You feel miserable. You may have thought you were tough, but nothing has prepared you for the pain you now feel, as a result of deciding to end your marriage. So the question is: what can you do now to ease this unbearable pain?
I have spent years writing blog posts designed to help my readers cope with ending their marriages. My blog, Divorce Wisdom is filled with just such survival tips, based upon the conventional wisdom I’ve gathered from helping thousands of people through the divorce process. As a complement to the more practical advice I have shared over the past 20 years, I decided to get out of my comfort zone (and perhaps help you get out of yours) with a bit of unconventional advice.
I am asking you to try the six practices listed in this article, on a daily basis, for 30 days. I promise that if you stick to the principles listed here for a mere month, you will find some peace during this tumultuous time in your life. Plan to dig deep; you will not be sorry!
Practice Number 1: Be open minded and heed the words of the Dalai Lama.
“There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day, to love, believe, do and mostly live.”
Write this saying on a piece of paper and place it in a location where you will see it every morning during the next 30 days. Your bathroom mirror would be perfect for this. When you wake up, repeat the saying to yourself five times with intention to live the Dalai Lama’s words for the entire day.
Practice Number 2: Find five minutes for meditation, daily.
It is now undisputed that meditation is a true antidote to stress. If you are getting a divorce, you are undoubtedly stressed to the max. Meditation is all about bringing the mind and body into balance. You don’t have to travel to India and sit on a mountain top, chanting and fasting, to benefit from meditation. Setting aside as little as five minutes a day, can significantly increase your feeling of peace and well-being. Everyone can spare five minutes in their day, so just do it.
There are many types of meditation practices available. The type that I find to be best for those dealing with divorce is Mindfulness Meditation. Mindfulness Meditation teaches us to be truly present in any given moment. It requires one to be non-judgmental and open to whatever may arise in one’s awareness. Instead of trying to escape the negative experience of divorce, the practice of Mindful Meditation requires the practitioner to embrace the experience. Practicing Mindfulness Meditation daily will not only reduce stress, it will also reduce your emotional reactivity during the divorce process!
There are many apps and “how to’s” available on the Internet. Just Google “Mindfulness Meditation” and utilize whatever approach feels right to you, to help you to meditate for five minutes, every day, for 30 days. My favorite app for meditation is Omvana. Omvana has all types of meditation practices to choose from. For instance, there are meditations to help you sleep, for finding your life’s purpose, for clearing negative thoughts/feelings and, of course, for mindfulness.
Practice Number 3: Learn from your heroes.
Throughout history, the experiences of our true heroes (think Siddhartha, Moses, Jesus, Gandhi, Mother Theresa and Nelson Mandela) all tell the story of how overcoming adversity led to triumphs of epic proportion, which brought peace to the masses. Their messages have one thing in common: those who endure pain and suffering can learn from, and benefit from, the experience. Divorce is clearly one of the most painful life experiences a person can endure. Learning from the masters who came before will serve to provide hope, wisdom and inspiration. Rest assured, you will get to the other side of your divorce and you will learn valuable life lessons as a result. To help you get to that proverbial light at the end of your personal tunnel, set aside some time each day, for 30 days, and commit to reading one chapter of an autobiography about a true hero. During this time, be aware of all of the inspirational moments that appear in your life, that these readings will help you reveal.
Practice Number 4: Pay it forward.
Sometimes the best way to get out of your own head is to completely focus on something other than yourself. While divorce is truly horrible, try to remember that there are always people suffering a much worse fate than you. For a period of 30 days, commit to relinquishing the negative energy you spend on your life drama, in favor of doing something helpful for others. Make a plan for this. The task could be as simple as feeding the parking meter for a stranger or something bigger like donating your time at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen. Mix it up, but promise yourself that you will do something to make life just a little easier for another person, daily, for one month.
Practice Number 5: Keep a journal.
You will want to keep a journal handy to jot down ideas and insights that come to you as a result of completing the above mentioned practices. Write in your journal before you go to bed every night, for 30 nights. Include at least one thing you are grateful for that occurred in your day, as a result of reading, meditation, giving to others and visualizing. Look for any silver linings that materialize because, I promise, they will surface.
Practice Number 6: Create a practice schedule.
We all know that we are more apt to follow a program if it is included in our schedule. To ensure that the practices listed in this post are followed for 30 days, create a daily schedule and make an appointment with your five daily practices.
Bonus: How are you feeling?
On day 30, assess your state of mind and well-being. Do you feel better than you did 30 days earlier? My hope is that the six practices included here have eased some of the suffering you feel as a result of your divorce. The bonus, of course, is that you do feel better and choose to keep going with your practices.