Monday, September 20, 2010

Post-Divorce Intentions

Mindful behavior involves intentions. In short, you consciously decide what you’d like to be doing and then set an intention to do that thing. Consider what you’d like to be doing differently post-divorce, and what intentions you might need to set to make that happen.

You have to consider the things you’re struggling with and what your intentions might be. Some of the possibilities for post-divorce intentions are:

*I notice my many positive qualities (being divorced is not my central defining characteristic).
*I am present in the moment (and not dwelling on how things were or could have been).
*I take care of things myself (even if I haven’t always done so).
*I speak only in neutral or positive terms about Jon, Jill or whoever (i.e., your ex).
*I focus on wholesome, healthy thoughts about my divorce (not unwholesome or unhealthy thoughts).
*I believe being single is a normal, healthy state (not a lowly life form just above an amoeba).

Identify your intention(s) and go through these four steps.

First, be aware of your intention. Let’s take the intention, I believe being single is a normal state. Negative thoughts that come up about being divorced (e.g., I’m a failure, Everyone is married but me, You have to be in a couple to be happy) are thoughts to notice but not dwell on.

Second, remind yourself of the intention when you notice the negative thinking. When you notice you're thinking that everyone is married except you, remind yourself that being single is normal, that many people are single, even never-married, and are perfectly normal.

Third, keep the intention in mind with some reminder you develop. You have a beloved object you’ve acquired after the divorce that you put on your dresser to remind yourself every morning that your intention is to live with the knowledge that being single is a normal, healthy state. You set a reminder on your phone that pops up every 3 hours that says, I’m a powerful, attractive person. Each is a structure you establish that reminds you of your intention.

Fourth, keep track of how you’re doing with your intention and notice the gains you make. If you feel you can do better, design a plan for doing so without criticism or judgment. Perhaps the object on your dresser is working well, but you need something at the office too. Great! Do it.

Being aware of our intentions and setting them mindfully can be a real help post-divorce.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the wonderful post. A lot of articles that give tips regarding divorce are out there but this is the only one that tackled divorce intentions.