Use Your Divorce for Positive Transformation
A Positive Transformation
Divorce is a painful process, no question. Even if you know with all your heart that the decision to end the marriage is the right one, it hurts to say goodbye to your dreams. Unfortunately, the divorce process can make this pain even worse. The adversarial nature of a traditional divorce not only tends to ratchet up hostility but encourages you to play the blame game and wallow in the flaws of your marriage and former spouse.
It’s easy to get so caught up in this vortex of negativity that you can lose sight of the fact that divorce isn’t just an ending, but a beginning. And although it may not seem like it, you have the power to choose to break away from negativity and make your new start a positive one.
My guest this week did exactly this. Deb Purdy is a transformation coach, speaker, workshop leader, and author of the book, Something Gained: 7 Shifts to Be Stronger, Smarter & Happier After Divorce. Deb successfully pulled herself from out of a messy, painful divorce spiral to create a collaborative and friendly relationship with her ex-husband, who she considers her co-parenting partner. She feels she’s been transformed in a good way by her divorce and is even grateful for it.
Deb and I spoke about her divorce journey and the seven internal “shifts” she believes individuals must make to turn their divorce a positive, transformational experience.
Divorce as a Life “Do-Over”
When Deb was going through her divorce, she fell into the usual dark abyss of blame, anger, regret, shame, failure, and judgment. After a particularly fraught conversation with her soon-to-be-ex-spouse, she despaired over the fact that, divorced or not, they would have to continue a relationship for many more years, until their then-young children were grown. She felt unhappy and stuck in a toxic situation.
But one day, a simple yet extraordinary thought occurred to her–that she wasn’t stuck at all. She realized that she had the power to reinvent divorce for herself and that the divorce was granting her a life “do-over,” except this time, she had more experience and wisdom.
After this revelation, she began to thinking of both her marriage and divorce as a “learning lab” to discover more about herself and how she could move forward in a positive way. Thanks to this shift in mindset and critical examination, she was empowered to design the post-divorce life she wanted to lead for herself and her children, and build a healthy relationship with her former spouse.
Upon reflection, Deb realized that she made seven internal “shifts” to turn an ugly divorce experience into one of peace and gratitude.
Shift Your Perspective
Each of the seven shifts is fundamentally about changing your perspective on divorce. Most of us have a negative perception of divorce. We’ve heard terrible divorce stories of families and friends, seen too many movies and television shows about ugly divorces, maybe even got the message from our community that divorce is wrong or a bad thing.
So, we often go into divorce expecting a bad outcome.
Deb believes that if you learn to reframe–or shift–those pessimistic notions of divorce into empowering concepts, ideas, and practices, you can rewrite the script for your divorce and post-divorce life and create the experience you really want.
Making these internal shifts will help you to transform your relationship with divorce itself, allow you to set intentions that improve your inner and outer life, and help you break free from destructive post-divorce storylines. They’ll also help you to transform any anger and blame you harbor toward your spouse into peace, acceptance, and personal empowerment.
The shifts extend to family and friends as well. They’ll enable you to change the conversations you have with loved ones about your divorce so they can better support you and help your kids thrive post-divorce. Finally, the shifts will help you to see your divorce as a life “do-over” and as an amazing opportunity to reinvent yourself.
Deb’s book challenges you to break down much of the unhealthy thoughts, assumptions, and stories we comfortably cling to after divorce. Although it’s challenging and deeply personal work to make these changes, it’s worth it to regain ownership of your life after divorce.
Read the rest of our series: “Rewriting Your Post-Divorce Storyline”:
- Shift #1: Culture Shift – Transform Your Relationship to Divorce
- Shift #2: Intention Shift – Decide How You Will Be in Divorce
- Shift #3: Story Shift – Change Your Divorce Story
- Shift #4: Shift on Your Ex – Find Peace in Your Relationship
- Shift #5: Shift the Conversation – Help Loved Ones to Support You in Divorce
- Shift #6: Kids are Shifters Too – Helping Your Children Thrive Post-Divorce
- Shift #7: Shift On – Enjoy Your Life Do-Over After Divorce
How Can We Help?
If you’re considering divorce but would like to try an approach that might mean a brighter future, call our team to schedule a confidential consultation.