Are you familiar with the phrase “The shortest distance between two points is a straight line?” While this may be true in math or drawing, it is not true in the journey of healing your heart after divorce.

When dealing with our emotions, progress is definitely not linear. It’s more like one step forward, two steps back sometimes. One day you’re feeling grounded and confident, and then the next you’re in pain or sadness… because it’s your wedding anniversary or you saw a loving couple on the bus.

Here are some common ways we sabotage our emotional progress and some strategies to effectively heal from your separation or divorce.

How to Sabotage Yourself

1. Judge Yourself

When you experience a setback, start to judge yourself harshly. Tell yourself that you should know better or that you are somehow flawed because you’re still feeling stuck in emotional quicksand. Withhold love and compassion from yourself.

2. Compare Yourself to Others

Another great sabotage strategy is to compare your progress to other people. Find examples of people who appear to be happy and successful and feel really jealous. Conclude there is something wrong with you that you don’t feel the same way. Get impatient and tell yourself you are being “too slow” to get over your relationship breakdown. Disregard any progress you’ve made to date.

3. Relive Negative Mental Movies

Identify experiences you’ve had in your relationship or in your life in general that torpedo your self-confidence and self-esteem. Play back those scenes in your head and think about all the things you could have or should have done differently in the past.

Strategies to Use to Heal from Your Divorce

1. Stay Present

Be present to what’s going on for you in THIS moment. Build your awareness of the present moment by noticing what is going on right now. Ask yourself how you are choosing to respond to it.

There is no personal power in reliving the past or projecting “what if” scenarios in the future. Your power as the architect of your life lies in what you choose to think, do, feel or create in this moment.

2. Dig for Hidden Treasures

Realize that your emotional journey will tend to be more of a spiral than a straight line. Issues you may feel you’ve already dealt with will often re-surface as new emotional setbacks because you are ready for a deeper understanding of yourself. Instead of viewing these setbacks as a lack of progress, see them as opportunities to discover even more personal wisdom. Ask yourself, “What can I learn now from this situation?”

3. Acknowledge Your Wins

Refuel yourself emotionally and spiritually by acknowledging your wins. A powerful tool is to journal at least 10 self-acknowledgements daily. Take the time to celebrate and acknowledge your progress to date, whether it’s having taken the time to get to the gym or reaching out to a friend so you could talk. Stop taking yourself and your progress for granted and be sure to consciously acknowledge yourself.

Author's Bio: 

Carolyn B. Ellis is the Founder of Thrive After Divorce, Inc. A Harvard University graduate, Carolyn is a Certified Master Integrative Coach, Teleclass Leader and the first Canadian to be certified as a Spiritual Divorce Coach. She has also served as a Staff Coach at the Institute for Integrative Coaching at John F. Kennedy University in San Francisco, CA, and has been trained personally by its founder, NY Times best-selling author Debbie Ford. Her award-winning book, The 7 Pitfalls of Single Parenting: What to Avoid to Help Your Children Thrive after Divorce was published in 2007. She is a member of Collaborative Practice Toronto. Her three amazing school age children and bouncy labradoodle dog are her daily sources of inspiration and joy.

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