Recovery literally means, returning to a normal condition. I gotta tell you, if recovering from divorce means I'll soon be returning to whatever normal I had before my divorce, well, you can forget it. So, when we talk about recovering, I think we need to set the bar higher when it relates to divorce. We don't want to recover. We want to uncover; we want to discover; we want to be covered.
Let's start with uncovering, or "removing the cover." We do this every morning to start our day. We "uncover" ourselves from our bed sheets, our warm and toasty blankets and we hopefully welcome the day ahead. It's a new day. A new beginning. A new chance with new choices. We leave our comfy beds behind and we step forward to experience whatever lies ahead. Divorce is the same. We are leaving behind something that was comfortable. Now maybe your marriage, like mine, was far from what you would call comfortable. True, but it was still home. It was certainty. It was my normal. It was your normal. We knew what to expect the next day. With divorce, life becomes very uncertain. Uncertainty is scary and we humans don't like it.
Divorce forces us out of our comfy space. Whether your marriage was healthy or not, we have to move, in more ways than one. We are propelled into a new beginning. We have new chances and choices to make. In the process, we start to uncover a lot of things in our life that were amiss. Things we didn't see, feel, appreciate or even realize. The lens we were seeing life thru suddenly changes. It's been uncovered, which leads us to a whole new level of discovery.
When we discover, we notice or learn. I discovered many years ago that I wake up very slow and that a nice hot beverage will give me just the kick I need to rev things up and move a little faster. I noticed I'm a slow mover. I tried a solution and I learned that it worked for me. I discovered COFFEE and my mornings have been all the better since!
Divorce is a whole new game of self-discovery. Do I really like that TV show? Do I like that soap? Do I want a dog? What did I stop doing and want to restart? What do I like??? Who am I without this person in my life? OMGSH, I could just rattle off a million questions that come up within you when you are experiencing divorce. It's overwhelming I know, but it also starts to become exciting. What color do I want to paint that wall? What picture do I want above my bed? Where do I want to live? When do I want to go to bed? What am I feeling? Why does this bother me so much? Why can't I stop crying? Why am I so lonely? Why, why, why? Divorce is full of who, what, when, where, and whys, and I have to tell you, that's where the covering comes in.
To cover means to place something upon or over, so as to protect. We could all use some of that, especially in divorce. As humans, we are biologically wired to survive. It's how we were designed, which basically means we are always trying to make sure we are safe. The good news is, most of us need not worry about lions, and tigers and bears trying to eat us anymore, but that doesn't mean the world has stopped threatening us, and divorce is terribly threatening. We are being thrust into upheaval at all levels. Where will we live? How will we divide our money? Who will stay my friend? How will people treat me? The list goes on and on. In other words, we don't feel protected and safe during a divorce. We feel exposed. We feel "uncovered." We feel at risk. We feel vulnerable. We need something to help cover us back up and give us a sense of safety again.
Where that covering comes from is part of the divorce healing process. For me, it started with God. I can't deny I was mad at God in the beginning, but even as I uncovered and felt the pain of too many betrayals, I knew God wasn't to blame. My faith in God was not rocked, though my faith in humanity took a beating for awhile. Spiritually, I felt covered by God. I knew, in the end, it would all work out for my good, though I wasn't always a fan of how we had to get there. He didn't let me down though. In fact, it's better than I even imagined.
For me, everything starts with our spirits. We aren't human bodies with a soul. We are souls in a human body. Rediscovering your own relationship with your higher power is the best covering I can think of. After that, you'll naturally start to find the coverings you need for your other areas.
Physical covering can be found by starting to take care of yourself with better nutrition, exercise, sleep, sunlight, etc.
Mental covering can lead to learning to quiet your mind; changing your language, mindset and attitudes; filling yourself with positivity and learning to guard your mind as much as you would your heart and body.
Emotional covering means feeling the pain you've suppressed and shoved down for so many years; dealing with old traumas, grief and even doing inner child work. I'm sorry, but it's just not possible to outrun these things. We sure try. We drink, we eat, we scroll social media, we veg out on Netflix, get into new relationships too quickly, seek porn, do drugs, work too much. The list goes on and on, and so do all the things you are trying to avoid. Those emotions get locked into your cells, and then they become little magnets, attracting the same thing you are trying to avoid. Why? Because they are basically little toddlers begging for your attention, and once you give it to them, they'll knock it off. Problem is, we just prefer to ignore them, which only causes them to increase their strength, until eventually they cripple us with disease, anxiety and depression.
Divorce is hard. I wouldn't wish it on my own worst enemy, but it's also a game-changer. It's life-altering. It's an uncovering of enormous proportions. It's a bridge to self-discovery. It's a chance to find YOU again. Who YOU really are and what YOU really want. Just make sure while you are out discovering, that you bring an umbrella. It's going to rain a lot, so get a good one. Rediscover that connection to your higher power and make it your first line of protection.
Jesus became my life coach, my mentor, my cover. He's everything I wish I could be while I walk this earth. I have no desire to be religious. I only seek relationship with Jesus. As I nurtured that relationship, I found my other covers also. It's like one-by-one, I crawled back into my comfy bed and found the right blankets. Not too heavy. Not too itchy. Not too warm, but just right.
You can find all the right coverings also. Divorce is scary, but if you let it, it can be a pathway to a whole new way of life, a whole new you. Throw the covers off, discover what the day will bring and cover yourself with God's protection and you will find recovery, except this normal will look a whole lot better than what you thought normal was before.
Angela Miller is an RN and Emotional Health Coach. She is passionately pursuing her calling to help people transform pain into purpose. To schedule a free consult, or for more information, visit www.soaringforward.com.