Divorce is hard.

Divorce has been stated to be one of the hardest events in life after death.  It can be a very demanding, exhausting time in life navigating all the deadlines on top of managing real-life moving on as well as all the emotions one is feeling. However, in all of the dark and hard moments, there does come a time when you can look back and find the purpose in all of it. 

Finding out the “why” or the purpose of why you had to endure such hard times can provide that sense of understanding and empathy for yourself.  It can provide you answers, clarity, and healing to move on and not repeat the cycle that you once had to live through. 

It is important though to sit in the pain at times and not move on or brush it under the rug.  This pain or hitting rock bottom can often lead to the most incredible self-awareness.  It allows you to truly understand the emotions instead of constantly numbing the pain. 

The Pain

I remember the day.  I locked myself in my dark master bedroom closet (as I regularly did to escape the pain so my children would not see my bawling).  I was on my knees, crawled up in a ball, tears gushing down my face to a point where I was trying to catch my breath.  I knew there had to be a better life for me.  I couldn’t stay on this path, this was mentally, physically, emotionally destroying me.  I was weak, frail, despaired but had to find a way to get out.  It was at this desolate place that I asked the question to God, “Why, Why me.  Why do I have to go through this?” 

The next day, not even four months after my 4th baby was born, I received a phone call that would change my life forever.  I now had all the facts that I needed to figure out a way to leave this life that I had partaken in over the past decade and a half.  From that point forward, I knew this was the unanswered prayer that I had asked for so long.  I then knew I needed to focus on my purpose, my why.

Sitting in the pain

However, this purpose did not come overnight.  It took me months to sit with the pain of fatigue, exhaustion, and of the unknowing of what was to come from my divorce.  I had no idea how I was going to get through this and my anxiety and fear took over.  I sat with the pain, acknowledged and did not try to argue with it.  I gave myself the grace of letting go of the fact that I did not have it all together.    I soon began to realize that it was ok to feel again and in order to heal from this and to find the clarity I could not ignore these powerful emotions. 


woman keeping a journal

Finding Purpose

Psychology.com today states the following of what five purposes can come out of your pain:

  1. Cause you to reflect and make new life choices.

    After several weeks of filing for divorce, I was able to gain the strength to make a new life choice to physically move myself and the children back to my hometown where I had the support system to help. This physical space provided me with so much peace and serenity to gain clarity of what I needed to do next.

  2. Deepen your compassion and empathy for others.

    During my most painful moments I soon realized the empathy and compassion I had for others experiencing any type of suffering.  We often judge everyone by the facade of what they portray on social media, however, when you begin to become vulnerable and let people see and hear the authentic version of you, your empathy and compassion are deepened.  Your connections with others become of greater depth and value.

  3. Awaken gratitude and appreciation for what you have.  During my divorce, I was stripped of all my material belongings and financial worth. However, it has allowed me an incredible realization that all material possessions can be lost in an instance.  None of this matters anymore.  I am now grateful for the intangible values in my life that I did not lose such as my health, grit, grace, courage, and strength.  These intangibles are why I am here today standing in a more confident version of myself.

  4. Move you to take action and confront injustice.

    Since navigating the horrid trenches of divorce, I was finally able to find my voice.  I am not afraid anymore to speak of my truth and am able to confront those that don’t treat me with the respect I deserve.

  5. Inspire you to seek out healthier habits and relationships.

    I have now realized what healthy boundaries are and it is ok to say NO to others if it doesn’t align with your values.  My circle of trusted friends has gotten so much smaller because I value these deeper connections with those that are there to lift me up.  I am able to now prioritize my self-care and put my mental health and sanity at the fore-front of my intentions.

Second Chance

Over the last four years,  I have been diagnosed with C-PTSD, been through intense counseling, spent over $200,000 on lawyers’ fees, dragged in and out of court defending myself.  However, I now stand here stronger than I ever thought was possible because I was able to sit through that pain and realize my purpose of living through it.  All of that time and monetary possessions have been stripped away from me, however none of this matters.  The chokehold my past had on me has been torn away.  I have now been given a second chance of life.  A life driven with purpose, with passion, and authenticity.  I have now found my purpose.

Becoming Purposeful

Richard Leidre wrote a book, titled Becoming Purposeful.  Richard Leidre stated that purpose is not a luxury.   Purpose is fundamental to health, happiness, and healing.  Purpose is pushed by pain or pulled by possibilities.   Pain matures you and expands your endurance.  It is how and where you discover your own strength.

Once you get through the trenches of divorce you, I encourage you to find purpose through your pain.  We are responsible for leaving a legacy for not only our children but for ourselves.  We can not let the past define us rather we will learn from it, teach from it and inspire from it.


Power of One

It is incredible how the Power of One person can change your life forever.  It only takes one person to influence you, to uplift, to encourage, to empower, to change you.  My hope is that you can soon share your journey with the utmost courage, transparency, vulnerability, and most importantly GRACE.  We all have a choice to find the purpose in the pain and possibly become that  Power of One.


blonde woman looking up

Kimberlee Hoertz:  I am a believer, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a CPA, a Realtor, a leader, and now a visionary. My vision was to create a platform to inspire women to stay educated, find their voice, and speak their truth.  That vision is called The Graceful Exit.  The Graceful Exit is inspired by and rooted in, my own experience with divorce.


The Graceful Exit is for women considering or going through divorce. Designed to be a comprehensive and trusted resource for all aspects of divorce, our goal is to educate, empower, and support women as they navigate the divorce process.

But more than that, The Graceful Exit is a place for community, for shared experience, for knowing you’re not alone, and for knowing that you’re going to make it through divorce with clarity, confidence, and grace.

I hope to inspire the next generation of girls and women that walk after me to live out their authentic truth and find their own unique strength within.  And I hope that I may empower, educate, and encourage anyone who wishes to make a graceful exit from anything in their life that is holding them back from feeling happiness and joy



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P.S. Want more tools and resources to stay positive during a divorce? Download my Free Divorce Survive & Thrive Kit below!


The Radically Positive Way to Separate

Gabrielle Hartley with Elena Brower

Available on Amazon

“Potent, accessible tools for your family and your future.”
— Gwyneth Paltrow, New York Times Bestselling Author and Founder of GOOP



DISCLAIMER: The commentary, advice, and opinions from Gabrielle Hartley are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice or mental health services. You should contact an attorney and/or mental health professional in your state to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.


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