A Crash Course in Thriving After Divorce – Part III

Continuing our discussion on Thriving After Divorce… To move forward and thrive, one must make changes and alter old behaviors. This requires a deeper understanding of who we are and why we behave as we do. By observing our patterns of behavior, we can learn to modify and shift techniques, developing new methods that benefit us and help us thrive.

If you truly want to grow and prosper after divorce, it is important to study your behavior and seek to understand yourself on a deeper level. This may sound easy, but most of us do not know ourselves very well, at all. We think that we understand who we are and what makes us tick, but in fact, it is much more likely that our co-workers or family members have a clearer understanding of who we are than we do. People who spend a bit of time with us are usually better equipped to see us as we really are, without all the built-in distortions and biases that we have. This is relevant because if we want to create a new, exciting chapter in our life, we are going to have to begin paying close attention to our behaviors, becoming aware of ourselves on a deeper, less-biased level.

To flourish in the future, it benefits us to study our past and present choices and behaviors. When we’re able to take a clear, honest look at our personality, choices, internal dialogue, and reactions, we will observe where we get derailed, reactive or tend to shut down. Being able to do this with a great deal of compassion and respect for ourselves, rather than judgment or criticism, is very important. After all, we learned many of these behaviors for coping with hardship and disappointment very early in our lives. The techniques we used were often survival tactics designed to calm us or make us feel safe. They have been in place for many years, and even though they do not serve us well now, it still requires great patience and practice to implement new behaviors.

In observing ourselves closely, (you can also ask close friends to help you with this), it is wise to notice our feelings and reactions with compassionate awareness. In this way, we’ll see where we get sidetracked or triggered, and we’ll observe what causes us to choose safety over more fulfilling options. Once we become aware of the defense mechanisms that we’ve had in place for years, we can begin creating new behaviors that take us out of shutdown defaults and allow us to make healthier, more fulfilling choices.

Our past is a master teacher, offering countless clues for a growth-inspired future. As we study our past with understanding, we can appreciate why we chose what we did, observing that those choices no longer need to dictate our current choices. Entrenched behaviors, over time, can change as we develop new patterns that are more in line with the expansive, growth-oriented person we’re becoming. Learning the lessons tucked inside the old behaviors offers insight and understanding, allowing us to create new thought patterns and behaviors. Now, rather than making choices that keep us safe and small, you can make choices that move you into an amazing, self-directed, thriving future. It really can happen. It just takes time and hard work. Be patient…

Weekly Dose Divorce Support Group

Denise Palmer


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