My own divorce was three years ago. When it was finalized, l lost sight of everything with meaning in my life. I spiraled into rebellion and self-sabotage. As our marriage crumbled, I’d taken it upon myself to change who I was as a person, because I felt that it was my fault that the marriage was deteriorating. But I came to realize that the marriage with myself is what I never allowed to heal properly. We have to accept and love ourselves first before we can wholeheartedly love somebody else.
In the first year after my divorce, I learned survival through things like meditation, travel, therapy, research into interesting topics like self-help, and daily introspective writing.
During the second year, I took steps toward discovering who I truly am. Again with the help of a therapist, I was able to peel away the layers of myself that led me to live “unconsciously” for so many years.
This last year, I finally learned how to be compassionate toward myself. I accepted that I’m where I’m meant to be. It’s been a very freeing year. I live day to day and just be with myself. Unlike in previous years, I don’t feel compelled to do anything specific. I’m letting myself just be me.
I’ve also come to a very clear understanding of the mistakes I made in the past. In a marriage, two imperfect souls accept each other as they are, and vow to grow simultaneously as individual people and as a unit. Marriage involves love, vulnerability, empathy, understanding, compromise, strength, and maturity amidst the difficulties and obstacles that life throws our way.
Divorce is another new beginning. It gives you the opportunity to reflect on the things that went wrong, and to take an introspective look at yourself. It’s a chance to learn more about yourself, and to find things about your ex that you can appreciate on the level of another teacher in your life. After my divorce, I learned more about myself than I did at any other time of my life.
The first few months were difficult for me. Time moved so slowly. My friends and family spent hours calling me, invited me over for dinner, and shared endless words of comfort and wisdom. It felt like an out-of-body experience.
I immersed myself in my work to avoid feeling pain. I began waking up earlier and falling asleep earlier than I did before. I had anxiety attacks, and I started meditating more often. This served to reaffirm my decision to create changes in myself. I’ll forever feel grateful for my therapist who guided me through this time and guided me on my path to healing and self-improvement.
Here are five things that helped me heal from my heartbreak, improve myself, and love myself after my divorce. I hope you find them helpful, too.
Don’t Cloister Yourself indoors
When you feel down, you may feel lifeless and want to stay in bed. But you have to fight those feelings, get up and get out. You won’t immediately feel better. But after a few hours of engaging with other people, laughing and receiving moral support, you will definitely feel better.
Let Yourself Feel
Don’t avoid your feelings. If you need to talk to somebody, do so. If you don’t have somebody, try to write down the thoughts that are running through your mind. If you feel like you need to laugh or cry, don’t hold back. Feel it, experience it, and release it. It will then be able to dissipate. Don’t avoid your feelings; in the long run, you’ll bring yourself more harm because any pain that gets buried will eventually resurface.
Seek Help From a Professional
A life coach can guide you in every session and hear you out. Sometimes we need another’s perspective and experience to help us understand what we’re going through. A therapist can provide you the tools you need to move forward. They can help you reach your goals of self-acceptance, healing, and true love.
Don’t Rebound into Another Relationship
When a relationship ends, you’re in a tender phase. It will take time to work out your feelings of loss, discomfort, and hurt. You may think you’re ready and what you really need is to meet new people and to be friends first. But if the right partner comes along, you’ll know it. Take your time and don’t rush.
Break Contact with Your Ex
Staying in touch with your ex often brings more harm than good. It can even affect other relationships. To move forward, you need to create distance from your ex. Otherwise, you’re just prolonging the pain and may even be engaging in a relationship in which one person will get attached and the other will get hurt. You need to let go and in favor of the only relationship worth keeping—the one you have with yourself.