Anyone who has gone through divorce has a range of horrible feelings – fear, hurt, betrayal, anger, depression, failure – depending on how they see the reason for the divorce. Are they blaming themselves or are they blaming their spouse? Or do they have a wider view that both spouses contributed to the end of the marriage?
More than likely, if someone is looking at themselves as the reason for the divorce, it is likely that they’re going to see themselves as a failure. Normal. But in order to learn and grow from the experience of divorce, divorce has to be considered as a learning lesson upon which to improve themselves as an individual, and learn how to discern how to choose the next partner.
When I meet new clients and when I email the confirmation letter for the first appointment, the last line in my email is “Divorce is a New Beginning”. I mean it. I have been through divorce. It was an excellent opportunity to self-reflect my behavior from meeting my former husband, to dating him, through the marriage. It didn’t matter to me what his part in the divorce was because that’s his journey in life. I only looked at myself. We were married but we our journeys were different, and our marriage and subsequently our divorce had different meanings within each of our journeys.
In my mother’s last few years before her passing, I apologized for all of the untoward ways I spoke to her, and for the things I did that weren’t kind. Her response, “We did the best we could”. I will never forget that moment. With all the wisdom of her 95 years provided, she summed it up beautifully. I carry this message with me daily.
You are not a failure because you’re getting divorced. Everything we experience in life is a learning lesson. It’s how we change as a result of our experiences that matters.
If you believe you are the one who eroded the marriage and divorce is now inevitable, you can change the emotional trajectory of the divorce by apologizing. Apologize without putting any blame on your spouse.
If we look at life as a learning experience, and that our learning experiences are growth experiences, we will never be victims. Life will always be fair. Life will be fair because through our trials and tribulations we will accept them as tailor-made growth experiences that can challenge our will to live, test our ability to succeed, and drive us to accomplishments we never fathomed before we were tested.
Let’s make art out of what we might call failure. Let’s trust the universe that whatever we need for growth will come to us. Let’s align ourselves with truth so that we can see how to change a challenging situation to a new level of understanding of ourselves.
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