Finding the Gifts Divorce Brings

Karen BigmanMoving forward

With the holidays approaching many of you going through the process of divorce may be dreading what will happen when you spend the first major holiday without your kids. It takes a lot of time to adjust to life when a traditional two-parent family is no longer intact. The new “normal” means creating new traditions and rituals and occasionally having to cope with being alone at a time once filled with life and joy.

To some, the divorce was anticipated and even welcomed after a long unhappy period. To others blindsided by divorce, the shock still may not have worn off. Regardless, the holidays are a tough time, particularly when there are children involved.

One of the best things you can do is to retrain your brain. If you repeat a thought often enough, it becomes embedded into your neural pathways. The issue with divorce is that there are so many negative thoughts it feels overwhelming even to go to a happier place.

In her book “Presence,” Amy Cuddy, famous for studying how the way you comport yourself or pose can affect your feelings of power, says the way in which you tell your story also affects your mental health. When it comes to tough times, if you can shift your perspective it might make the rough times ahead of you ever so slightly more bearable.

What if you thought of your divorce as a gift? I know, the one that keeps on giving or taking as the case most likely is. But try it out. Here are eight ways divorce can be a gift:

  1. You have the gift of time on your hands when your ex has the kids.
  2. You have the gift of opportunity to restart your career.
  3. You get to date again, this time with the benefit of experience.
  4. You can restyle yourself & your home – your wardrobe, your hair, etc., the way YOU like it.
  5. You can manage your finances, your job, your kids or your household independently.
  6. You can find a new home and make it entirely your own.
  7. You get a “do over” and can now create the life YOU want!

This holiday season, take the “gifts” divorce has given you and celebrate your new life. Who knows what treasures await you in 2019?