Divorce: What do you really want?
People get divorced because of what they don’t want. They no longer want the marriage, the abuse, the drama, the financial constraints, the loss of personal identity. Whatever it is for you, there are one or more big things you don’t want that mean you are on a divorce journey. And, when you talk about your divorce that’s what comes up. Your reasons for leaving. Those bad things.
It’s time to change focus. In Divorce: What do you really want? we take a look at the bigger picture.
Thoughts become things
Have you heard the expression ‘thoughts become things’? Or maybe ‘What you resist persists’? They are the same thing. In psychology and linguistic terms, the brain doesn’t understand negatives. The thought ‘I don’t want drama’ is understood subconsciously as ‘drama’. ‘I don’t want abuse’ is understood as ‘abuse’.
Perhaps you have spiritual beliefs – you’ll know that the law of attraction works the same way. So whether science or spirituality is your thing (and it could be a mix of both), thoughts become things. What you say to yourself shapes how you experience life.
Focus on what you do want
Those bad things that pushed you to leave have done their job. Thank them and leave them behind. It’s time for a new story.
Now’s the time to focus on what you do want – that’s how the positive change will happen. When we focus on what we want we allow opportunity and circumstance to come in. Those opportunities will have been there all along – you just can’t see them because you’re focussing on what you don’t want. There’s no space to see the alternatives.
When you tell your brain what you do want, it goes on a search to find it. Don’t believe me? Ever noticed how when you’re lusting after a new car you see the model you want everywhere?
So focus on what you want and how you want to feel. If you feel lost, frightened, confused and scared right now, remember a time when you felt free, excited, calm or other emotions you want to feel. You already know how to feel good in this moment. When you watch your children play or you laugh with friends. That’s all it is. When you feel good it’s easier to focus on what you do want and imagine it happening.
What you want will be personal to you. There is no ‘right or wrong’. Is it a new home or being able to stay in your current one? Is it freedom? Financial independence? Something else? I always begin my Get Divorce Ready programme with focussing on what you want – it starts the road map for your divorce.
You always have the power to tell yourself a different story. So start today. Make it a daily habit to quit telling yourself what you don’t want and starting thinking and saying what it is you do want.
Let go of what you cannot control
Letting go is hard – particularly if like me, co-dependency is part of your history. We crave control because we want to create certainty and safety. Whenever control involves another adult human being it never works. But, oh how we keep trying and trying and maybe this time…
The truth is you cannot control your ex, what they do, think or don’t do. You cannot control the legal process either. But you can control your response.
If you decide that you’ll be traumatised if XYZ happens then you will be – you’ve set yourself up for it. If you decide that it’ll be a disaster if you don’t get the result in court you want then guess what, it’ll be a disaster because your brain will look for the evidence.
Statements such as ‘I’ll feel good if/when/after XYZ’ are you giving your power away. You are postponing feeling good. Let go of the ifs and whens and focus on now.
When you let go of trying to force any particular situation, you can be more resourceful for dealing with what is.
The reality is, whatever happens, you can and will get through it. Might it be tough emotionally and financially? Yes. You might need support – therapeutic, legal, emotional. It is absolutely legitimate to feel low and overwhelmed when going through something as huge as divorce.
The powerful thing to do is to recognise how you’re feeling, take the action and seek the support you need, rather than stay stuck.
Believe that you are worth it
Getting what you really want starts with believing that you’re worthy of having it. Not from an angry ‘Well, of course, I flipping well am’ but from a quiet, grounded knowing of ‘I am worth this’.
Standing in the truth that you are worthy of the life you want is one of the most powerful things you can do. It’s the launchpad for real change. And no-one can take that feeling away from you.
It can take time, therapy or coaching to connect with this knowing and belief. Particularly if you have been a relationship where you were made to feel less than enough. I have never been married but I have experienced this more than once.
My ‘you’re not good enough’ relationships were dressed up in very different ways so I didn’t see it the second time. Second time around I thought he was the opposite of everything the first one was. It turns out that underneath they were the same person coming in to help me learn the same lesson.
It was long, painful and very expensive emotionally and financially but I did learn the lesson. I am worth it and so are you.
Accept the past with grace
When you accept the past with grace you can reframe and release the hurt. Because I’m not divorced I used to feel that I wasn’t worthy of talking about divorce and that my practical experience wasn’t enough. I didn’t feel worthy to talk and write about something I have never experienced myself.
Only recently have I truly understood that all that has happened in my own life, both personally and professionally, is perfect for the growth of divorce alchemy.
If my last relationship had unfolded the way I wanted I wouldn’t be writing this blog now. My work as The Divorce Alchemist wouldn’t exist.
When I started the Divorce Alchemist I was deeply unhappy and in a money mess. I had to sell my home and start again – financially and emotionally.
Now I am doing work I love, supporting women to create the lives they are worthy of, living in a home I love, with deer and woods just a few minutes’ walk away.
That failed relationship was the greatest gift I could have received. It definitely didn’t feel like that at the time! Did I learn the lesson straight away? No. Did I heck!! I was still trying to control outcomes and hoping we would work it out.
We didn’t, and now I say thank goodness! Now I look back with grace and know it did all happen for a reason. Every. Single. Thing. Sometimes our darkest hours lead us to a brighter light.
Know that a brighter future is coming
When you know you’re worthy and the life you want is yours for the taking the feeling is so solid it’s undeniable. It’s a place where you can grow anything you want and need, and move through your divorce with grace and ease. But first, let go and thank the past for its lessons.
That doesn’t mean there won’t be challenges or moments of fear and worry. It means that you can refocus on the bigger picture with a knowing that this is alchemy – transformation from the old to the new you because you most definitely are worth it.
You can’t always see the wood for the trees when you’re in the thick of it. If you’d like help creating your brighter future, both creating the vision and navigating divorce to make it happen, drop me a message. We can do it together.
Emma Heptonstall, the Divorce Alchemist is author of the Amazon best selling book How to be a Lady Who Leaves, the Ultimate Guide to Getting Divorce Ready. A former lawyer, Emma is a family mediator and founder of Get Divorce Ready the online self-study and group programmes. Emma has been featured on BBC Radio, The Telegraph, the iPaper and in Marie Claire Magazine. To find out more visit www.emmaheptonstall.com