Divorce is hard and it can leave a lasting impact; and yet this divorced mum is living her life full of joy. I was intrigued to find out her secret to such happiness. Gita shares her truly inspirational story with us.
I went through a very bad divorce nine years ago. I had started learning about self-development, psychology and spirituality; and actually this was what brought me to divorce: because I finally realised the situation I was in. I couldn’t see it previously, but now I was willing to learn and grow – and my ex-husband was fighting it and trying to stop it. There came a point when I had to go.
The beginning is hard
The first years were the most challenging. I was so scared. When you have children and you’re totally dependent on your husband financially, it’s very scary. I found it difficult to ask for help from other people, I was very insecure.
There were nights when I was crying and thinking “I don’t know what to do”… I was super stressed. He took me to court trying to take away the children, and I really had to learn to stay calm, step up and speak up. I felt like a captain steering the ship through rough times.
There’s a lot of fear and anger in divorce, but there’s also sorrow. You spent years with your other half and had lots of fun and good times along the way – and now it’s all gone. There’s a lot of grief; divorce is a grieving process. And there are the practical things: I had never had to take care of all the bills before, but now I had to take care of everything.
I viewed divorce as a challenge – how you approach it and think about it matters. I had days when I felt very sorry for myself; but then you take a shower, put on some makeup, put on a nice dress; and take action.
Go through the pain
At the beginning a lot of emotions come up – and it’s important to let them come up. Don’t suppress your emotions because they will come back in ugly ways. It’s important to feel those emotions even if they’re not pleasant.
To heal the pain is into the pain, not away from it. Instead of denying it you have to embrace it. Pain, fear, anger; you need to face them and get help processing them.
It can seem to be easier to be in the victim mode and blame the ex – but is it really easier? That means you’re stuck in bitterness and can’t move on. Blaming him won’t help. Of course you’ll be angry; and you have to express it, but again it doesn’t really help the situation. You’ll just carry the resentment in yourself and it will make you sick.
You need to let that anger out in different ways: go to boxing classes, talk to friends who get you, speak to a mentor. You need to go through the pain, you need to let it all out and not carry it in yourself – and then you can really be free and enjoy life again.
Divorce is an opportunity for growth
Divorce is like a school, with the possibility of growth. I had to learn that this was to do with me: I needed to heal myself so I don’t attract the wrong type of men – because I realised it was me who attracted him. I had to step up, I couldn’t escape by hiding and pretending everything was okay when it wasn’t. I saw there was something about me that I needed to work on; and I put the focus on healing myself and learning.
I tried to look at things from a different perspective: divorce is a situation that’s meant to teach you something. Your ex-husband is terrible perhaps, but he is just mirroring the things you need to see in yourself and heal.
Recognising our faults can be painful at first, but it helps when you can see your ex not as your biggest enemy, but as a person who showed you what you need to improve in yourself. This terrible relationship and divorce showed me how much I needed to heal and take care of myself. This is the key, healing yourself.
I realised that I was always hiding behind someone instead of living my life. If I hadn’t had a divorce I would continue to hide. I was scared to come into the spotlight because then I have to be myself, I have to take responsibility – but the divorce pushed me to do it. By doing things that I like I also became more confident and joyous. I was like “oh my goodness, there are so many possibilities”.
I don’t say every day goes smoothly. You have bad days sometimes. But we’re allowed to have bad days, it’s part of the human experience.
Focus on your own wellbeing
For mothers it’s especially important to take care of themselves, because children need them and depend on them. A happy woman is a wonderful mother; it’s as simple as that.
My main focus was on my children and my own wellbeing. I tried to do everything to heal myself and to enjoy life. I went to many self-development courses, read books, and went out to see people as often as I could. I didn’t have much time, but when I did I used that completely for myself, because as a mother you need that.
Being a single mother is enormously hard. You have to be both the mother and the father, take care of the finances, the emotional needs of the children, everything; and when at the same time you’re also broken – and I was – it’s incredibly hard. Sometimes I’m surprised how my children turned out so well, because I was a wreck. I had to totally rebuild and heal myself, and learn confidence.
The good thing is, as you heal yourself it immediately heals your children. I had to recognise and become more aware of what I was doing, how I was behaving – because that’s what my children were copying.
Children don’t do what you say, they do what you do. They adopt your ways, subconsciously; so the best you can do is to educate yourself, heal, and forgive – not so much the men, but yourself.
I realised I wasn’t so much angry with my ex-husband, but with myself. When I realised what I had allowed myself to be, what price I paid, and what price my children had to pay because I just wanted to be safe and live in denial – then I was really angry with myself.
But situations like this are not against us; they’re just showing us that there are some things we need to look at and work on. Becoming aware about ourselves, our shadow side, and how it affects our life and who we are – this is a key part of healing.
I’ve been through so many things in my life; but I learned there’s always a solution. You can always find a way. This experience pushed me to speak up and stand up for myself, and it actually made me stronger and happier than I ever was before.
Thank you Gita for sharing your story with us ♥
Gita is now working as a confidence coach, helping women build confidence, overcome challenges and live the life of their dreams. If you’re inspired by her story you might want to check out her website www.gitagavare.com