Following my divorce I started to look inward; and how or what role I took in this life-altering circumstance. I think this is a healthy and necessary process for anyone. Anytime you are going through a major change in your life. I believe it is important to examine who we are and taking inventory of our selves. When we do this, from my experience. It allowed me to recognize what strengths and weaknesses that I brought during and after separation. This was not easy for me, nor will it be for anyone to do regardless of the circumstances. It’s never easy to look at yourself and see the negativity, faults, or even what we did wrong. Instead of pointing the finger or blaming my ex for the fallout of the relationship. I decided to take another approach and look at myself. Yes, at first there was a lot of anger and frustration at the situation. But, I soon realized that was unhealthy and counter-productive to me. This was only hurting one person, me.
Once I realized this, I set out to reflect on how I could turn this fallout into a windfall for me. I say windfall as what I was about to do for myself, was “a piece of unexpected good fortune”. Of course, I realize this now, looking back at my process and how I went about making a drastic change for myself. These are the top 3 things that I focused on; to catapult my negativity into a positive healthier version of me.
- Questioning my dating/relationship history
- Mind and attitude check
- Learning to love me again
The very first thing that I started to do is questioning my ability to have a positive caring relationship with another person. For me, this was the most important to moving forward. I was so stuck on the “why me” until I realized that this was directly connected to the history; that I had with men. So I began to look at the types of men up to this point, that I dated. There was one common denominator that stuck out. I recognized the men that I dated were broken in one way or another or were the control type. I liked to fix people and that was unhealthy. Please note that I am not attacking men or stating they are all like this. This is just based on my personal experiences. Once I resolved this, it gave me the power to take mental notes in future dating situations.
The next thing that I did was inventory my mindset and attitude towards life. I can honestly tell you that my attitude had tanked; even people at work had noticed I was not my usual happy go lucky person they knew. This reflected in my work. My mindset was not much better, as the mindset and attitude go hand in hand. So again, I looked at changing this by starting with small changes. Like recognizing negative thoughts that crept into my mind. Quickly making mental notes and changing my responses. To reflect a more positive and empowering thought. It did not take too long before this began to occur subconsciously. I do want to mention, as most of you will know. This was not an easy process; as it did take serious effort on my part. This was a big one and now that I know the “triggers”, I can now recognize them.
Learning to love yourself is a hard process. Learning to love me again was not only uncomfortable but tough to do. I would even say awkwardness at best. The thought of looking at myself in the mirror was difficult. I did not like the person that was staring back at me. However, I forced myself to take a long hard look at myself. I began to take inventory of my face, demeanor, the way I was positioned in the mirror. After a few attempts, I began to give myself words of support and encouragement. Of course, at that moment I started laughing thinking of the SNL (Saturday Night Live) Stuart Smalley, Daily affirmation. If you remember this one from 1991. You’re probably laughing as well, at this moment. This is when I started placing affirmation statements, empowering quotes on my bathroom mirror. This was very helpful for me. It gave me time to read it out loud every morning.; as I get ready for my day. Another way that I look at it; is why should I wait for someone else to compliment me. After all, since I am my own worst critic. Why not be my biggest fan.
Nevertheless, once I started caring about myself again. My attitude at work starting to change for the better. My outlook on life at this moment is a hundred times better. The first time in a long time I finally know who I am, what I need, and most of all. What I don’t need to be happy. I would like to end this by stating; like anything in our lives. This too takes work and will not come, if you do nothing about it. I have waited around long enough for someone to save me. Now its time for me to save myself.