Learning How to Thrive After Divorce
Divorce. Separation. Gloomy concepts for most people. Sharing the news that "I'm getting a divorce" is the kind of pronouncement that can cause a hush at even the liveliest cocktail party. About 50% of all marriages end in divorce, and one in three Americans are already part of a blended family. Do those of us facing separation and divorce have to simply "survive" to get through the experience? Is it possible for there to be something more?
I believe it's possible to set the bar higher than simply survival. I believe we can learn to thrive after divorce. Particularly for those of us who are divorced and have children, it's vital we heal our own emotional issues so we can be present, loving parents. We need to do a better job of keeping our children out of the potential crossfire of divorcing adults.
Life has a way of throwing us curve balls which act as cosmic wake-up calls. For me, it was getting divorced from my high school sweetheart after 20 years when my children were only 3, 6, and 9. For others, the curve ball may be losing your job, facing a health challenge, or losing a loved one. How we handle those curve balls teaches us who we really are. I look upon my divorce experience not with regret or pain; I look upon my divorce with gratitude as one of the greatest gifts of my life because of the woman I've become as a result of my journey.
As I traveled on my divorce journey, I kept asking myself what was my motivating force that kept me going forward. What core values did I use as a compass to direct me on the road ahead? As I asked myself these questions, I kept hearing the word "thrive" and feeling the energy of that word resonating in my heart. The word itself conveys a sense of inspiration, hope, and success.
From this self-inquiry, I came to articulate what I call the THRIVE Principles ™. They are tools that can help you handle the curve balls and win every time. These universal principles and values have been taught by many great spiritual teachers and leaders over centuries of human existence. What is new, however, is the positioning of these core principles together.
T - Trust
The first Principle is to TRUST. Trust that you are made of the right stuff. You have every internal resource or skill that's needed to help you find your way through a problem. It's just a matter of learning how to access your own incredible talents. Trust that you will make mistakes and that you can learn from them. Most importantly, you need to trust yourself. You are the world's best expert on you!
H - Honesty
It's so important to learn to be HONEST with yourself and with others. Without honesty, there can be no authenticity. When you can be real with yourself and with others, they can be real with you. If you need help, be honest and ask for what you need. If you want to say no, be honest and decline. Often we say "yes" to a request just to be polite or "do the right thing."
R - Responsibility
The third Principle is RESPONSIBILITY. As many great spiritual teachers tell us, we need to be 100% responsible for our current reality. Taking responsibility puts you in the driver's seat of your life. Otherwise, you end up as the perpetual back-seat driver -- always knowing better after the fact. You get to play the powerless victim, spending time and energy blaming others and making excuses for why you don't get what you say you wanted in life. When you harness the power of responsibility, you can affect change and take action to accomplish your goals.
I - Integrity
One of the most fundamental principles is INTEGRITY. Your word is incredibly powerful and sets the Universe in motion to align with your word. It's vital that you do what you say and say what you do. If you're not going to do something, declare that fact. Living in full integrity helps you to live "in the zone" where you'll find it effortless and magical to accomplish your goals.
V - Vision
Whether you're creating a business, a relationship, a trim body, or a new hobby, you must take the time to create an inspiring VISION for yourself. Without a vision, you don't have the big picture. It's easy to get caught up in battling daily brush fires, never feeling like you can get ahead. Articulating a vision defines your true horizon. Your vision should empower you and inspire you. Holding a vision pulls you through the day-to-day challenges and keeps you in action toward your goals.
E - Expression
Human beings have a huge spectrum of emotional expression. There's rage, sadness, and fear at one end and ecstasy and love at the other. It's been said that emotion is simply energy in motion. Bottling up your emotions is like putting psychic sludge into your system. Eventually you either shut down or you get backed up and explode. It's living in our fullest expression of ourselves that we can feel fully alive.
You Deserve to Thrive
Each of us is here because we have a unique talent or gift we bring to the world. Life is full of adversity and unexpected challenges along the way. Use the THRIVE Principles ™ as the foundation for playing full out and delivering what you have to offer with passion, joy, and ease!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Success Strategist, coach and best-selling author, Carolyn B. Ellis, is the founder of ThriveAfterDivorce.com, created for divorced people who want to stop struggling and start thriving. To get free tips on every aspect of living through a divorce, from legal issues to single parenting to getting back into the dating world, visit www.ThriveAfterDivorce.com