I lead Divorce support groups- for both women and men- who are starting the separation/divorce process and they are going through the very difficult challenge of beginning to accept "what is now"- Their lives are changing at an unbelievably fast speed- they cannot recognize their spouses and themselves- especially if they are embarked on a legal, financial and emotional battle- and they feel as if an earthquake, a tsunami and a tornado are all happening at once- at the centre of their homes and their entire beings- and their fundamental sense of identity and what has been so very well known to them up to now is no longer recognized.
Below are some statements shared by group members in the last few years?
"After the earthquake, tsunami and tornado, the morning after we find ourselves emotionally and physically homeless, depleted and devastated."
"Divorce destroys our self-esteem and self-confidence."
"Where do we begin to try to re-claim ourselves?"
"Divorce diminishes our trust in others and in our capacity for love and connection". "Divorce shatters our dreams and what we thought was a definite vision of our future".
"Divorce forces us to live a life- a reality- a present- we do not recognize. We do not recognize the face that looks at us in the mirror."
We begin the group by defining what the beginning of the healing journey is:
Acceptance, compassion and mourning.
We have to finally accept that this is happening- that no matter how much we do not want it or how much we resist it- divorce is what is taking over our lives right now- and as difficult and painful as this is- we have to come to terms with what is.
We do not like to feel so down, depressed, sad, scared, confused, angry, resentful, lonely, hurt, abandoned- and so many other very difficult and dark feelings we are feeling- but this is a normal reaction to the devastating loss of divorce- and we need to learn to be compassionate towards ourselves and these feelings.
And before we are ready to depart of the journey and move to the next destination- we need to begin the mourning process- which has to do with accepting what is, accepting our feelings, and feeling them with all of their intensity- face them, confront them, feel them, and not try to resist them or deny them.
Mourning and grief has begun when we allow the feelings to come in and we are in touch with them- Resisting them will only keep us stuck and will not allow us to- eventually, gradually and when we are ready- to begin to open new doors and envision a new life.
Acceptance- Compassion- Mourning- Acceptance-Compassion-Mourning.
We need to stay here- master the task at hand- and remember we will not be here forever- just for right now.
And we will then be ready to travel to the next destination and stop of our journey....