A guest post from Dr. Karen Finn…
Divorce is devastating. In the beginning, it can leave you feeling lost, alone, confused, depressed and even unlovable. Then, you start to feel angry and vengeful on top of feeling lost, alone, confused, depressed and unlovable. After a while you just don’t know which horrible emotion you’re going to experience next. It can be kind of like being blindfolded, tied up and stuck on a run-away rollercoaster of misery. All you want is to just feel “normal” again.
Unfortunately, for most people, finding their way back to “normal” isn’t obvious or easy after divorce. Because of this the divorce rollercoaster ride can seem never ending.
But, there is a way to short-circuit this horrific ride of negative emotions. It requires you to know 10 specific things about yourself.
By knowing just these 10 things about yourself, you can start to feel more like you because you’ll be directly disproving one of the most horrible negative thoughts anyone can have – believing that you are unlovable.
Knowing that you are lovable is one of the most critical beliefs for living a happy life. It’s part of our wiring as humans. We need to have a sense of belonging and love to thrive.
But that’s exactly what divorce strips away from us – our sense of belonging and love. That’s why it’s vital that you develop a new sense of belonging and love independent of your ex ASAP.
You can create your new sense of belonging and love by knowing 10 things about yourself. The 10 things you need to know are 10 reasons why you like yourself. These 10 reasons can be anything, anything at all.
When I was going through my divorce and was first introduced to this idea, I had a really difficult time coming up with my list of 10 reasons I liked myself. I mean REALLY difficult. I remember 2 of the items on my first list with a sense of pity and compassion that I had such a poor sense of who I was. One of those items was “I like that I know how to drive because it means that I don’t have to rely on anyone else to take me where I want to go when I want to go there.” The second one was “I like that I can bake good cookies.” I saw so little to love in me that I had to resort to appreciating things that I could do instead of who I was. BUT the really great thing about this was that I was willing to do the exercise and truly think about things I liked about me.
And, believe it or not, this list of 10 things I liked about myself was the beginning of me starting to feel better about being me. It allowed me to start slowing down my rollercoaster of misery. It was also the beginning of me being able to start seeing me as lovable again because I was willing to start loving myself for just being me.
That’s exactly what I want for you. I want you to be able to short-circuit your rollercoaster ride of negative emotions by knowing just 10 things about yourself – 10 things you like about you. Knowing this can be exactly what you need to start to feel more like you again, to move on from your divorce more quickly and on to living the BEST of your life.
Your Functional Divorce Assignment:
Create a list of at least 10 things you like about you. Taking the time to do this is so important to you getting over your divorce quickly. However, for many people making the list is kinda tough. If you find that you’re having difficulty coming up with 10 things, go ahead and ask a friend or family member to tell you one or two things they appreciate about you. It will probably be just the thing to help you get going to discovering 10 things you like about yourself.
Just making the list isn’t enough. You need to read it out loud to yourself with positive emotion in the morning when you first get up and at night before you go to bed. Reminding yourself of what’s great about you at least twice a day every day will start to shift those negative thoughts to more positive ones and allow you to short-circuit the negative-emotion rollercoaster ride we all go on with divorce.
At some point, you’re going to want to change your list. You may want to add to it, or you might want to just replace one of the items with something else. Go ahead! Make your list of reasons why you like yourself a “living document”. Update your list as frequently as you’d like. Before too long, you’ll discover that the things you like about yourself will shift to being even more positive. When that happens, you’ll also notice that you’ll be feeling better overall and well on your way to feeling “normal” again.