What does the Research Show?
Over a decade of research confirms two of my 7-key practices as necessary for living a happy and fulfilling life after divorce. This TedTalk by Brene’ Brown should be watched often to remind you that you are in control of the quality of your experience in life, even as your life seems to be unraveling completely out of control. Implement these practices from my PDF Report and you will shorten your healing process – guaranteed!
Why is Divorce so Painful?
Science has shown that we are neurobiologically wired for CONNECTION. When we experience a divorce, so many connections are severed. We no longer have a partner to sleep next to or share the successes and challenges our daily life brings. The connections we have in our social circles change. We no longer share dinner parties or vacations or holidays with the same people and it’s quite common to feel like we no longer belong. Science confirms what I have seen working with hundreds of clients going through divorce, that some of the deepest pain we experience is when we feel disconnected.
Why do we allow ourselves to isolate?
My research shows that 85% of people going through divorce isolate themselves from community, family, and friends. They speak of not wanting anyone to know what they are going through because they feel ashamed of being divorced. The resulting experience is that they feel alone and disconnected from possibilities.
A decade of scientific research supports my findings that shame is the reason we isolate ourselves and hide what’s really going on. This only prolongs our suffering! What is shame? Brene’ Brown describes it as:
The fear of disconnection: Is there something about me that, if other people know it or see it, that I won’t be worthy of connection? ~Brene’ Brown
Brene’ goes on to explain that the underneath shame is a sense of not being good enough. Beneath this surface, she says is an ‘excruciating vulnerability, this idea of, in order for connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be seen, really seen.”
It’s normal to worry about what people think!
Not one person I’ve worked with hasn’t had a sense of fear about what people think about them, but in terms of being happy, it’s wasted energy that is counter-productive to rebuilding a life for yourself after divorce and finding your way back into connection.
If you are withholding how you’re really feeling and what is really going on with you, then it’s likely you are experiencing shame. Your sense of worthiness is compromised and when you lack a sense of worthiness of receiving love and belonging, then you will isolate yourself as a protection. But, that will never give you what you really want, which research shows is connection.
You must attend to your sense of Worthiness!
In over six years of collecting stories, conducting interviews, and heading focus groups, researcher Brene’ Brown discovered that
There was only one variable that separated the people who have a strong sense of love and belonging and the people who really struggle for it…
the people who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe they’re worthy…
the thing that keeps us out of connection is our fear that we’re not worthy of connection…
After a divorce or breakup, our sense of worthiness may be shaken or it may be that a deeper wounding around our worthiness is spotlighted. It there is one thing that I’ve noticed can change your life faster is to develop your sense of worthiness to, not only have love and belonging, but to create a better life for yourself beyond your loss.
Let yourself be Courageous!
Courage is the one quality that needs to be cultivated when moving on after a divorce so you can experience connection. Brence’s research shows that those with a sense of courage are those that have a strong sense of love and belonging.
Courage, as Brene’ explains is “to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart [and to have] the compassion to be kind to [yourself] first and then to others [because] we can’t practice compassion with other people if we can’t treat ourselves kindly.”
Telling the story of who are are with your whole heart requires you to be vulnerable and honest with others about what you’re going through and how you’re feeling. It requires you to be real and raw. When my clients are vulnerable with me, I make sure they know how beautiful they are in their vulnerability and how deeply connected I feel to them because of them sharing authentically.
How can you create connection?
There are numerous things you can do to alleviate your suffering and many of them are going to be directly related to your willingness to be vulnerable and create meaningful connections with people. Here are some suggestions:
- Share authentically with people about what is going on with you. Tell the story of who you are with your whole heart. Don’t worry about being rejected and don’t let perceived rejection stop you or inhibit you. The depth of connection you will make will be worth it.
- Stop complaining about everything and everyone you’ve lost and get your butt out there and meet new people. Be real with them too!
- Work with me to develop your sense of worthiness!
Share your thoughts and *vulnerable* experience here!
One way to connect is to leave a comment. Share from your heart. What are your struggles? What are your hopes and dreams for your future?