Most Important Divorce Recovery Stages: The Victim and the Optimist
Let’s dive into the divorce recovery stages and healing process. My clients always ask me: “What are the healing stages? What are the stages of recovery? How long does this take? What’s the fastest way to do it? What’s the hardest part of it?”
The Influence of Control and Prediction on Feeling Vulnerable
Brene Brown talks about the influence of control and prediction in our lives.
When we women can control and predict something, it takes some of the vulnerability out of it. It makes it hurt a little less. It makes it a little less uncertain, a little less scary, a little less raw.
You know that after summer comes the fall, and after fall comes winter, and after winter comes spring. Think of your 28-day cycle. When some days certain hormones are higher and other days certain hormones are lower, and all of a sudden your mood shifts or your cravings shift, it’s not alarming because you know what’s happening
The purpose of these conversations is for your healing process to be more efficient because you have way too much on your plate right now.
When you come here, and you spend your precious time here, we want it to shorten your healing journey. We want it to lighten your load.
After reading this, I want you to feel that you’re moving through the stages of recovery and healing, you have a clear path and a clear strategy, you know what to do, and you feel some ease around that.
Practicing Gratitude vs Feeling Sorry for Yourself
But I want you to notice on any given day, are you in touch with gratitude? Or are you feeling a bit sorry for yourself?
As you move through the stages of healing, these two questions are your key indicators:
- Are you moving through life, being in tune with a power greater than yourself, and knowing that you are on the road to the most amazing life you’ve ever had?
- Or are you so steeped in resentment that you can’t see the benefits of this process? Does it feel unfair to you, and you’re so disempowered that in your grief, you can’t even find a sparkle?
Now, I know that’s oversimplified.
Often, we women are either in solution mode, which is in touch with love, possibility, and power or we are in touch with our inner victim who feels like this isn’t fair and like she can’t do it and that there may not ever be a good life for her.
Can you feel the difference between your inner victim versus your inner optimist?
At each stage of this process, you will experience both quite frequently.
The goal is to move further and further in the direction of a grateful optimist who is slogging through some shit right now versus the other, darker space.
Abraham Hicks’ Emotional Guidance Scale
Abraham Hicks talks a lot about the law of attraction, manifestation, and how to create a life after divorce that you are in love with. Abraham and Esther Hicks have created an Emotional Scale, which you can read about in detail.
The emotional scale helps us understand emotions ranging from the lowest vibrational frequency to the highest vibrational frequency.
When you are functioning primarily from the lower end of the emotional scale, you are attracting a lot of lower-end emotional things to you.
When you are operating primarily at the upper end of the emotional scale, you are attracting positive, joyful things to you. As you move through these divorce recovery stages of shock, overwhelm, grief, rage, disappointment, and jealousy, you can move in the direction of an optimistic, grateful woman or move lower into the direction of a helpless, powerless victim.
Overcoming the Victim Consciousness Stage
The root of most of our suffering in life is victim consciousness. It’s the root of codependency, the root of drama, the root of suffering, and the root of stuckness.
If you feel like you’re stuck, it’s because somewhere, victim consciousness has snuck in there, and you’re functioning on the lower end of that emotional scale. You’re in this place of, “I don’t think I’m loved. I don’t think I’m worth it. I don’t think anyone’s looking out for me.”
If you’re stuck there, I want you to know that your mind is lying to you. We women have been told a lot of things through the course of our lives that our minds have grabbed onto and have carried as truth along the way.
When you are coming from this place of hopelessness and helplessness and feeling like love is not possible for you, your mind is lying to you. Love comes to those who believe.
I went through a stage where I stopped believing in love, and I hear this from many of my clients when they’re heartbroken. When we’re in that state, our heart is protected. Our heart chakra is closed off.
When you’re in a grief process during the divorce recovery stages, and your heart is shut down, and you are disbelieving in love, don’t hang out there too long because that stage will attract more negative things.
Love is completely possible. It’s completely available to you. You are pure magic. You are and always will be a part of God’s source, energy, and universal abundance. You cannot remove those things from you.
But, when we’re in a victim spot, we can’t feel it, we can’t tune into it, and we are blocked off from it.
Part of the betrayal that I experienced in a post-divorce life was feeling not just betrayed by the institution of marriage but by the belief systems that had me believing in the institution of marriage and my parents who taught me the belief systems. I made this deal with myself that I would never get divorced. And then… I did.
Moving Towards Happiness
Don’t say that a series of betrayals means that love doesn’t exist.
I see clients experiencing the pain of betrayal and then say, “Love doesn’t exist. It’s not out there for me.”
How do you start to move up towards happiness when everything feels so heavy? You have to believe in the power of choice and then get curious about how.
You are accountable for moving up on that emotional scale, and you are responsible for healing your life after divorce.
Now you just have to decide how you want to do it. Do you want to do it by looking at pretty flowers? Do you want to do it by doing some EFT tapping or by finding the perfect homeopathic remedy? Do you want to do it by listening to an awesome song that makes you feel really good? Do you want to do it by taking a walk? Do you want to do it by watching the sunset?
Practicing the Power of Choice
Once you believe in the power of choice, you have infinite choices to start to improve your mood and your mindset and to get intentional about how to heal your heart.
Let’s be honest: being in charge of your life can feel intimidating, but when you know, and you believe that it unlocks all of the best things, you build your best post-divorce life.
When I was recovering in the earlier days, I used to say, “I didn’t choose this path. I didn’t choose to be born to these parents.” But the reality is the path that you are on right this moment is because of a series of choices you made. Now, very often we women end up in places because we weren’t intentional about our choices.
Now, I say, “I will be intentional about what I put in my body, what I put in my mind, and how I live my life. I’m going to focus on what feels good. I’m going to focus on the people around me who are here to support me and who are here to love me. And I’m here to support myself. I’m here to love myself.”
I choose to do ten things today that feel happy, joyous, and free, even if it’s only for a moment. Now, I’m on the productive, growth, and gratitude end stage of healing, which will make crazy amounts of progress.
Now, we’re all going to backslide.
Recently, when I felt I was in a low mood on the emotional scale, I was able to talk to my daughter about it and was able to start to tip up toward optimism.
I pointed out to her how everybody in life has to overcome these kinds of negative habits and negative tendencies. As I was saying this, I felt connected to her. I felt less angry, and I felt hopeful.
We women can coach ourselves into higher frames of consciousness and more optimistic ways of thinking. But it takes time, and it takes consistency in you embracing some pretty intentional positive habits. When we backslide, the key is to not beat ourselves up.
I’ve written about the Victim and Codependency Triangle. We dance around the three points on a triangle between the victim, rescuer, and persecutor. Now, who are the persecutors in your life? Do you think of people who make your life harder and who criticize you, or are you being your own persecutor? You can be functioning in a victim triangle space with yourself.
When you backslide into lower levels on the emotional scale during your divorce recovery stages, it’s no big deal. Don’t beat yourself up. You now get to make a different choice and work forward into a more positive space.
When you notice you’ve slipped into the victim stage rather than the optimist stage during your divorce recovery stages, I want you to coach yourself up or listen to a podcast or a book that does the same.
I want you to put on something that lifts you and helps you remember that we women can do hard things, and when we consistently do them, we accomplish amazing stuff. You have every bit of that power inside of you.
I believe in you so much.
You’ve got this, peace.
Divorce recovery coach Dawn Wiggins
...helps people crack open. Challenging the status quo, she integrates multiple modalities from EMDR to EFT tapping, journaling, homeopathy, and movement, embracing remedies that heal both the mind and body. Divorce recovery coach Dawn Wiggins is on a mission to deliver life-changing therapy in an accessible, scalable, affordable way and make waves in the world of mental health with the same enlightenment that happens in her office. Part science, part essential oils, pure magic.