Divorce is something you will never forget, no matter how hard you try to, at first life is a whirlwind. There’s a lot of adjusting and a lot of worrying about what’s next for you and your child(ren). You are likely more concerned about what is the best way to try to keep your child’s life as “normal” and less effected as possible. You can easily forget about you and your emotional health. This trait is one of a great Mother, but potentially harmful to your mental health. I will always mention I am a huge advocate of self-care! If we don’t take care of ourselves we cannot be there for our family and offer them the very best of us.
I am here to tell you that there is life after divorce, and a good life! Do not alienate yourself because you are not alone. So many of us go through this, and not enough of us talk about it. Unfortunately, it is sometimes apart of life. It happens! You don’t have to be embarrassed or feel humiliated, I say all of these things because everything I am describing, I experienced . It was such a waste of stress on myself because I now know that I didn’t deserve to feel this way. I am also thankful that I did experience these emotions because I can instruct you not to slip into the trap of questioning yourself. When you’re living in it, it seems there is no light at the end of the tunnel, but I’m here to tell you that there is! Like, so much light Sis. Brighter than you would’ve ever imagined. Hang tight…
Once you unapologetically realize what has taken place and the initial shock of it all has worn away, you will be able to put your big girl panties on and roll with the punches. Now, this is your reality it is not punishment, although it may seem like it at first. Once you reach this point then you reach a point of freedom. It’s freeing to think to yourself “this has happened and I am going to be OK!” Because you will. You are in control of your mind, your thoughts, and what you choose to focus your energy on. Change your mentality to think on positive things, only speak encouraging truths out of your mouth, and focus on uplifting thoughts. Once a negative thought or worry creeps into your mind, combat it with words of affirmation. This won’t be easy sometimes especially when for example, your Ex-husband is fighting you for child custody or behind on child support payments, but remembering you are in control of how you react will change your mindset.
I am the last person to tell you to react “maturely and nicely” because most times I did the opposite. Divorce is an ugly process and requires a lot of energy from you but once it’s all said and done….you are done! It’s over, finished, a wrap! Move on with your life and give yourself the happiness you deserve! It’s time to get back to you and the things you want to do! Focus on bettering yourself in some form whether that be going back to school, focusing on advancing at your job, starting your own business, writing a book or writing out your thoughts each day.
I’ve learned that being a Mother is a magnificent aspect of life but it isn’t the only thing in your life. You still have gifts and talents and as long as you’re still breathing you still have a purpose to live out. Life after divorce can be a great one if you create that! Being a single Mother can be special. Of course we don’t wish for these life changes but if they happen, make the most of it. Don’t compare yourself to anyone, you’ll be setting yourself up for disappointment, because no ones journey is the same. Soon you will figure out why yours is significant. Be patient with yourself, your healing, and your journey. This mess will soon turn out to be a masterpiece. It’ll work out for you and your children’s good as long as you keep that faith!
I am still on the journey but if you read my very first blog post, “Divorce, Debt, and Doubt,” you will see that my introduction to Motherhood was one filled with a lot of uncertainties and a lot of pain. What I chose to focus on was the fact that I had a brand new daughter that I was responsible for and I had to pick up the pieces and make things better for us. I am not where I want to be, yet but I am so much further than I was, and that is the purpose of life, making progress. The biggest change has been my outlook on life and my faith has been strengthened in many ways. What I would like for you to take away from this if you’re in the process of divorce, newly divorced or questioning whether to get divorced, is that life is not over. It’s the beginning of a different but new journey, and this journey can be fun and exciting.
Fight for your marriage if you’re questioning divorce and give it 110% and do all that you can to make it work, but if there is no way of reconciliation and you find yourself at a dead-end, don’t let the reason you stay in an unhealthy marriage be because you don’t think you can make it because you can. Divorce is like a death, it’s an ending, grieve it and allow yourself to heal from it and continue to move along in life. You will find love again if you want it. But your emotional healing has to be priority to be able to accept someone else into your space after you’ve been hurt.
Don’t punish a potentially good mate for someone else’s mistakes. If you aren’t ready then wait and take your time. Be proactive and get help when you need it. Never be afraid to ask for help, even the most successful people you see out here reached out for help at some point to get to where they are now. The load becomes so much lighter when you have someone to share it with. And if you feel you have no one, feel free to email me, I am not a therapist but I can offer some encouragement. Know that you are stronger than you give yourself credit for and life doesn’t stop after a failed marriage, it’s just the beginning of great things for you and your child(ren)!
Here is a list that helped me:
- Get in touch with your feelings: Many times as black women we think we aren’t supposed feel, that’s a lie! You can still be a “strong black woman” as they say, and still experience a plethora of emotions. As a matter of fact you should. Deal with it now so you don’t have to deal with it later. Be OK with just “feeling,” divorce is a death of a relationship but also a rebirth of a new you.
- Reinvent Yourself: Try to turn the negative into a positive and explore something fresh in life. As I mentioned earlier get back to the dreams you had for yourself and capitalize on them. It can be something as small as journaling each day to gather your thoughts. Or, it can be something major like starting that business you’ve always dreamed of. Whatever it is make a commitment to better yourself into someone you’re proud of.
- Read inspiring content: Sometimes it’s easy to sulk and dwell in the sorrow of disappoint and embarrassment. Getting on Instagram and reading all the men bashing meme’s won’t help you change your mindset, sis. Choose inspiring, positive, and uplifting books to shift your outlook. Because what you take in is what you become. The book that inspired me the most and gave me so much hope was Sara Jakes-Roberts, “Lost and Found.” She was so transparent and relate-able telling her story. I will always be thankful that she allowed herself to be completely vulnerable. I know through her transparency she ministered and healed thousands of readers!
- Fall in Love with Yourself: It’s not uncommon that after going through a hard time your self-esteem and self worth has been slowing chipping away. Even though the marriage has ended nothing else has, you’re running even more with really no time to yourself. Take a moment to remember YOU. Don’t forget all of your Magical qualities that makes you so special. Love yourself intentionally and be easy on yourself and know that when you have a self love, it shows!
This is just your reminder that if you have experienced a divorce you are still valuable and loved. That is your past and it does not define your future. As stated in the scripture Proverbs 31:10, your worth is far above Rubies. You’re fearfully and wonderfully made. God made you in his own image; in other words you’re a Goddess! Until next time…