.

If you’re done with the Hollis’s, I get it. If you’re going to give them another chance, I get that too. If you’re going to wait and see what comes next, fine. Just proceed with caution and awareness.

While I have closed comments on my blog for years, I’m going to open them for this post. What do you think of the Rachel Hollis divorce? Leave a comment below. 

A Recipe For Changing the World and Yourself

I worked as a community organizer after my divorce.

What’s that, you’re asking?

A community organizer is someone who works in the community, bringing people together and improving the social conditions where they live.

They help people change themselves and the community around them.

I loved this work.

I loved the fact that you can tackle significant societal problems and make changes.

I worked together with people in the community to change laws and pass policies that actually made a difference in people’s lives.

You know how we made change?

You know what was my entire job?

To get people to care.

People would rather stay apathetic or accept what was going in their lives than do something about it.

You know why they didn’t do anything about it?

Because they didn’t have any hope or know that change was possible.

So, what did I do to get them to care?

  • Painted a picture of what’s possible.
  • Showed them they had a choice.
  • Gave them hope and encouragement to do something.

If you’re wondering what to do in your part of the world, this is the recipe for changing the circumstances around you.

Look at something you don’t like, let’s say, racism.

Imagine what a better, more equal, and more tolerant society can look like. Realize that you don’t have to accept the status quo.

Get inspiration and hope from people and leaders around you. Get ideas on how to do something about it and then do something.

We need more hope, more people deciding to change the world and more people taking action.

Believe it or not, this is how one person can change the world.

You just have to give a damn and not allow your circumstances to keep you in a paralyzed state. Don’t accept the way things are right now.

Friends, this is the same formula for changing your life too

Let’s say you’ve come out of a bad divorce or breakup. You just feel stuck and paralyzed. You don’t feel like doing anything. You can’t even get out of bed.

Maybe you’ve been stuck for years.

You ended up on this blog, so you know that you have to do something.

I’ve shared the formula with you, but it’s going to require a little work from you.

Not doing anything will not improve the situation.

All those people who say that time will improve your life are lying.

It won’t. All you will do with time is ruminate, get sentimental and start missing the past.

You have to do something to improve your future.

If you’re not doing it for yourself, do it for your kids.

If you’re not doing it for your kids, do something just so your ex won’t get the better of you. Don’t let them steal even more of your life. Don’t let them take your happiness and joy even more than they have.

One of the most powerful exercises I do with clients is getting them to see what their future looks like. I help them visualize what a life of love and happiness looks like.

You never see this future state. You are caught up in the past and remembering all that happened. You think all the good times already passed. You think the best love and the most joy already happened. You don’t think that you can find love, companionship, or happiness again.

I’m here to tell you that’s an incorrect assumption.

I was just where you were a few years ago. I thought my life was over, and there was no hope left after my breakup. I stayed stuck and replayed the past over and over again. I just gave up until I started doing this envisioning work and believing there was a more hopeful day ahead.

I forced myself to imagine the life I wanted even though every day I was living the life I had.

Then, I noticed that to get the life that I wanted, I would have to do some work.

I would have to forgive.

I would have to find closure on my own.

I would have to tell myself a new story about this past relationship.

I would have to rebuild my self-worth.

This took work but it also took a choice.

At what point are you going to make a choice?

Yes, you can grieve and process what happened, but how long are you going to stay stuck?

How long are you going to feel like you experienced the greatest tragedy and injustice?

Your ex walking out on your or cheating on you is pretty screwed up.

They destroyed you.

But how long can you continue to give them power over your life?

It’s time to take your life back.

It’s time to decide you don’t want to stay in bed, in tears and depressed about life.

It’s time to make a choice and then go about making changes.

I’ve given you the recipe on this blog.

If you go through the articles, you will know what it takes to overcome heartbreak and move on with your life.

Beautiful things can come out of heartbreak.

At the moment, my heart is breaking for America because of all the issues the country is facing, but change is possible.

Leaders now have vision on what needs to be done with the police.

Communities and people have a choice that they don’t want to live in a society with racism.

People are taking action to do something. Even the Indian people I know are taking action to support the black lives movement.

It had to get to rock bottom point for change to start happening in my life. I left a career, left a job, and followed my dreams. I rebuilt my self-worth, forgave the people who hurt me in my life, and worked on becoming a better partner in relationships. I started meeting new people and found the most amazing love.

Beautiful things can come to you too.

Out of heartbreak, you can discover your purpose, your meaning in life, and why you were put here.

You can let go of a life that wasn’t suiting you and start living a life you love.

Once you get excited about the life that’s possible and not regretting the life you lost, things start to change.

You begin to do things you never did before.

You decide and choose to better yourself and your life.

You start meeting people and finding people who are a much better fit for you.

The recipe for changing the world is the same recipe for changing your life.

In fact, changing your life will help change the world. When you let go of anger, attachment to your ex, and your past, you will have more self-acceptance, compassion, and love in your life.

You will do more to change your life and the world around you.

If you’re looking for the roadmap for letting go of the past, start here with my book on letting go. If you’re looking on how to find love after heartbreak, check out this book. (affiliate links) 

If you’re stuck and need help, reach out to me for support and coaching. One conversation can shift your perspective and change your life.  

25 Heartbreak Quotes To Survive a Broken Heart

Heartbreak quotes to help you survive a broken heart.

Heartbreak is one of the most painful things you’ll ever experience in life.

My own heartbreak led to my life falling apart and the creation of an entirely new life.

If you’re feeling heartbroken after a breakup or divorce, these 25 heartbreak quotes will  you recover from and overcome heartbreak in your life.

These 25 heartbreak quotes will give you hope for better days ahead and help you overcome the heartbreak in your life.

You can find more of these on my Instagram heartbreak quotes account or my Pinterest heartbreak quotes account.

25 Heartbreak Quotes to Help You Survive a Broken Heart Today

1. “Heartbreaks are part of love. How would I know how to appreciate love, if I hadn’t experienced how much it hurts to have my heart broken?” Pia Barna

2. “Sometimes things fall apart so that better things can fall together.” Marilyn Monroe

3. “Sometimes you must hurt in order to know, fall in order to grow, lose in order to gain, because most of life’s greatest lessons are learned through pain.” Unknown

4. “Breathe, darling. This is just a chapter. It’s not the whole story.” C.S. Louis

5. “May the flowers remind us why the rain was so necessary.” Xan Oku

6. “Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” ~C. S. Lewis

7. “There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.” Mark Groves

8. “When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person that walked in. That’s what the storm is all about.” Haruki Murakami

9. “The sun is a daily reminder that we too can rise from the darkness, that we too can shine our own light.” S. Ajna

10. “Sometimes it takes a heartbreak to shake us awake and help us see we are worth so much more than we’re settling for.” Mandy Hale

11. “People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you will know exactly what to do.” Anonymous

12. “The broken hearted are the bravest among us — they dare to love.” Brené Brown

13. “The strongest hearts have the most scars.” Anonymous

14. “What’s broken can be mended. What hurts can be healed. And no matter how dark it gets, the sun is going to rise again.” Unknown

15. “In those times of sadness, I stay with the feeling and remind myself that th only love that will actually heal this pain is my own. So I give it to myself.” Michelle D’Avella

16. “What feels like breaking may just be an opening. The heart.” Vishnu of Vishnu’s Virtues

17. “It’s ok if you fall down and lose your spark. Just make sure when you get back up, you rise as the whole damn fire.” Colette Werden

18. “Let your revenge be your own love and happiness.” Vishnu of Vishnu’s Virtues

19. “When things don’t go as expected, trust the reroute.” Lalah Delia

20. “You can’t let go of a relationship you still want to be in.” Vishnu of Vishnu’s Virtues

21. “Don’t hold together what must fall apart. The familiar life crumbles so the new life can begin.” Bryant McGill

22. “It’s in the space between the love we’ve lost and the love we hope to find, where we meet ourselves.” Mark Groves

23. “No is not a rejection: it is a cosmic redirection.” Hollie Holden

24. “Each tear is a poet, a healer, a teacher.” Rune Lazuli

25. “There comes a day when you realize turning the page is the best feeling in the world, because you realize there is so much more to the book than the page you were stuck on.” Zayn Malik

If you’re going through heartbreak now, know that you can survive and overcome your heartbreak, divorce or breakup.

If you found these heartbreak quotes helpful, check out my books on surviving a broken heart. Both books are roadmaps for getting over your heartbreak today.

To survive a heartbreak, pick up The Sacred Art of Letting Go: Let Go of Past Relationships and Find Peace Today (Amazon link here – affiliate link) 

For my book on finding love after heartbreak, check out Love After Heartbreak: How to Bounce Back Emotionally, Trust and Love Again https://www.vishnusvirtues.com/books/love-after-heartbreak/

You can pick up the book, Love after Heartbreak here (affiliate link).

The Final Step To Letting Go and Moving On

let go and move on

The final step in letting go and moving on is the most difficult.

I was stuck in the step for much too long, reading Vishnu’s blog and trying to do the letting go and moving on work.

Everything I read made sense from day one. I knew what I should be doing but I too was stuck in the last stage of letting go. Time made little difference either for moving on.

If you asked me what got me to finally move, I just got so sick of being stuck and things not changing in my life. I realized he hurt me then, but I was the one keeping myself stuck in it. He had moved on and I hadn’t. I came to understand that I was the only person who could change things.

I realized that I was so busy being stuck in the past and missing it, I hadn’t acknowledged that I actually didn’t want to be with him in the present, or the future. That was a big light bulb moment. I was ruminating and reminiscing in the past that I enjoyed but I fully came to accept that I didn’t want him now or in the future! That was what helped me finally in the letting go and moving on.

These are the final steps that helped me end this letting go and moving on journey.

The final step to letting go and moving on

1. Self Love.

Honestly, it had a lot to do with self-love.

I started with self-love because it felt hugely uncomfortable and that meant it needed addressing.

Because I’d read every self-help book going and nothing had shifted and I realized that while it was all great advice the real truth for me, and all of us, lies within, because we are all unique and we all know our own truth, we just have to listen to it.

Once I started loving and investing in myself, I knew that I deserved better. Better than someone who left me and also better than the life I was leading, where I was stuck and miserable and going nowhere. I got sick of living in that place.

I realized he hurt me at the time, but I was hurting myself now and I had a choice and only I had the power to make that stop.

So, I invested the love I had for him and our relationship, in myself.

I started to stop being horrible to myself and to treat myself as my own best friend and constantly asked myself if my thoughts and wallowing were helpful to me and the answer was always no.

2. Looking forward.

I realized that I hated the present as I was stuck in the past. I realized to change my present I had to start looking forwards instead of back at the past. I was stuck in old habits so I simply forced myself to stop whenever my head went back to the past.

I made my head visualize a ‘best’ future, instead of always going back to the past.

I got an app for positive affirmation reminders.

I wrote a closure letter with everything I wanted to say to him and burnt it and I also wrote about our relationship from a different perspective and without the rose-tinted glasses on.

3. Gratitude

I had been so stuck feeling I was lacking without him, that I didn’t see any of the reasons I had to be grateful. There was a lot and I made a conscious effort to notice and acknowledge them repeatedly.

I spent so long thinking that a life without him was a loss, my loss, but gratitude showed me a new way of thinking.

What if it was actually his loss and not mine? He’d lost someone loyal, committed and he’d lost me, the person I was beginning to recognize as worthy, from all that self-loving I’d begun.

The reality was I’d lost a man who walked away, who (wrongly) accused me of cheating, who disappeared and walked out on our long term relationship with barely a backward glance. That’s not a loss, that’s again, a lucky escape and the universe guiding me towards something better.

Another light-bulb moment, this wasn’t something to be sad about, it was something else to be grateful for and a huge factor in me finally letting go and moving on.

In tandem with the beginnings of feeling better about myself, I genuinely had no time for being stuck and miserable anymore. I had no desire to be with a man who left me and hurt me and feeling this meant it, finally, didn’t hurt so badly anymore.

I now want more for myself.

4. Finding your own happiness

I realized I hurt so very badly over our break up because I’d put all my happiness in his pocket.

Ultimately, our happiness has to be in our own pocket (a partner is lovely, but it’s an added bonus) and the only way we can achieve that is through self-love like I mentioned above.

When you cultivate self-love, it then breeds self-respect and boundaries and then you realize that you no longer want a person who caused you pain and turned their back on you and walked away.

Acknowledge that if you had to write a list of attributes you’d like, and you truly deserve, in a partner, your ex wouldn’t even make it to a date, let alone putting your life on hold for and being constantly miserable over.

All these things make you finally realize that you just have a small scar and not an open wound anymore 🙂

After cultivating self-love, gratitude, seeing the future, and finding my own happiness, I was able to let go. I’m here to tell you that letting go and moving on is possible and I say that as someone who was stuck for a long time and never believed it was actually possible for her.

My message to everyone reading is simply: take all the advice you can get from others (definitely read Vishnu’s blog) and take comfort in that you’re not alone, or weak, for how you feel, but also look within and trust that you already have all the answers you need.

Most importantly, even though it’s the last thing you feel like doing when your heart is broken, love and invest in yourself, and one day it will stop feeling ridiculous and become the reason you finally let go.

Katie is a long-time UK reader who has let go and moved on with her life. She is still single, but finally open to the possibility (but not necessity) of finding love again. She is currently thriving in a new career, which never would have been possible without either the heartbreak or taking that final step in letting go and moving on.

Guilt Is Stealing These 7 Things From Your Life After Divorce

life after divorce

Guilt was my prison in my life after divorce.

I was stuck for so long in the past because of guilt at what I had done in my marriage.

I thought about every single thing that I had done and felt guilty about it. How I had taken the relationship for granted. How I criticized and nagged my ex. How I didn’t let her be completely free and her own person.

I thought about all the things that she pointed out about me in my life after divorce. I reflected on all the things she had found problematic in our relationship. All the things she said to me about what I had done to screw it up.

I’m a terrible person and I deserve to be in my own prison for some time, maybe for the rest of my life. I thought that since the person who had known me most decided to break up with me that I was a bad person, had done terrible and deserved to be punished. I deserved to suffer.

You may have come out of breakup or divorce and feeling the same way too. You may feel the heaviness of the guilt in your life after divorce. You may feel like a failure and like you were solely at fault for the relationship.

You may feel like you’re the bad or evil person.

As you’re thinking all this, your ex may have moved on with their life after divorce. They may have switched careers, found new love and started a family.

They seemed to have improved their life in every way and you’re still sticking around in the past, holding onto the heavy baggage of guilt and self-blame.

If you’re feeling the heavy pangs of guilt after divorce, think about what you’re giving up when you’re stuck with guilt.

Your guilt is stealing these 7 things from your life after divorce

A new life.

You have the ability to move on and start a new life after divorce. You can live a new life, travel, pursue a new career and live your dreams. You can let go of everything that once was and wasn’t working and start brand new. Your guilt is taking away the life that’s possible for you today. Instead of allowing your new life to unfold, guilt is keeping you paralyzed and stuck in your life after divorce.

A new you.

Like me, you want to brew in the past. You want to be stuck as the old you thinking about all the ways you were hurtful and self-sabotaged the marriage. You don’t believe that you can change or become a different version of yourself. You are going to reminisce on the past and hold onto your old self. You are going to allow guilt to steal a new and improved version of yourself. You are going to hold off on learning and growing from your past mistakes.

Your self-worth.

Your guilt is making you feel worthless. You feel that you are unworthy of your ex. When the person you love most rejects you, your self-worth and confidence is going to take a hit. The fact that you couldn’t make this relationship work and you couldn’t hold onto your spouse is going to make you think that you’re a terrible person that no one loves. As you’re holding drowning in guilt, you don’t feel whole, complete, or enough.

Peace of mind.

You’re going to be constantly feeling pangs of resentment, anger and regret. You’re going to feel like a criminal for having done the things that you did. It was your terrible deeds and bad actions that led to this divorce. Instead of calmness and peace, you are going to be living in discomfort and regret. You’ll be constantly feeling like you were the one who did something wrong and you deserve to be punished.

Hope.

Hope is a belief that life will get better and things will improve. Hope is a welcoming of a new day. Stewing in guilt will steal your hope away. You will be thinking that all the best in your life has already happened so there’s nothing to look forward to anymore. All you can do now is celebrate what you had and regret what you did to end the relationship. You can ruminate on what no longer is, thinking that there is no hope for the future.

The present moment

Guilt will steal your life after divorce. Instead of being present and living in the moment, guilt will make you go back to the past and replay all the things that you did in the past. It will make you question yourself, doubt yourself and generally torture yourself for the things that you did and didn’t do in this past relationship. Guilt will ensure that you are reliving a time that no longer exists and will continually take you back in time.

New love

I know you believe that love is impossible. It is only because you are cooped up in guilt after divorce. Feeling guilty, you’re thinking and feeling like you’re a terrible person. You think you ruined your ex’s life. You think you were the reason that the relationship ended. When stuck in the regret and guilt of the past, you are going to close your heart and life to new love. When you don’t feel worthy or deserving, you’re going to close your heart to new relationships.

Guilt is a thief that will continue to steal from your life, even your life after divorce.

What else has guilt stolen from your life after divorce? Send me a message or reply to my email. If you need some guidance or support, please get in touch.