Becoming the best version of yourself

Can you grow after divorce?

on June 11, 2012

Seeing divorce as an opportunity for growth?  Surely that must come on the “post” side of divorce because living through divorce is always about the opposite.  It’s like a destruction derby.  The life as you knew it is destroyed.  There is no growth there – if anything the whole thing makes you want to shrivel up inside like a wilting plant that’s had no water, no rays of sun, no fertilizer, no care.

The divorce process for me was long and drawn out and extremely painful both emotionally and physically.  You come out the other side and growth is the last thing on your mind.  You’ve been run over by a freight train and you’re trying to pick up the pieces.  How can you grow?  There were so many steps backwards that involved great frustration and self-doubt.

There is no easy answer for you, wish there was.  Every day is an opportunity for growth so perhaps taking baby steps is the way to achieve it.  Set some achievable goals that can be measured.  I’m not talking about the kind of things you think about for New Year’s Resolutions, but actual tangible, measurable goals that can be achieved.  Be honest with yourself.  Let’s try a little exercise – and this can be for post divorce recovery or any kind of growth you want to achieve.

Pick five areas in your life that you’d like to grow in, or change, or focus on to become happier.  These need to be tangible goals that you can measure.  Write them down, then put them in a safe place (that you’ll remember) or give them to a friend or family member to give to you in 12 months, one year!  You might be surprised.

I did this once as an exercise for an organization that was promoting leadership skills.  They kept them for us and mailed them to us after that 12 month period.  I admit I had forgotten.  When I received the envelope, I knew immediately what it was (after all, I recognized my own handwriting on the self-addressed envelope!).  There is this moment of doubt of thinking, “Did I do it?”  What a pleasant surprise to open it up and go over the five goals I had laid out for myself.  I had achieved them.  I had made a plan, challenged myself and achieved my growth.

Yes, you and I can both grow after our divorce, but only if we start somewhere.  Are you ready to start growing?


4 responses to “Can you grow after divorce?

  1. For a while I was spinning down a hole. Now I finally feel like I’m climbing out and beginning to do things for me. I sure hope I will… no, I take that back.. no hope. I WILL learn and grow from this, even if it kills me 🙂

  2. Jinx Chiles says:

    You are a great writer… is not that easy to achieve goals immed. after divorce. Most women are faced w/ great financial difficulties and have to go to work. Sometimes, there is no luxury time to think about anything, but what you HAVE to do. It helps to be positive, of course, but first we have to face reality and figure out what to do about that….Jinx

    • Finding a job post divorce, finding a place to live, figuring out your budget, all those are goals you can set for yourself and part of growing. What I advocate in the growth is not a luxury, but taking care of yourself and learning how to be the best that you can be now that you’re on your own. Being positive always helps for sure.

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