Divorce Healing: How to interrupt the endless waves of grief.

These days (and for way too long) do you drag yourself out of bed in the morning not even daring to think about how you'll make it through one more day?  And, do you tend to end the day feeling the same dark, tired, hopeless way?

I want to suggest something that will seem too simple to work.  You may not feel that you have the energy to start a program to feel better, or to make a commitment to take a series of steps that will lift you up.   And, you don't have to.  It might be just too much to even consider, right now.

But, wouldn't it make today a little better if you could find a way to experience a few brief moments that make you smile, or that aren't painful, and you could go to sleep tonight being able to remember a few minutes from earlier today that made you happy (just for a moment or two)?  Wouldn't even a brief break from the agony be worth it?

(4-minute video below in case you prefer to watch rather than read. Post continutes below the video.)

What is happiness, anyway?

Happiness isn't usually a time of life when absolutely everything is going your way.  Most of the time, happiness is just tiny moments of joy strung together

And it's actually possible to make sure that we have these moments of joy happen throughout the day.  But, when you're going through divorce (especially when the divorce is especially painful), finding these moments of happiness to hold on to takes a little bit of planning.

"Happiness is just tiny moments of joy strung together." -- Rosetta Magdalen (click to tweet)

Happiness treasure chest

Step 1. To bring some tiny infusions of joy into your day, take a few moments to think about songs, colors, experiences, tastes, and sights that make you happy.  (Include on this list only experiences that are good for you, so that the moment of happiness doesn't morph into something you regret.)

Step 2. Find one location where you can access your happiness touchstones anytime you need or want an infusion of joy.  (More on this below.)

Step 3. Remember to use your magical happiness list, especially when you're having a day of overwhelming and persistent negative emotions.  It's empowering to know that you can decide to stop the downward spiral, simply by interrupting it and substituting something small that brings you joy. 

I made a little free printable that walks you through this entire process.  And my promise is that you'll have a unique-to-you magical way to lift your spirits in just five minutes, no matter what (short of some major bomb-dropping by your ex).  You can get it here.

But, if it were this easy . . .

For a while, you'll be measuring your happiness in minutes per day, but if you keep intentionally placing things on your path that you love, pretty soon you'll be reaching a critical mass where you'll be feeling pretty good 10% of the time . . . then 25% of the time . . . then 50% of the time . . . . 

And part of the magic is to be truly present when you're experiencing your infusions of joy.  Really let yourself feel that you're seeing, hearing, tasting, or experiencing something you absolutely love.

Notice if you have some feelings such as, "How dare I feel happy right now!  I'm supposed to be feeling miserable/sad/angry . . . ."

We have a lot of control over how long we suffer and how much we suffer during and after divorce.  Finding moments of happiness and daring to let yourself experience them is a first step toward taking your power back.

And you don't need anyone else to participate in order to be happy.

And, guess what?  None of these tiny bits of joy requires the participation of another person.  You can give yourself these moments of joy right now.    Anytime.  Anyplace.  And you can do it again whenever you want.

If you'd like to have me walk you through this process, you can get the printable here.

Time commitment to try this: About five minutes to answer a few questions on the printable that will help you get in touch with things that bring you real joy.  Maybe another ten minutes to follow the instructions to create a "home" for your happiness experiences.  (It can be as simple as a list, or as easy as a place online -- I give you a couple of easy suggestions.  And that's it.  You'll have your happiness treasure chest ready for whenever you need it.)

As always, if you try this and it helps, please comment below, because it will encourage others to try this simple, but powerful idea.

When it's over, but you can’t let go

Welcome to a series of world-class master coach videos I’m sharing on topics that are key to emotional healing after divorce. Iyanla Vanzant is an American inspirational speaker, lawyer, New Thought spiritual teacher, author, life coach and television personality. She is known primarily for her books, her eponymous talk show, and her appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Scroll down past the video for top divorcée takeaways on letting go, in case you'd like an idea of what's covered before watching.

Divorcée takeaways on letting go:

  • There’s a part of you that doesn’t believe that you are able to satisfy your own needs and desires, and that you need the other person.

  • That part of yourself is looking for someone else to give you what you don’t believe you can give yourself.

  • Whatever you believe you received from the other person (peace, joy, love, fun), you truly have it all within yourself.

  • Your soul is urging you to acknowledge, accept, and appreciate that you are complete.

  • What you’re reaching for out there is something that you have to find within.

  • This is not to minimize the heartbreak of losing an important relationship.

  • This does not mean to force yourself to stop loving, but instead to give yourself permission to stop yearning and to find a way to give yourself what you believe the other person took with him.

  • The reason you can’t let go is that we were taught to believe that we need someone else to focus on in order to experience love -- and this is not true.

  • Your train of thought (yearning, pining away) is what keeps you stuck. Your misery is not caused by the breakup itself.

  • These thoughts are grounded in lack of self-value and self-appreciation. Train your mind to focus on you rather than on the other person.

  • Every time you are feeling sad and missing the other person, take a breath and change the thought.

  • Take a breath and say, “I’m loving me right now.”

  • When you feel you’re really ready to let go, be careful not to entertain thoughts about why the relationship went wrong, what the other person did or said, who he is with and why he is not with you.

  • Refuse to let yourself entertain any thought that will lead you down a path of suffering. Replace that thought with a loving thought about yourself, even if it’s just, “I am okay. I can do this. I am choosing to let go.”

  • Choice is your power.

  • Don’t deny the part of you that still wants him back. Give that part of you a voice. Write out those feelings or talk about them with someone, but don’t give these thoughts permission to take control.

  • The part of you that knows it’s over must create and maintain boundaries. No booty calls, no phone calls in the middle of the night, no stalking.

  • Let the part of you who knows how to maintain your own dignity take control. Tell yourself, “I know you want that, but it’s just not good for you.”

  • You are the love you want and the love you seek.

Would you like more help around letting go of your ex?

If you feel you’re sinking or stuck in dealing with your emotions (as you navigate separation and divorce, or as you try to heal emotionally after divorce) why not schedule a 30-minute virtual coffee date with me? You'll get immediate help and techniques to feel better from the moment you get on the call. (And if, after our call, you don't feel our time together was helpful, your $25 payment will be auto-refunded. There is nothing to lose, and you will feel better fast.)

Click this link to learn more. You’ll click the date of the appointment time you’re interested in, and you’ll be walked through the process.