divorce with love Feb 10, 2018
The first year of my divorce was very challenging. We were headed down the typical path of bitter feelings, hateful emails, and a complete breakdown in our ability to communicate without blame.
Thankfully, a massive U-turn occurred when we realized that – for the sake of our son, and our own well being, there had to be a better way forward. What follows are 5 keys to help you Divorce with Love.
1. Allow Yourself to Feel
One of the greatest challenges in a separation process is learning to deal with the intense emotions that accompany a breakup. If we don’t learn to navigate through our emotional storms in a healthy way, they can cause destruction – both to ourselves and to those around us. Whenever you’re experiencing strong feelings, it’s important to give yourself the time and space to release them. Find a private place where you will be completely undisturbed, and put on some music (sad music if you’re feeling sad, angry music if you’re feeling frustrated, etc.). Allow yourself to cry, yell, wail, hit a pillow, shake your body, and anything else that supports the feeling to move through you and be released.
2. Forgive Yourself
Whether you were the one that left the relationship, or the one who was left, very likely you’re experiencing some sense of guilt or failure because the relationship didn’t make it. Hindsight is 20/20 and often when we look back at the relationship from the present day, it’s easy to judge ourselves for all of the things we should have done, or could have done, or wished we hadn’t done! While some of this may be helpful material for helping you in your next relationship, we are often too harsh on ourselves for the mistakes that we made. Allow yourself to examine the different turning points in your relationship from the following perspective: Given what I knew at the time, with the information and awareness I had at my disposal, did I do my best? Very often the answer is yes! Allow yourself to go through some of your mistakes, with that question in mind. See if you can forgive yourself and recognize that, at the time you were doing the best you could. That doesn’t take you off the hook, or prevent you from learning and doing better in the future, but it does allow the balm of forgiveness to heal your heart.
3. Consider Your Ex
This may be very challenging, especially if your Ex exhibited extremely negative behavior during the marriage or the breakup. Yet, in order to complete your separation with the greatest amount of consciousness and love, it’s important to consider your Ex’s feelings too. One simple yet powerful exercise is to write a letter to yourself from the perspective of your Ex. In order to do this, you’ll need to let go of your point of view as the “right” or “true” perspective. Instead, approach the exercise with a curious and open heart. Close your eyes, take some deep breaths, and be courageous enough to ask yourself : What was the relationship like for my Ex? What about my behavior was challenging for them? How did they feel hurt by me? How were they struggling in the relationship as my partner? Allow yourself to write a letter from their perspective. Once it’s done, see if you can read this letter without beating yourself up. It’s not about being hard on yourself, but it is about being willing and open enough to see that every story has two sides. This recognition will cause the heart to burst open with compassion.
4. Take Responsibility
Remember the famous saying: It takes two to tango? After the letter writing exercise, it can be easier to take responsibility for your part of the relationship tango. One of the biggest obstacles to divorcing with greater consciousness and love, is something we call in our work “the blame game.” It is this tendency to point our finger and make the other person out to be the bad guy. While this may feel good initially, especially if we’ve been hurt, blaming the other in the long run leaves us feeling helpless, like the victim. It’s only when we bring the focus back onto our self that we become empowered. Take a moment to reflect back on the relationship and the breakup from the perspective of growth. Ask yourself the following questions:
a. What can I learn about myself through this relationship?
b. What is this breakup teaching me?
c. Is something about this dynamic a familiar pattern in my life (or from my childhood)?
The more you put the focus on the one person you can change, yourself, the more you’ll be empowered to change and grow. This will ensure that you enter your next relationship from a much more transformed place.
5. Forgive your Ex
Once you’ve seen the other side of the story, it is often easier to extend forgiveness towards your Ex. Some people mistakenly believe that if they forgive their Ex, it condones their behavior, that it somehow makes their hurtful behavior okay. Actually this couldn’t be further from the truth. Forgiveness has much more to do with you than with your Ex. Whenever we hold on to bitterness and resentment, as a way to punish them, it’s actually we who suffer. It’s like drinking poison and hoping the other will suffer. It is our heart that suffers when we don’t forgive; it is our heart that turns cold and miserable. Psychologists define forgiveness as a conscious decision to release our resentment or vengeance toward a person that has harmed us, regardless of whether they actually deserve it or not. In other words, forgiveness ultimately is for us. When we release this resentment and vengeance that has been plaguing us, it is our heart that is liberated to finally put the past to rest and move forward into our future.
Patrick Dahdal and all the team at Transformation TV are thrilled to be working with Neelama Eyres and sharing her unique message with the world.
You can watch Neelama & Michael's TV Show on the TV platform here:
Bio: Neelama Eyres has worked in the field of personal transformation since 1995. She co-founded the Inner Journey Institute along with her ex-husband, Michael Schiesser. They facilitate personal growth seminars for individuals and couples focused on transforming painful situations into opportunities for growth. Neelama and Michael share their story in their co-authored memoir, Divorced with Love.
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