I bet you’ve told your story over and over and over again, sometimes to help you process through what happened, sometimes to garner sympathy, and sometimes just to throw Homer under the bus, release some anger and make yourself feel better. Did you really feel better? I don’t know about you, but when I focus on the details of my failed marriage, I just get all fired up again … angry, frustrated and mad at myself for choosing him in the first (damn) place.
I have found instead that by focusing on the many blessings of the relationship, first and foremost my daughter, I can keep my positive mental attitude in check. Then I focus on the lessons learned and distinctions I made that empowered me to move on and create new and improved results in my life. Additionally, when I take responsibility for the fact that I chose him and began to dig deeper into the circumstances that caused me to do so, I began to experience something new, better and different. You can, too.
Why don’t you let the last time you told your story be the last time you told your story? That’s exactly what I told Laurie, a single mom who I coached when writing The Successful Single Mom book.
I heard her story at least three times within the first week of knowing her. As a victim of spousal abuse, she left with just the clothes on her back to live in a battered women’s shelter with her son. Eventually she ended up on welfare prior to starting her own business. Repeating her story was not serving her and what she was saying she wanted. By focusing on the ugly past, she was preventing herself from moving forward. It also affected her self-esteem and feelings of worthiness. Staying in that story kept her right where she was and when she took my advice, her life made a major positive shift almost immediately. Its important to note she chose to not only let go of the past, she replaced it with a new story of where she was going.
Let’s change your focus to all of the cool, great and wonderful things you learned in that relationship: things you did well, things you would want to have happen again in your next relationship, distinctions you made about how to be a better partner, and choosing a better partner in the future.
What happens next in your life is up to you. It's up to you to decide how you'd like it to be, and starting taking steps in that direction. Perhaps today. What do you think?