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.

just felt like writing you a love letter

I've been thinking about you a lot these days.  I've been wondering what I can do to let you know that there are people who understand.

Because I know it sounds hollow for a total stranger to say, "I love you."  You might say, "But you don't even know me."  You might say, "I'm not even that lovable.  In fact, if I'm so damned lovable, then why am I even in this situation?  Why did I have to take so much, for so many years, just to try to be loved?"

But that's why I'm writing you this letter.  Because I do know.  I do know the part of you that is soooo tired, and has been trying so long, for such a long time.  The part that feels like it's been trying so hard, for a whole lifetime, to measure up, to receive just a little praise, to feel like you got it right once in a while.

To feel like you are the first choice.  The first one picked.  Not the runner up.

You're still waking up on the middle of the night.  You're still scared stiff when you look ahead and try to figure out what's worth living for now.  You wake up each morning and truly have no clue why you should get out of bed.  Except that you have to.

It's just so lonely.

I know that you might be at the point where no one wants to listen to you anymore.  And, actually, you don't blame them.    They're tired of hearing the same things over and over.

You're tired of thinking and feeling the same things over and over.  What he did.  What he's doing.  Who he's doing it with.  How you're being left out to dry with practically nothing.  Or, at least it feels that way.

All of the above has happened to me.  All of the above has happened to every woman I've worked with.

That's why I want you to believe me when I give you a big hug that I hope you can actually feel over there, right where you are . . . and . . . promise you that you can 100% definitely be at a little bit better place within hours.  And be in an even better place within days.  And be in an EVEN EVEN better place in a week . . . and then two weeks . . . and then a month.

You are not in a bottomless, endless pit of grief that you can't do anything about.  I don't care what you read on the internet, or what others have told you.

Yes, I have read those things, too.  This pervasive "truth" that it has to take years to get over your divorce, and that you just have to slog through all of the "stages of grief" really makes me steamed.  Who would want to get up in the morning if you think that this is what life has in store for you?

My message for you today is, please, stop believing that your life is toast.  Cross that out every time you think of it.  This is poison, and haven't you been through enough already?  Be your own best friend in this moment and tell yourself that you are no longer going to torture yourself.  You may still have to put up with him, to an extent, but you're not going to do this to yourself.

Delete those thoughts the way you would delete a mistake when you type.  Highlight (identify the bad thought), delete, and replace it with something hopeful.  If you read some of my material on The Dynamic Divorcee and believe in me, just tell yourself "Rosetta says my life is going to be awesome."

I have a lot more blog posts to help you, daily posts on my Facebook page, and sometimes, there are even chances to talk with me one-on-one for free.  Yes, you can even get access to me, personally.  I am really here for you!

This is not just an impersonal "love 'ya, babe" love letter.  But, I want to close it in a little bit of a tough love way.  You're going to get to a point, somewhere along the line, where it's no longer acceptable to you to feel this terrible every single day.

You're going to be ready to start getting on with it.  You're going to be ready to hear the message that you are a beautiful, unique, incredible woman and human being.  That everything you've gone through in your marriage and divorce was put there to teach you about your magnificence.

Maybe that day is today.  You can do it.  I am really here for you.  And, if you look around, you can open up to signs of love and support everywhere you go.  Is the sun shining on your beautiful face?  Does the air smell fresh today?  Is there a cup of coffee that feels so good in your hand?  Did someone smile at you today?  (Power tip:  If you want to see smiles, give one yourself.  Just say to yourself, "I'll start.")

Start small.  Keep mentally deleting the can't-do-nothing-about-it bad thoughts.  And know that I really am with you.