You’ve been through the divorce, settled into the new custody plan, the drama and pain are over, now what? When you go through the breakup of a family the wounds take a long time to heal. Quality of life may have deteriorated financially, self esteem may be bruised, trust may be broken, bitterness may have unknowingly moved in and depression can be at your back door. How do you break through all these negative possibilities to a new positive horizon?
Well, things don’t change overnight, but amazingly, many baby steps can lead to leaps of progress. You can stay in the old hurtful familiarity of your life or push through to the new! There are some key components to this breakthrough however.
1. Develop an attitude of gratitude. Learning to be grateful for your life for all that you have will go a long way in taking you out of the muck and mire. When I was in a dark place at one point I used to tell myself when I would start to sink that at least I wasn’t taking my child to a chemo session or that I didn’t have to go to dialysis that day. It would remind me that there are things going on in this world that are always worse than my problems. When I was driving my car I would be appreciative that it was operating properly and not costing me oodles of money in car repairs. I would not even allow myself to gripe about the rising costs of gas as I commuted to my home; I was thankful for my job and a home to go to. Realizing what others are facing did not make my problems go away but put them into perspective. It’s when we lose this perspective that we end up bitter, angry and hurt.
2. Remember the glass really is half full. Learn to think and speak positively. One of the most draining conversations is gossip. You never go away from these conversations feeling good because 99% of the time it is ‘putting someone down’. When I worked in an office and was surrounded by this kind of negativity, I would make a concerted effort to bring in the positive or literally change the subject. In any conversation we always have a choice to join in, change the direction or simply walk away. Choose your words and actions carefully. Make the effort to seek out the good in any given situation. The negative is always pointed out in bold letters but sometimes you will have to locate the good in the fine print; it will be worth your effort.
3. Break through the grind! Sometimes life’s mundane routines can work us into a grind and if we are not careful, will suck the joy right out of life. If you are only going to work, being a responsible parent, paying your bills, etc etc. you will soon find yourself having a very boring lifestyle. ‘Status Quo’ may be good but sometimes you have to just ‘break out of the box’. Always be willing to add new things to your life. This could be as simple as incorporating a new exercise or hobby into your life or taking an exotic vacation. Learn a new language or learn how to sew. Take dancing lessons, learn a new computer program, have a family ‘crazy’ night with your kids, sport a new hairdo, learn how to cook a new kind of cuisine; the list can go on and on. There are simply way too many opportunities to improve one’s life and have a good time. The one thing in life that you will never run out of is the opportunity to learn something new!
The old saying that ‘life is what you make it’ is absolutely true. There will always be obstacles and barriers in life but how you break through those obstacles is what will determine the quality of your life; remember, this is not a ‘dress rehearsal’!
Read more at AboutTheChildren.org