“How am I supposed to be a single mom of six children, get a job, and move?” asked a young client. As her marriage unraveled, the reality of how life would change began to sink in. It wasn’t pretty.
The overwhelming number of shifts in life that divorce would bring left Jenny feeling a victim. A victim of her marriage. Of her circumstances. Of her past. Victimhood paralyzed her.
But, she found a way out.
Shift from “I can’t” to “I choose.” Working with the divorce coach in her mediation, Jenny learned to replace every “I can’t” with “I choose.” This one shift made all the difference.
When Jenny focused on what she couldn’t do–the sense of being a victim took deeper hold. The shift to “I choose” focused Jenny’s thoughts and creativity on those elements she could control. With each shift–Jenny made choices that opened doors. Confidence replaced victimhood.
“I can’t raise six children by myself” became “I choose to focus on these three priorities with each child.” “I choose to frame our day’s flow in this way.” “I choose to partner with their father and encourage his parenting so that I can get the rest I need.”
The “I can’t afford our home” became “I choose to live in this rental because it gives financial freedom.” The “I can’t handle a move” became “I choose to pack four boxes per day.” As Jenny focused on what she could do, victim became conqueror.
Those going through divorce suffer losing their dreams and, often, living in a situation they don’t want and didn’t choose. That creates a sense of victimhood which can make divorce hard to survive. Taking hold of the power of choice shifts from victimhood to conqueror. Life may not be ideal. But, making choices creates elements in life that are desired, workable, and “ours.”
This is just one tool for surviving divorce. If you have others, please add them.