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It’s Not Fair!! How to accept our changing circumstances

Uncategorized Jul 15, 2019

How do we accept circumstances that have turned our world upside down, ended our dreams, left us living a life we did not plan on and DO NOT want? Finances are tighter, alone is lonelier; fear is more overwhelming, finding joy seems impossible.  How do we wake up every day and live a life we don’t want?  What exactly does acceptance look like? 

We wake every day feeling our pain and discomfort with our current circumstances.  We often wish we could just climb back under the covers or go through the day yearning for bedtime once again. We feel our hurt and anger, our confusion and uncertainty.  We dislike, no hate, our current situation and see few if any choices that can change our situation around.  We really just want our old life back or at least the dream of what it was suppose to be.  We are in resistance. 

When we resist what is we unwittingly choose to live in the very pain that we desire to escape.

Our resistance exists when we are focused on living in the story of what has gone wrong with our lives. The truth is what happened in our marriage IS devastating.  Every divorce situation is hard and I have heard more heart breaking stories of how marriages have ended from infidelity, financial betrayal, abuse, addiction, abandonment and more.

 

Accepting that we are in a heart breaking painful experience requires that we take the time to feel our pain.

Our pain lies underneath our anger.  Part of grieving is wrestling with the denial, anger, and depression that arise when we are hurt in this way.  There is a time when we will shift from the problem that we face to the solution that we desire.  We begin to ask ourselves, what’s next and how to I pick myself up, dust myself off and begin to look forward and believe in new possibilities. When we do this consciously, we open the ability to choose to shift into a forward thinking, solution oriented consciousness.

 

This shift requires us to acknowledge that while we may want what we had (or parts of it) that is no longer an option. We begin to look at what we want by saying YES, this has happened, it sucks, it hurts AND it is my reality.

 

Do I want it to define me? No.  If I resist it long enough or hard enough will it change? No.  Do I want to stay in this hurt and angry place? Yes? No?  When I know the answer to the last question is NO, then I can consciously begin to focus on what I do want, what I choose to take my focus off the problem of what happened and onto the solution of what I want to create in my future.

Living in our story and the resistance that brings up shows up first in how we think about our circumstances:

  • I will never be happy again.
  • I will always be lonely.
  • I lost my home and will spend the rest of my life living in a basement apartment.
  • S/he is happy and living a great life with someone else and I am stuck here with the kids, the overwhelming bills and no one to help me.
  • I have not single friends and don’t know how to start my life over and don’t want to.  I should have to.

When we think these and other similar problem focused thoughts, we fall into depression, hurt, worry, sadness, anxiety, anger, bitterness, etc.

 

Focusing on what’s next, we open the possibility to affect positive change in our life…one baby step at a time:

  • I am sad and alone and I want to trust again and I will love again
  • I am fearful of my financial stability and choose to educate myself and I will begin a new career.
  • I am lonely and don’t know how to date and I want to learn and to enjoy a healthy relationship.
  • I am hurt and angry and know that I can learn and grow through this and become a healthier person.

In the early stages of divorce it makes sense that you will deny, resist, feel depressed and angry.  However, if you find yourself stuck in that place without even small signs of progress toward accepting your circumstances, you may be choosing to stay stuck in your story

Here are some helpful steps to move you toward acceptance:

  1. Begin a simple meditation.  Spending just 3 – 5 minutes each morning and evening sitting still and paying attention to your breath will help to center you.  Watching your thoughts come and then letting them go without attaching to them we help you become mindful of the thoughts your attach to.
  2. Become on the lookout for ‘loop thinking’ that derails you. If you find your mind replaying your story over and over, becoming mindful will help you notice where your thoughts are taking you.
  3. Shift your thoughts. If you keep looking in the rear view mirror, ask yourself how that is benefiting you.  Along with your new mindfulness, you can choose to shift those thoughts as they arise.
  4. Create a gratitude list.  You will need something to shift your thoughts to.  Write a list of everyone and everything you are grateful for.  List three new things every day and carry them around. When you want to shift your thoughts, think about those things.
  5. List all the things you enjoy doing.  If you don’t enjoy anything right now, list those things you have enjoyed throughout your life.  They are a part of you and can be a bridge to reconnecting with yourself and beginning to live into a new future filled with your passions and interests.
  6. Reach out to a friend and make plans.  Beginning to make plans, be social, find enjoyment in the things you care about will be a vital step to recreating your new life and living into acceptance.

Share with us ways that you have shifted from resistance to acceptance and how that has helped you along your journey.

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