Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Post-Divorce Mindset: Failure or Renewal?

It’s autumn and the leaves are changing. They’re beautiful, and though we know they’re dying, we don’t see it as a failure. It’s a process of readying for winter followed by renewal in the spring. We love the changes.

What does this have to do with divorce? If we can think of the post-divorce period as a process, then we might talk about a failed marriage, then a process of change followed by renewal. It’s when we have the mindset, I’m a failure because of my divorce, that we get into trouble. Thinking of yourself as a failure obviously leaves little room for change. Thinking of yourself as a person who was in a bad marriage, and is now recovering from that experience and moving toward growth and renewal, is infinitely more helpful.

*Becoming is better than being. So said someone and I have to agree. Now that you’re single, what would you like to become? Think of three things you’d like to become at this point in your life. For example, become a yogi/yogini, become an accomplished cook, or become a better parent. Better yet, become all three.

*One man or woman’s meat is another’s poison. I’ll have to agree with that one as well. You’ll meet or have already met many who identify their divorce as the turning point in their lives after which all else went to the dogs. You’ll meet many more who identify their divorce as the turning point after which all else (relatively speaking) was dog heaven. And here’s the secret: meat or poison, heaven or hell, it’s completely up to you. You make it what you want based on how you think about it. If you think creatively and positively about how you’re going to flourish, like the trees come springtime, you’ve got it covered.

*You are what you think. I definitely agree with this one. You are not a failure, you are not just a divorced person, you are a survivor. And you are about to create your own destiny. This is a growth opportunity, as are most tragedies. Athletes with a “growth mindset” learn from their losses and misses to become better players. People with growth mindsets know they can do anything they set their minds to, regardless of what they’ve been through. So figure out how you’d like to grow.

Change how you think of yourself and your experiences to make the post-divorce experience one of renewal and not failure. Spring is just around the corner.

Just for fun:  Kelly Clarkson, Since U Been Gone

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