David’s Divorce Dictionary: I is for Inner Peace
Definition: Inner Peace is the ability to calm the crisis of divorce by experiencing one’s emotions in broader context
A wise elderly gentleman named Dr. Alphonse M. Tatarunis—a recovering alcoholic, high-school-music-department-head-turned-stress-management guru—once explained to me, during a period of deepening doldrums, that I should never expect to experience perpetual happiness.
However, he assured me that I could attain a steady state of inner peace.
“What is the difference?” I challenged.
“Well, David,” he said, “inner peace is accepting that life is not always happy. It has constant ups and downs, and sometimes feels quite brutal. So live through the down times with the inner peace of knowing that life is actually behaving quite normally.”
Divorce can be one of those terribly brutal but quite normal times. Here are some tips for summoning inner peace when in the divorce dumps:
- Find perspective: Divorce is bad, but many experiences in life are worse.
- See divorce as powerful medicine: A bad marriage is like a cancer on your emotional and physical well-being. If you don’t treat cancer it will metastasize and kill you. Think of divorce as chemotherapy or surgery—tough medicine which may inflict some damage but is administered so that you can return to healthier living.
- Find meaning: The love of friends and family can blossom when divorce impacts your life.
- Embrace new beginnings: Almost everyone makes it through divorce and eventually leads a better life. Instead of thinking “I have to start all over again,” think: “I get to start all over again!”
- Do the right things: Take deep breaths. Get counseling. Exercise. Make music. Take a road trip. Go to a comedy show, and if you can’t laugh, keep going until laughter returns.
What’s the Takeaway?
Life after divorce does exist. No matter how tumultuous and tragic life during divorce may feel, practice these five tips and incorporate elements of peaceful living into your experience.
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