Updated: Oct 1, 2018
Recently, I had a major life upheaval. My husband and I decided our 18 year old marriage was over, and we needed to separate. At the time my son was 16 going on 17 and only had two years left in high school. I am a very spiritual person and truly believed that marriage was supposed to be forever, and after a while, though I was very happy to be separated, I started to battle with feelings of failure and of loss. You see, this relationship took 20+ years of my life. I had feelings of failure, feelings of fear, and feelings of losing the best years of my life... what in the world do I do now? This was all so new. I felt like my life was at a crossroads, and I had a decision to make. I could either sit down, stay where I was, and drown in what “could have” or “should have beens,” or I could stay standing, put one foot in front of the other, and keep it moving!
Here are the steps I went through to keep myself from floundering:
1. Make a decision to live.
It's so easy to take the wrong road when you have a decision like this to make. There are a lot of feelings of…”what happened?” No one gets married thinking that it's only temporary. It’s easy to dwell on the negative feelings and stop moving. You can want to curl up and “park at the point of your pain” like Joyce Meyer said. It takes more effort to keep putting one foot in front of the other.
One of the things I also struggled with was the knowledge that my parents had gotten a divorce and not wanting that as a part of my story...but I'll talk about that in a later post.
But I decided that my life was not going to end, just because someone chose not to want me anymore. Just because one person didn't want me, didn't mean that no one else would. Something on the inside of me wouldn’t let me stop, and I wanted to give myself the chance to grow from this experience and become better!
2. Make a decision to become better not bitter!
When things like this in life happen, it's easy to blame someone else. It's easy to make a bunch of excuses as to why things ended, or why this was lost, or why it didn't turn out like you wanted. I think this is probably the natural progression of emotions that one goes through, but it's not a license to stay there. I think if you stay there too long, you can get too comfortable there, and it turns into a "comfort zone" for you. You become cynical, you become jaded, and any possibility of hope goes out the window. You believe the worst about people, and not the best. But hope believes the best in all things, and it makes room for hope, possibility, and life to continue. Do you feel that? Did you feel how inspirational the word hope is? Why not make the decision to look back over that situation, see the things that you could have done differently, forget about the other party's portion (it always takes two to tango), and let that help you to be a better
person, so you don't make the same mistakes next time...because there WILL be a next time!
3. Make a decision to be there for You!
Just because someone else didn't value you, or see your worth, doesn't mean that you are not a valuable person! You are important; you are invaluable; you make a difference! You wouldn't be here on this earth if there wasn't something for you to accomplish in this life. So let's get to it! What are your dreams; what are your goals; what excites you; what is your passion in life? This is a time in your life that things are new and fresh. Out with the old and in with the new!
I’m not going to lie and say everything will work perfectly, because it won’t. But doesn’t it feel good to work hard for yourself, like you worked hard for others. You’re life isn’t over unless you give up on it. Think about what you would like to accomplish outside of anyone else, and that's what makes you uniquely you. Don't let anyone else in this world take that away from you. Tap into who you are and be there for you! Work towards your own dreams and passions in life to help others overcome and keep it moving too!
One thing I did to keep my spirits high through this disappointment and to make sure I didn't feel down on myself was to make a list of all my accomplishments and positive attributes. Whenever I would begin to think negatively about myself or forget the great things about me, I would look at this list and speak it out loud. I decided this practice would be a focus of the year for me. I have created a free Focus of the Year: Celebrate You list page for you to do the same and list your accomplishments and wonderful aspects of you. This exercise truly helped me realize that the thoughts I was having about me not being enough or what I wasn't were not true, and it helped me to focus on what I had to offer to the world. Through this exercise, I truly believe that you will see, like I did, that you have so much more to offer than you are giving yourself credit for! You are so much more than you are giving yourself credit for! It's time believe to in you, again!