Surviving Divorce -- and Making Your Life Better Than Ever

Step 2: Acceptance: Facing Your Fear

If you are going through a divorce right now, creating a new and joyful life may sound impossible. I know, because I too went through the same painful experience. But when I started using my divorce to learn more about myself -- my fears, my pain and my heart -- my life began to change in ways I'd only dreamed of. Whether you believe it or not, you too can make your divorce a positive experience in your life. Acceptance is the first step.

Getting Past the Drama

Acceptance comes when we step out of denial and judgment and are willing to see the present exactly as it exists in this moment. This means being able to see the story of your divorce for what it is, without any drama or story line. Our drama serves as a defense mechanism designed to protect us from the pain of our past. But living in the story of our divorce and the drama of our circumstances comes with a huge emotional price. It costs us peace of mind and prevents us from living in the present.

Learning to Separate Fact from Fiction

An important aspect of our healing is learning how to separate the facts from the story. Fact is an unbiased observation of the events of our lives. Fiction is the story we create out of our unresolved emotions from the past. It is rarely based on the facts. Here are some examples that can help you to differentiate between fact and fiction:

  • "My husband left me" (fact) versus "my husband left because I am unworthy of love" (fiction)
  • "My husband emptied out our checking account" (fact) versus "my husband has deceived me and ruined my life forever" (fiction)
  • "My child had an emotional episode at school" (fact) versus "my child has been damaged for life by my separation" (fiction) 

Distinguishing the facts of our lives from the fiction lays the foundation for acceptance.

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