Are you flooded with documents that have verbiage such as litigation, custody, child support, alimony, mediation, petitioner, respondent, hearing date, rulings, request for order, etc.? Just reading these words is enough to kick your anxiety into overdrive. I remember a time when I did anything and everything to avoid reading court documents and attorney letters. The site of them would literally be enough to suffocate me.
It’s hard enough coming to the realization that your marriage is over. The proverbial body isn’t even cold yet and already you are getting slapped with way more than you can chew. More than likely one of you didn’t even want the divorce, but suddenly it becomes a race to get to the finish line. Whether you wanted the divorce or not, it’s time to get to work and handle your business like a boss.
Here’s what’s on your to-do list:
1. Remove yourself from the victim mindset. You can’t handle business if you are giving your emotions away, and you are stuck in blame mode. See this with different eyes. See it as if it were a business, and you and your business partner need to part ways because the partnership is no longer serving your vision. I know this may sound cold and disconnected, but right now you need to practice detachment, at least until you find your power again. You have invested your energy in this marriage and now you need to energetically detach from it and take back control. If you want to know how to cut energetic cords check out my blog post right here https://marisalupocoaching.com/are-you-divorced-but-still-feel-like-you-are-energetically-married/
2. Enlist a new ‘business partner.’ Someone you can trust that will help you see things without all the emotional baggage. It could be a friend, family member, coach, mentor, etc. Anyone who can be a pillar of strength for you and help you handle your business. I can’t say enough for the people who helped me through that difficult time. I remember letting documents and emails sit for days with knots in my stomach, thinking, “I’m not cut out for this.” This was something I couldn’t avoid, but until I was able to find my power again, I needed support.
Be careful not to let just anyone on your team. Whomever you decide to enlist should not throw fuel on an already burning flame. They should be able to leave their own emotions at the door and detach from the outcome. This is how lawyers do their job. They really have no personal investment in your divorce. They are there to help you move through the process. This is exactly what you need, someone who will help you move through this process and not stay stuck in it.
You certainly can have your lawyer help you with this process, but in my experience, it is very costly, and you will just be one of their many cases they have sitting on their desk. Ultimately, this is your livelihood and your family, so you need to make sure you go over everything with a fine-tooth comb. There were many moments in my attorney’s office where they were talking at me, going over all the documents, and I left their office with my head spinning not knowing what just happened. There were times I just needed someone to sit by my side and let me know everything was going to be ok. Or, just sit with me as I read through the emails.
3. Give yourself permission to practice self-love and self-care. You may see things on those documents that are emotionally heavy. There may even be lies or elaborate versions of situations that make you out to be this terrible person. All of a sudden, this person you once shared a life with becomes a person you need to “protect” yourself from. It’s a shame people feel they need to protect themselves instead of heal themselves, but the courts in my experience are not designed for healing. Healing is a personal journey that is yours and yours alone.
Self-love can happen when you switch intentions from defending to healing. Defending is a distraction. Defending is an external job, it’s on the outside of yourself. Healing, on the other hand, is internal. My healing started with asking, “What do I need at this moment? What have I neglected? How did I get here? What still needs to be looked at? How can I give more love and compassion to myself?”
I remember being in a constant fight and flight mode. There was no resting period because my mind was racing at all the possibilities. I was in protection mode. I was surviving and trying to navigate in a world I didn’t feel safe in. When we don’t feel safe everything gets turned inside out.
At this time what you need is tender loving care. Try and find things to do that will fill up your gas tank when you are on empty. Believe me, I know this is hard, but you have to find moments of joy between all the chaos. Find things to do that will take your focus off the heaviness, even just for a moment.
4. Use this time to reflect. I love the saying how you do anything is how you do everything. Those papers, documents, and orders made me feel powerless. This powerlessness didn’t just show up during the divorce process. It was there my entire life, and I was forced to face it when I had no other option.
So, what else are you running from, and why? What else do you avoid? Do you avoid conflict at all costs? Are there other situations that you felt took your power away? It’s time to go deeper and see where else this is showing up in your life.
5. Change your language! Your words carry so much power. Whatever you speak will become your reality. I want you to be very mindful about the words you are using that are describing your experience. If you are using language such as: this is exhausting, I feel paralyzed, I don’t think I can do this, this is draining me, I don’t have it in me…this will become your reality.
I get it, we aren’t all cut out to be lawyers. And yes, this process does change you. But, you are so much stronger than you think. Even if you don’t believe it right now in your body, start saying affirmations that empower you to change your mindset.
Say affirmations daily! I AM STRONG. I CAN DO THIS. I AM BOLD. NOTHING WILL TAKE MY POWER AWAY. I AM LOVED. I AM FREE. I AM GUIDED.
You may not see it now, but divorce when handled with self-love, has the capacity to grow you like nothing else, but only when you are able to point the finger inward. You have an opportunity to look at where your triggers are and heal them. I am a firm believer that there are no winners or losers in divorce, only opportunities to heal and grow.