Is the future of what is playing in my mind inevitable? I kept thinking about this - it was like it was on a loop every morning when I woke up. I was filled with this dread about my future. I was thinking "what if I am just fooling myself? What if I really can't pull this off?" My mind started playing games with me. I decided to start reading A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle because it was time. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired and all I could think was: "Omg, Tanya - you've had breakups before. Let it go." The truth is that I had trouble letting go of any relationship. This was a problem I used to have my entire life. So this was good! I identified something that was going to help me: I had to learn to love myself more so that I could let go of what was bad for me, to let go of what I didn't really want but was afraid to let it go completely for fear of losing myself, too.
I began wondering how I could actually change my mind. Could I just decide to be a different person? Just change my mind about everything? I mean, it's my mind, and it has 44 years of practice thinking all the things, dealing with all the love and all the loss I've experienced and getting lost in the ego side of myself: the one that was led around by her fears, her need to be loved and never abandoned, never rejected. The one who was pretty desperate to make others happy because, let's face it: most of us were raised with this "if you're okay, then I'm okay mentality." I needed to slow it down and stop needing to be all things to all people. My mind needed me to give it a chance to catch up.
One of my favourite interviews ever has just recently happened in this hour long masterclass I've just shot for my membership site, Divorce Detox Tribe (link is at the bottom). The class is with Katie Phillips and she goes on to talk about how we are all taught how to behave, how to be. We are taught from such an early age that if we do things to make mommy and daddy happy, then we're okay, too. And it's so true: we see them upset, and we want to make them happy with good grades, doing things around the house, making good drawings, etc. While all of those things are great, we are taught not the intention around doing those things, but to do them in order to feel validated and accepted. How true is that? Katie has helped me so much with my thinking about my life and my behaviour habits and patterns and how they have all led me to where I am now. Part of getting through my divorce was realizing that the whole thing had less to do with him and more to do with me and unhealed trauma and feelings from my past that were created sabotaging patterns of behaviour over and over again. It's amazing how my language went from how "he" was trying to ruin my life to how "I" was trying to ruin my life. It's funny how, when we don't actually heal from the pain from our past and we keep lumping thing on top of thing, we start to blame the only person we think we can: our mothers or our ex partners. At some point, we have to really look at the events of our lives and say "how did I manage to bring this in to my life? What am I doing that is giving me these experiences I don't want?"
Something else I learned in school when I was working on my psychology degree was about congruency, and I might butcher this a little so stay with me: who we are and who we think we are, are often so very very very different. We think we're one way and it's usually all the good things: we're generous, kind, patient (or maybe we could use help here), we're happy, optimistic people, etc. But we don't allow much room for "maybe I'm not as generous as I think I am," or "maybe I'm not as nice as I want to be." If we don’t leave room for these possibilities, then we won't have anything to really work on. This is one of the reasons I feel like divorce is such a gift: we are literally forced to look at what's happened, and when we get sick of those lies we'll tell ourselves at first, we'll be open to the possibility of real change. Because deep down we know that we are meant for more: more happiness, more abundance, more self love, more adventure, more daring risks…we know it in our gut. And we would be right. You're right! Your life experience should be all those things. So how do we get them?
I always say that if you had a plan for your life, it would be so much easier to build around it. Think of a blueprint for a house: once you have the blueprint, it's not like you can just add things to it, especially if it's a tight plan. You've thought of it all, and you're ready to build. You know where all the walls are going to go, you know how much space you have for the things you want in your house. You know where you're building: what's around you, what school your children will go to…I mean, when you have a plan, you have a plan. Now imagine if you had a plan like that for your life. You know who you are, where you're going, what you need to do to get there, and how much time it will take. You know every single step and what needs to be done every single day. Now how many different kinds of people are you willing to allow to distract you, mess with your head, take you off your path, treat you poorly? Not many, right? First of all, you wouldn't have the time. And that right there is the point. When we have too much time on our hands, or the time we do have is spent poorly, then we have tonnes of room to over think, over analyze, victimize ourselves and sit in all the muck and mire of our life choices. You know what they say about idle time, right? You have to first accept your reality for exactly what it is, then you have to have an awareness around what you want for your life, and then you must set the intention to be open to learning and letting life lead the way. Katie always says that life is meant to support us, and we have to then trust that life will bring us exactly where we need to go, so be open to it when it comes and allow it to come in. Surrender to it.
Changing our perspective is not as hard as you might think: find someone in the online world that you admire and learn from them. Read their books, follow them online, do their course, interact with them. It's important that you start to surround yourself with the kinds of people who will lift you up, give you new things to think about, support you with strategies and tools so that you can start learning new habits and patterns of behaviour. The only way to change your life is to actually change the way you do things. Baby steps: but you have to actually take them. Before you know it, an entire year will have passed and you will either still be stuck or you'll look back and not even recognize the woman you are now, so start thinking about this now.
You're probably wondering how to keep your mind positive, especially when you're in and out of court, especially when your narcissist ex has the kids and isn't even spending time with them, especially when your ex is lying about you to everyone who will listen. There are a couple of things I would do. I would tell myself that this is just a moment in my entire life, and that I'm meant to go through this. "This too shall pass, this too shall pass." That was a common thought. I remembered that my soul journey is not to get caught up in one person or one experience and that I'm meant to grow from it, so what do I need to learn? This ex of mine is one single person, so was I going to let his actions (or my poor judgements) derail me from finding my life's purpose. Absolutely not. Why? Because I was tired of being a sucker. I was controlled from the inside of that relationship and if I let the end of the relationship do me in, I would be allowing him to control me from inside my head. No thank you. It's one of the reasons you have to think "good riddance" if your ex cheated on you and he's still with the other woman. GOOD RIDDANCE. I had him for too long and now you can deal with him. It's all about moving on. I want to say, on that note, too, that another good thing to do that speeds up your healing is to think good thoughts about your ex. I know it’s hard: he was a total shit. He was difficult. Maybe he cheated. Maybe he's a narcissist whose only goal in life is to make you pay for the fact that he was born. I get it. Trust me, I get it. But you're not him. And your life experiences are not the same as his, so we need to let your ex be your ex and you need to get back on track to living a life where you no longer have to defend yourself constantly, you are no longer being made to feel less than, you can now breathe and start to create a life you want because you're no longer consumed with him and all his problems and issues. It's time to move on. One book I absolutely love is called Mindset by Carol Dweck - if you can't read it, then get the audible version.
I'll end this on this note: you are the creator of your reality by what you're choosing to focus on. If you're having a hard time thinking because of the stress and anxiety, I know that nothing seems to help. But try going outside and sitting in nature and just breathe. I know it won't work for a long stretch of time the first couple of times you do it, but you'll start to get longer and longer moments of peace with practice. And you'll feel so much better for it. Cry if you feel you need to: let it all out. This is a time of personal growth for you, so it's important that you start. This is a new year and it's filled with so much possibility, but you have to make time. Even if it's in your car. Even if it's in your pantry while sitting on the floor eating chocolates. You have to start somewhere. Comment below or hit the Facebook follow button at the top right of your screen and let me know what you're thinking.
If you're ready to get some help with what you're dealing with come on over to https://www.tanyadube.com/DDTsignup and learn about my new series of masterclasses with world renowned experts in the Divorce Detox Tribe membership.
Lots of love, Tanya-Marie xo
I've created a free Facebook support group for women who are going through divorce, where we are able to talk, share and help each other as we all go through this.
You're not alone. Click the button below and it'll take you to the group. I can't wait to meet you!