As I was raking my front lawn the other day I began thinking about being independent and self sufficient. Chores like that have a way of creating that kind of thinking in me. Sometimes I can feel myself slipping in to a little bit of self pity, but I try to not stay there too long. Most of the time I feel extremely grateful for all I have and for the life I live.
What really caught my attention was the thought that for the first time in my life my sense of self is coming from within rather than from external sources - like a spouse, parent, friend. Like many people I measured how successful, nice, special I was from the opinions of others. I am surprised by this unexpected gift of self appreciation and love from divorce.
When we are in a partnership we often lose a piece of ourselves. In a healthy, balanced relationship this doesnít happen, but all to often we have codependent relationships that are completely out of balance. If you are very recently separated or divorced it may seem impossible to see anything positive from it. Give it some time.
The biggest gift that we have after the end of a relationship is time. Time to heal, time to get to know ourselves. For many the first thought is to replace the relationship with another one. Often, when this happens history repeats itself because one hasnít taken the time to learn the lessons from the last relationship. Remember, no matter where you go there you are. There is a reason that second marriages have a higher failure rate than first ones. If you donít take the time to see what worked, what didnít and get to know and appreciate yourself it will be the same marriage, different players.
Look at this time as the perfect time to get to know you. You may begin to find parts of yourself long forgotten. I found a whole new career, lost forty pounds, became passionate about fitness and health and in the process found me.
I feel I am a better mother than ever before because I take care of me. I am showing my children what a happy, personally fulfilled person looks like. I allow them to be their own people because my self esteem isnít tied up in them performing to my expectations. I have discovered the joy of knowing, loving and accepting myself and am teaching that to them. Wouldnít it be great if we could all give that gift to our children?
In my work as a personal coach I give my clients field work to do. My field work for you today is to write down as many things as you can that are special and wonderful about you. Next, think about something that you used to love to do that you donít take time for any more and see if you can find a way to pursue it. Is it painting? Reading? Kite flying? Whatever it is take time for you. Appreciate the wonder that you are and know that who you are and your uniqueness is not defined by one relationship. Embrace yourself and in turn embrace life
Submitted by: Candace Hammond * †
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