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Going From Bitter to Better

By Lisa Brick

For many of you who have found your way to Journey Beyond Divorce this divorce may not be your first. Your first experience with divorce may have been when your parents split up. The relationship you have with your spouse is also rarely the first contentious and painful relationship in your life, although it may well be the most agonizing. There are a number of you who have experienced other challenges in your childhood home, including neglect, substance abuse, sexual abuse, and violence. All of these experiences compound the pain around the discord and dissolution of your marriage.

“Your relationship may be "Breaking Up," but you won't be "Breaking Down. "If anything you’re correcting a mistake that was hurting four people, you and the person you’re with, not to mention the two people who you were destined to meet.” 

D. Ivan Young, Break Up, Don't Break Down   

As we coach your rawness, vulnerability, and exhaustion come through. We too have experienced the pain and chaos that it's so easy to sink into. You are not the only one to have these experiences. There are others who have come before you who have found a way back out and up. You will be able to as well.

In the meanwhile, while you are in the throes of divorce, regardless of whether there has been financial ease or lack thereof in your life, there there has been consistent emotional dis-ease. When there is financial ease yet emotional dis-ease there is this tendency to feel that since you have what you need you should be grateful and make the best of the rest. Unfortunately the emotional dis-ease eats away at the ease of having opportunities and things, making it an empty and isolating experience.

“Everyone wants to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone
who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” 

Oprah Winfrey

When there is financial lack there is a tendency to imagine that if there was more money life would be sweeter, easier. Being open to new ideas, strategies, and taking new and different actions to create an increase in financial as well as emotional ease in your life is a worthy and healthy pursuit, one we support 100%.

Regardless of financial ease or lack thereof, there are times when life is very difficult and it is hard to see anything but the problems in the past, in the present, and in the future. The experience is of a never ending darkness with no end in sight. This is the experience in the present yet it can be the crucible into a very different and much more rewarding future.

The universe gifts everyone challenges in life, one way or the other.  At Journey Beyond Divorce we approach these challenges as the very evolutionary pressures that have the potential to make you stronger, clearer, and more capable than those who came before you.  We support you to find ways to step up, step through, and evolve.

Today I choose life. Every morning when I wake up I can choose joy, happiness, negativity, pain...To feel the freedom that comes from being able to continue to make mistakes and choices - today I choose to feel life, not to deny my humanity but embrace it.

Kevyn Aucoin

Allowing yourself, with love and kindness, to truly grieve the understandable pain you hold inside allows you to move on and take off. The grief of disappointment, loss, being failed by those you love and depended upon are real, understandable, and appropriate.

Understanding the emotional roller coaster you are on, and knowing that this experience is common and unavoidable is important and helpful. There are various levels of thoughts and emotions that you and everyone else going through divorce moves through in a cyclical fashion. Two of these levels emanate from the oldest and most basic portion of your brain, the ancient reptilian brainstem.  This part of your brain is about survival, either fear and paralysis simulated by the idea that you will not be able to survive or anger and aggression towards whatever and whomever you perceive as threatening your survival.

It is often the case that at this very basic survival level you pingpong between feeling the victim and determining that you will be the victor. At these levels you are either retreating into exhaustion and hopelessness or coming out to fight. When you win you feel good temporarily but there is always collateral damage. In addition, sooner or later you will run into adversaries that are stronger and find yourself back in fear and paralysis. Ultimately these two levels are exhausting and will perpetuate the very situation you find yourself in today or recreate it again in the future.   

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it.  

- Charles R. Swindoll

The next three levels are increasingly constructive to yourself and those around you. They utilize the capabilities of your more advanced brain regions.  At these levels you begin to approach situations with greater logic and less raw emotion, start to analyze different approaches to discover solutions rather than perpetuate problems. Once logic comes into play understanding is possible. Understanding leads to seeing your adversary in a different light, possibly even with compassion for how stuck he/she is. Once you’re seeing your situation from this vantage point the benefits of the dissolution of your marriage become visible.

The next two levels engage your imagination and creativity. You increasingly lead yourself and others towards creating a life of your choosing, working smarter with a minimum of effort and clear intentionality.

“When you concentrate your energy purposely on the future possibility that you aspire to realize, your energy is passed on to it and makes it attracted to you with a force stronger than the one you directed towards it.” 

Stephen Richards, Think Your way to Success: Let Your Dreams Run Free

At first you may need support to get past the first two levels. With support you can begin to visit the next three levels more easily and eventually get there more often. By the time you are visiting the middle levels on a regular basis you will find yourself beginning to venture into the top levels every so often while falling back into the lower levels less and less frequently and staying there for shorter and shorter periods.

If you find yourself ping ponging between levels one, two, and three: feeling the victim of circumstances, ready to fight but exhausted, and recognizing logically that the situation you and the children are in is unhealthy and you would be wise to change it be patient and kind to yourself. This is where you are at now, not where you always will be.  

By consciously introducing compassion for yourself, your children, and your situation you raise your level to a more productive level.


Kindness has a power.

Kindness and taking action that comes from a clear and intentional place shifts dynamics.

Continuing to utilize kindness and continuing to take actions from a clear and intentional place leads  people and situations from lousy to lighter and begins to set an example for others who choose to do the same.

Each of you have traveled a difficult road to get to where you are today...stop repeating what got you here.  Begin to open up to new ways of being and doing.  Keep going.  Here and now is a tough place to be.  It may be a dead end for your past yet it is a launching pad for your future.  Steer by the light and aim for the stars.

Lisa Brick, Journey Beyond Partner

Lisa Brick

Our team of coaches at JBD is passionate about helping men and women navigate the emotional difficulties of relationships, breakups and divorce. We work together with you to open the possibility that your current relationship challenges can lead to a rewarding voyage of self-discovery and an immensely more pleasing life experience. Together we create a path to clarity. Find out if Coaching is right for you, and accept my gift of one FREE session.


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