Whether expected or unexpected, the end of a relationship is always hard. You have feelings that you struggle to process. It might feel like you have to re-evaluate every single aspect of your life. You question everything you used to take for granted. The things that used to serve as your reference points, that you relied on to make sense of your world, are no longer there. You feel adrift and long for a moment to catch your breath, take stock, to just figure things out. You try to be strong and self-sufficient—especially if you have others depending on you. Sometimes you’re successful. Sometimes you’re not. You might have the support of friends and family, and sometimes that does more harm than good. Not because of what they do or don’t do, but in spite of those things.
What I’m going to say might apply to many other women (and men also), not just you. However, since you are the one reading this, I am speaking specifically to you. Not all of what I will say will apply to you exactly in the way I say it. That’s okay, because if it even partially resonates with you, you’ll know how it applies to you, won’t you?
When we are faced with something so tremendously life-altering such as a divorce we try to cope and function and make sense of what happened and what’s going on by using the skills and capabilities and meanings and frames of reference that worked for us before the change happened. We might find that it just doesn’t work like it used to, or at best it’s barely adequate. Now, since you are human you might then go ahead do more of what you used to do, because if it worked before in other situations, surely it would work here too, right? And if that doesn’t work, maybe it’s because I’m not doing it hard enough. You know, just power your way through it and you’ll get to the other side. Or maybe not. Because that’s like putting a canoe on top of the ice on a frozen lake and paddling with ever increasing ferocity, expecting to get somewhere because paddling is how you were able to traverse the lake before it froze. When things change we have to do things differently. And often we just don’t know what that different way of doing is.
After a divorce everything changes. No matter how many things stay the same, everything is different. Whether you still live in the same house or a different one, drive the same car or a something else, have your children with you or being on your own—there’s something different. And that “something different” changes everything. That “something different” affects everything. The way you used to do things are no longer sufficient for helping you deal with the way things are now. Because trying to deal with things the way you always have, now that things have changed, leaves you feeling off balance, out of step, and somehow lost. While some people deal with it better than others, no-one is immune to it.
Depending on the support you have, adjusting to this new way of being may not be as easy as you would like. Sometimes the support you’re getting is part of the problem. Friends, family, acquaintances—they try to help. Actually, you can’t stop them. Everybody knows something about something and they’re all eager to share; to tell you what you need, to tell you what you have to do, to tell you what you want. Suddenly everyone’s an expert, and they all know what’s best for you. But what about you? In your heart of hearts what do you want? What do you feel you need? What do you want to do? It’s okay to not know yet. It’s okay to want to figure it out for yourself. Because after all, when it comes to the topic you and your life, you are the expert. You are living you, 24×7. All your nuances, all those barely perceptible things that make you unique—that makes your situation unique—you are immersed in it every moment of every day. Only you know your thoughts. Only you know what feels right for you. And only you know that feeling when some piece of advice, given lovingly or not, just doesn’t sit right with you, yet you’re expected to take it on and apply it in your life.
That said, when we are in the thick of things, it’s not that easy to think clearly. Regrets of the past and fears of the future cloud our thinking in the now. And that’s why it’s okay to work with someone who has absolutely no vested interest, no connection to your circle, to help you figure things out for yourself. That’s where coaching comes in. A good coach will know to not tell you, because whatever they tell you will merely be coming from their own set of values and beliefs and perception of the world. A good coach will recognise that you are the authority in your life, so how can they tell you what you have to do. A good coach knows how to help you figure things out for yourself by facilitating you through a thought process that leads you to finding the answers that were patiently waiting for you to discover them. These might not be the popular answers or the one-size-fits-all answers that you were bombarded with by all those who meant well. However, these would be the answers that are right—for you.
As a personal coach that helps people deal with life-related matters, I help my clients to make changes to what they think and what they feel so that they can change what they say and what they do. When these things—what you think, what you feel, what you say, and what you do—are aligned, you will have congruence in your life. And when you have congruence that core essence of You, that best-which-is-within-you, shines and lights the way for you to more easily make sense of your world in a way that is right for you.
After more than 15 years of helping people make changes in their own lives, I’ve come to realise just how big a need there is among women who have recently gone through a divorce, who had the rug pulled out from under them, and are trying regain their balance and figure life out. I’ve created a workshop to help them make sense for themselves of what’s going on with this constant barrage of thoughts and feelings. And in doing so, face life and all its challenges from a place of control and empowerment.
The Regain Equilibrium workshop for divorced women takes place in Pretoria on Saturday 5th March from 12:30 to 17:00 at a cost of R550 per person. Bookings close on Wednesday 2nd March. If you have recently gone through a divorce or long-term relationship and are not having an easy time adjusting to this new way of being, you might want to consider coming to this workshop. Based on the work of the renowned pioneer of the field of positive psychology, Martin Seligman, as well as the tried and tested concepts and techniques of Neuro-linguistic Programming, this workshop will set you on the path to take back your control and again face life with a sense of purpose and direction. Bookings can be made by emailing email@example.com, or registering on the Facebook event page.
Jacques Moolman from Core Congruence is a personal coach and helps people deal with life-related matters. As an NLP Master Practitioner, he applies the philosophy, principles, and techniques of Neuro-linguistic Programming to help people live lives where authenticity, calmness, centeredness, and peacefulness is the norm, and in doing so, helps his clients to change their own lives. For appointments, Jacques can be contacted on 083 632 2290 or firstname.lastname@example.org.