DIVORCE RECOVERY SERIES
A Series of Articles on Adjusting to Divorce -- By Harlan Jacobsen
NOW THAT WE HAVE UNHOOKED, I NEED SOMEBODY ELSE
Everybody likes to have significant people in their lives, and after years of being together, when a partner leaves, there seems to be a great vacuum of space for people that need urgent filling. You cannot start healing this until you let go of your ex.
WHEN I FIND SOMEONE NEW IíLL BE OK AND HAPPY
Which came first - chicken or egg? Will I find someone when Iím OK and happy, or will I be OK and happy when I find someone?
WE OPT FOR BECOMING OK AND HAPPY FIRST
Then finding some significant people is easy because they find you. Become OK and happy first, then if the other person leaves you it is not a tragedy, because you know you can be OK and happy without them.
WHEN YOUR "OKAYNESS" AND HAPPINESS ARE ALL TIED UP IN ANOTHER PERSON, THEY CAN "DO IT TO YOU"
You are set up again to be manipulated, to do things you are not comfortable with, in order to avoid losing them. Your happiness and well-being are then tied up in someone else's actions or lack of action. You have lost control - you have given control over to someone else.
THE BIG ADVANTAGE YOU HAVE WHEN YOU BECOME HAPPILY SINGLE IS THAT YOU (NOT SOMEONE ELSE) HAVE TOTAL CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE AND HAPPINESS
When you first become single, your "strings" are still available for others to pull (your ex, for example), that can "make you" happy or unhappy, angry, depressed, etc.
WHEN YOU "GET IT TOGETHER" AS A SINGLE, YOU "PULL YOUR OWN STRINGS"
You learn to "do it to yourself" and take sole responsibility for pulling your own strings, for whatever result you want. You not only stop blaming the world, you learn (and thatís the "biggie") to make the result (no matter what happens) good.
LEARNING TO MAKE LEMONADE WHEN YOU GET LEMONS
Once you accept this as a challenge (rather than a problem), you learn you can make good out of everything.
WHEN YOU LOSE YOUR JOB, YOU ACCEPT IT AS A CHALLENGE TO FIND A BETTER ONE
At the time, it seems a terrible tragedy, but if you have your "act together", you accept it as a challenge to move on to a better one, and you look forward to it happily. You know you are OK and can attract the "better job".
When you donít have your "act together", you spend your energies trying to figure out what went wrong on the last job: "What could I have done to have kept it from happening, what can I do to get it back, who is to blame, how can I get even?" etc.
WHEN YOU LOSE A RELATIONSHIP, YOU ACCEPT IT AS A CHALLENGE TO FIND A BETTER ONE
You know you are an OK and desirable person, and will readily attract a better relationship.
When you donít have your "act together", you spend your energies trying to figure out what went wrong, how you can maneuver them back, who is to blame, or how you can get even with them for leaving you.
WHEN YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF YOU LIFE, YOU RADIATE A SUNSHINE
Others want to bask in that sunshine, and you will attract mainly other sunshine people. (Birds of a feather tend to flock together.)
NO MATTER WHAT IS HAPPENING OUT THERE, YOU CAN MAKE SOMETHING GOOD OUT OF IT
When you are newly divorced, you have an opportunity to be a whole new you. When you were married, to change or to grow was a threat to the relationship. Everybody in your support system insisted you stay the same old you. Now, nobody pulls your strings (remember) and your old support system is gone, anyway. Build up from zero, the way you want it.
WE SAY: THE CLOSER YOU ARE TO BEING TOTALLY DEMOLISHED, THE BETTER
When you are wiped out to ground zero, you can go up in any direction. If you are just damaged, you only remodel, not rebuild.
REBUILD A NEW YOU - ONE THAT WILL ATTRACT THE KIND OF FRIENDS YOU WANT
Concentrate and work on the new you. Before you even finish the job, you will have attracted the kind of people you want in your life.
Unfortunately, most take their bag of distorted attitudes and beliefs after their divorce out in public, and say "here I am, World, come and find me", and nobody bothers to respond.
NOW THEY HAVE A NEW PROBLEM: THEY DECIDE "I MUST BE NO GOOD; NOBODY DESIRABLE WANTS ME"
They see themselves as "not desirable", so they do what "not desirable" people do: in an escalating downward trend, the more they believe they are "no good", the more they sabotage themselves and have bad experiences. The more bad experiences they have, the more convinced that they are defective and undesirable. The downward spiral results in eventual depression and withdrawal.
GET YOURSELF ON AN UPWARD SPIRAL
Keep track of your successes, build confidence, learn that you are OK. The more you radiate that idea, the more successes you have, and it gets better and better, as you increasingly add to your "Okayness".
Others detect this and more find you desirable, as you start to radiate "Okayness"
WHEN A FARMER HAS ONLY A FEW SEEDS, HE IS VERY CAREFUL WHERE AND HOW HE PLANTS
Later, as he harvests a new crop and has plenty of seeds, he can take a chance and spread them everywhere. If some do not grow, it doesnít matter; he will still have a good harvest.
WHEN YOU HAVE INITIAL CONTACTS, DEVELOP THE "EASY ONES"
Those interested in you. People that you probably canít fail with. After you have succeeded with these, you can then move on with that harvest to others, as your confidence grows and grows. You can afford to take some risks; you will still harvest. All the time, working and concentrating on the growing of the new you.
EACH PERSON YOU MEET ALONG THE WAY CAN ADD TO YOUR GROWTH
You can add to their life and growth, too. People only grow through interaction with other people. As you help make a today a little better for others, you grow, and each day becomes better.
STOP TRYING TO SHAPE UP OR ATTRACT THE WORLD. SHAPE UP THE NEW YOU TO THE PERSON YOU CAN BECOME
You, and only you, now have the complete control of you...perhaps for the first time. Give up on trying to change the world and the way it treats you. Do what you can, which is to control and change yourself; then the way the world treats you will change, too.
STOP BEING THE GUEST
Waiting for the world to do it for you? Become the host or hostess...the person in charge, who makes things happen!
NEXT ISSUE: Simply change your vocabulary, and you change your life!