It was 9:00 am on a Wednesday as I sat in an office I had become way too familiar with.
I was in my second year of my divorce mediation. As I sat across from my soon to be former husband, I did not recognize the man that I once knew and I’m sure he would have said the same about me.
It has been several years since my own divorce, and what had been the biggest challenge of my life, is now quite clear, also my greatest opportunity. It was during the challenge that I was faced with a choice. I could let the anger and sadness take over or rise above, dig deep, and learn just how powerful my own thoughts can be. I found my superpower.
It was during that moment that I realized, who I wanted to be inside that mess. As soon as I accepted the situation that was in front of me, I gained an openness to become aware of other perspectives. Chances are that my former husband had his own fears, unknowns, and his own story that he had been telling himself. I knew he wasn’t a bad person, quite contrary which made it easier to understand his unrecognizable actions. He was scared.
The shift in perspective allowed me to let go of my overwhelming emotions and blame that were not going to serve me in order to move forward.
We all have a choice to decide what story we are telling ourselves about what has happened in our lives. It is all in the power of our thoughts. Once we gain access to those higher thoughts, we will begin to understand, gain clarity and take back control even in the most out of control situations. We learn to control the controllable.
How to control the controllable
1) Accept your thoughts
It may be difficult to accept the situation that you are in before you identify what’s going on in your mind. When you are experiencing life setbacks and challenges, often the noise in your mind with looping thoughts make it difficult for you to see through the clouds and make sense of what’s happening in your life. What if you imagine that your thoughts are the clouds floating across the sky? Accept that they are there and just let them be. Once you accept the thoughts that pop in your head, you will gain an awareness which will bring you back to the present to stay focused and centered.
2) Name Your Emotions
The simple practice of naming your emotions, is a way to gain control during a stressful life event. Like accepting your thoughts, give yourself permission to accept your emotions.
Say it like it is. “I feel angry” “I feel scared.” “I feel sad”. Whatever the emotions may be, name them. You may even want to go a step further and write them down in a journal. This exercise allows you to acknowledge what you are feeling. Try not to edit your emotions or grammar.
Journaling is an exercise that is just for you. Do not minimize how you feel, just the opposite. Exaggerate your emotions. When you put a name to the overwhelming feelings, you will start to feel safe within your own body. You will take back control and learn to respond from a calmer place and not react in an irrational manner.
3) Shift Your Perspective
When you gain control of what you are thinking and feeling, you will become unstuck and gain an awareness to see things in a new light. In every challenge there is an opportunity for you to grow. I promise it can be done; Even in the most unimaginable events in life, there are courageous individuals who embrace the possible for them to heal from a traumatic circumstance.
When you go through any life challenge, you might not be able to change what happened, but you can choose to see it differently. The more you start to see things for what they are, you will be able to have a new perspective to make better and clearer choices.
4) Replace the “Why” with a Sigh”
When you are faced with a life challenge, you may get stuck in the why something has happened. You may find yourself repeating certain scenarios or conversations to try and make sense of what occurred. You might have every reason to be sad, mad, overwhelmed and wish it never happened, but the fact is that it did. The sooner you accept the reality of your current situation, you will begin to feel a sense of release and freedom.
When you decide to let go and trust yourself rather than to blame, you will start to listen to that little voice, your inner knowing. It has always been there; you just
learned the tools to wake it up. Allow the challenge to evolve into a sigh of relief and begin to reap your opportunities that lie ahead.
5) Think Higher Thoughts
The power of your thoughts is simply to elevate your thought process. To learn how to accept, control and redirect your thoughts when you feel paralyzed in a life event. I do not expect you to welcome an unfortunate experience with open arms. Only to be open to your own superpower.
The more you practice the skill to control the controllable, the easier it will become. You will feel more at peace, happier and to put it bluntly, more of a badass in your everyday life.
It is during the challenging moments in life where the magic happens; Your hidden opportunities become your true gifts.
Choose to think higher. You got this!
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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
THE PRIVATE DIVORCE SOLUTION
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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