When going through a divorce, you have a unique opportunity to craft the rest of your life – to write your own divorce story.
You have a choice to act in integrity with your own core values as a person – or to be in the grip of your own emotions – fear, anger, anxiety. You can choose to be proactive or reactive. Those who make the best of a difficult transition, do so because they make a decision to be the best person they can be, regardless of events, emotions, or another’s actions.
Those who decide to be proactive feel the best about the divorce process, and end up with a result that actually works for them going forward. It’s a forward-looking and inward-looking choice about who they are, what they want to do, and where they want to go, rather than reacting to where they’ve been and what has happened to them.
When I was in law school, I had a chronic illness and in my second year, I was hospitalized for 10 days. Upon release, with exams fast approaching, I was sick and very weak from from the illness. I was young, and this sickness was a major interruption in my life. I gave serious consideration to whether I was going to wallow in my sadness. I decided I didn’t want to be a person defined by my illness. I took steps to define myself in the way that I wanted.
Just as I had a choice, so do those going through divorce. Take the time to sit and write your divorce story. List what’s important in terms of how you comport yourself in the world.
- Who am I in this divorce?
- How would I want my children to describe me in a year or two as a person getting divorced; as a parent getting divorced?
- How would I want to think about myself?
- Would I believe I acted in a way that I could hold my head up about, or am I going to feel bad about how I behaved, how I define myself and what’s important to me?
Write out how you want to face the challenges brought on by the divorce process, and the kind of person you want to be. Writing it down, reviewing it, taking the time to hone it into a sort of mission statement to guide you through the process, will make it more concrete, easier to remember and to abide by.