It’s a horrible feeling to think you have nobody in the world to turn to
as you are trying to make sense of your divorce and your new identity.
But like all of these emotions we are dealing with, there
are mindful strategies that you can use to help you start feeling better, even
when you think you cannot be consoled. Let’s take a look!
Being alone does not
mean being lonely.
When we are by ourselves
after divorce, we make a false correlation in our minds. We think that being
alone is negative and bad for us. We can’t stand the silence, we feel weird
sleeping in a bed alone, and we are uneasy saying “I” instead of “we.‘’
But why is being alone a bad thing?
Being by yourself means you can now breathe and look
out for yourself for a change. You are now given the opportunity to heal
and start over on your terms—things that would be impossible to do if you were
still with someone who wasn’t giving you the love and respect you deserve.
And what we seem to forget is that even when we are with
someone in an unhealthy relationship, we can still be lonely. Do you remember
all the times when you felt the sadness and silence when you were living in the
same house with someone who was no longer healthy for you?
As counter-intuitive as it sounds, being in a house with a
partner in a marriage that is no longer healthy and still feeling alone is much
more damaging than being by yourself in a house and having the space to heal on
your own terms.
See the difference?
Loneliness is just
independence and liberation waiting for a spark of hope.
Many of us tend to view loneliness and a solitary
confinement that we can’t break free from. But I’m here to tell you that you
don’t have time for that.
Yes, you may feel like there is nobody to call or to be
intimate with. And as we try to
heal, you may sometimes feel self-conscious reaching out to friends and
family members because you don’t want to appear like a burden. Feeling like you
can’t reach out although you feel awful only doubles that awful feeling.
But, what if,
instead, you turned that sense of being by yourself into something new?
Sure, you do not have people around you, but doesn’t that
give you the opportunity to start doing things that you never though you could
do before? Instead of staying at home, you now have an opportunity to channel
that energy into attending that sculpture class, joining that book club,
planning that trip in the mountains. There is now nobody to stop you or judge
you, and you are now given the opportunity to do the things you’ve wanted to
for the longest time. Take advantage of it!
Loneliness to the Curb and Embracing the Love Mindset
The next time that
wave of loneliness hits you, instead of bracing for that inevitable despair
that you do not think you can bounce back from, think instead that you have the
opportunity to employ the following
get-better strategies. If you are unsure where to start, I have included
some of my own examples that I used to help keep the Loneliness Monster at bay.
You will see that whenever we show ourselves kindness and be proactive about
taking back our lives, we are embracing the Love Mindset.
Ask yourself: When do
I feel lonely? Are there certain events that trigger this emotion for me?
Do not spend too much time on this part of the exercise,
however. The point is to merely acknowledge your triggers so then you can move
on to the Love Mindset.
I get triggered whenever friends post photos of their engagement rings on
Facebook. It just reminds me that now I have no one.
feel lonely whenever I see a little old couple holding hands walking in the
park. I feel like that won’t be me.
Now comes the fun part…
Ask yourself: Who am
I when I am the most happy? When am I at my best?
Love Mindset: I feel really happy when I am around my dogs. There is a soft
spot in my heart for rescue dogs and I have always wanted to volunteer there.
Love Mindset: I feel that the true me comes out when I am travelling and
exploring new things. I become a curious, happier person when I am exploring a
museum with nobody there to distract me, or wandering through a new shop in a
new neighborhood in a new city, where anything is possible.
Love Mindset: All my worries seem to disappear when I am working hard in yoga
class. I love how it makes me feel and how it forces me to focus on breathing
and listening to my body. At the end of the class, I always feel relieved and
ready to take on the world.
Discovering what brings out the best in you and what makes you
happy doesn’t have to cost money. It does, however, mean that you will have
to be introspective and honest with yourself.
It can be hard to dig deep, but I promise you that it is worth it
because you feeling better and being happy is worth i
Okay, so now that you know what triggers your loneliness,
and also what makes you feel happy and the best version of yourself, we need to
bridge that gap with the final step.
Ask Yourself: What
can I do right now to summon that amazing part of me? That part that will help
me through those periods of loneliness?
Love Mindset: The next time I see another Facebook picture of an engagement
ring, I am going to look up volunteering opportunities at the local animal
shelter instead. My time and energy are better served helping those in need,
and who on earth can feel lonely while they are taking care of pups and kitties
who need a good home?
Love Mindset: The house feels so empty and I am starting to feel alone. But I
remember there’s that new museum exhibit I’ve been wanting to see. Why don’t I
check the hours and go tomorrow?
See how that exercise works?
Recognize that you deserve to be happy and understand that
spending quality time by yourself and in a life that is rich with ideas and
hobbies and things that excite and inspire you—and have absolutely nothing to
do with having a partner—can heal you. Being open to all the wonderful things
this word can offer—and fully acknowledging that you are in this world to
explore them—is the antidote to loneliness. When you begin the love story with
yourself, you always have someone at your side.
Martha Bodyfelt is a
CDC Certified Divorce Coach® whose website “Surviving
Your Split” shows readers how to
get their confidence back after divorce so they can get out of their rut and
move on with lives. For your Free Divorce Goddess Recovery Kit, stop by http://survivingyoursplit.com/ or drop Martha a line at