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Is your emotional toolbox empty?

Uncategorized Apr 10, 2019

When struggling with the difficult emotions that come with divorce, having an easily accessible emotional toolbox to grab when we are in crisis is invaluable.  Much like attempting to do a small job around your home and not having the power screw gun (I am constantly in this position) or the basic wrench or ratchet set makes a relatively easy job incredibly difficult.  So it is with navigating our emotions.

For decades, there has been a program that has helped millions of people through emotional struggles with a robust supply of tools, one that provides a tool solution for virtually every problem.  I am referring to the 12 Step Programs.  These programs were designed for people struggling with an array of addictions and for the friends and family of the addict or alcoholic.

While there is not a 12 Step program for divorce, all the same rules apply.  Take note as I run through many of the sayings and slogans that were my life preserves as I navigated my own divorce.  Those of you who coach with me know that I am always throwing them out for you to catch and hold onto.

Now, ‘Take what you like and leave the rest” as one of the 12 steps sayings go…

Fill your Emotional Toolbox with the slogans and sayings that work for you:

One day at a time

Life is incredibly challenging when going through divorce.  When we try to wrap our brains around all the changes, all the decisions, all the uncertainties and fears at once, we become paralyzed.  Taking it One Day at a Time, or one hour or one minute at a time, enables us to find some grounding, stay in the present moment and regain a sense of control over what is right here, right now.

How Important is Is?

When our nerves are on edge, tensions are high, sleep is fleeting, anger and resentment or hurt and betrayals have become our daily companions, it is easy to react to everything and make mountains our of the small stuff.  Taking a moment, before we react to ask ourselves How Important is It, will reduce the added stress that we experience when we unconsciously engage in arguments and conflict.

This too shall pass!

During my 3+ year divorce I wore this saying out.  So often I felt at the end of my rope and could not yet see a light at the end of the tunnel.  Telling myself that my situation was temporary, even though it seemed endless, helped me to keep my head above water.  The one constant is change and no matter how hard your situation is right now, This too shall pass!

Let Go and Let God

As our lives change and we desperately attempt to control the shifting pieces of our lives, there comes a time when we have done all that we can.  To continue to try to control is exhausting and insane.  Let go and let God reminds us to surrender the outcome and trust that there is a higher power that has our back.

Say what you mean, but don’t say it mean

When we deliver our message with an attitude, what is received is the attitude and not the message.  It serves no one and while it may feel good in the moment, the opportunity to communicate something is lost and the enjoyment in zinging the other person is short lived.  Learning to be clear in our communication while leaving our emotional load out of it, enables us to communicate with respect and grace.

Keep your side of the street clean

It is so easy to know what ‘their’ problems are and what ‘they should’ do to fix things.  Keeping our side of the street clean, keeps the focus on the one thing we do have control over, ourselves.  If you are getting divorced, to focus on your soon-to-b-ex’s behavior is like trying to steer the sailboat by grabbing for the wind instead of the sail.

There are many more slogans and sayings and I will continue to share these with you.

Tell me, which of the above saying will you add to your emotional toolbox?  How do you feel they will help you?

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