Last week I shared some examples of how fear tells us we’re not enough. These lies are the voice of our ego – the voice of pain. They keep us from the path of joy, the path to a life we love after divorce. They sound like:
- We’re not good enough parents.
- We don’t have enough money.
- We don’t have enough time.
- We don’t have enough smarts, skills, experience to start our own business or take a new position at work.
- We’re not good enough to deserve a healthy, loving relationship.
- We’re not good enough to…..the list goes on and on and on.
These beliefs can feel real and familiar, but they aren’t true. So how do we combat them and stay on the path of joy?
I’ve found 3 things to be most helpful:
- Awareness: If you aren’t aware of the ego message, you can’t do anything to change it. Recognizing this voice when it shows up the first step in letting it go. If a thought doesn’t feel good, it’s probably not true.
- Acknowledgement and Dismissal: Once you’ve become aware of one of these voices of pain or “not enough” messages, you can choose to acknowledge it and then let it go. Some people use words like, “Thanks for your input, ego self. I hear you, but I am choosing a different thought.” Others use gestures such as tossing the thought to the winds or casting it to the Universe. Still others have found help in writing it down and putting it in a God box or burning it in a fire.
- Alignment with Truth: It’s helpful to have a positive thought with which to replace the lie you dismissed. Finding a thought that feels good to you fills the void left from letting go of the ego thought. More importantly, it’s a way to align with the Truth of who you are. This isn’t necessarily the opposite of the thought you discarded. Instead it’s a thought that feels true and believable to you AND that makes you feel good. Sometimes, as Abraham suggests in almost all their talks (link), it’s best to go general.
For example, if you’re struggling with parenting after divorce, you might dismiss the thought, “I’m not a good mom.” Instead of replacing it with, “I am a good mom” which might lead you to argue with yourself, you could use something like, “I’m not perfect, but I love my children, and I’m doing the best I can.”
If you’ve let go of the thought, “I wasn’t a good enough wife to stay married; something must be wrong with me,” a replacement thought like, “I am a good enough wife to be married, something must be wrong with him,” might work as an opposite, but it might not feel good because it’s shifting the blame from you to your former spouse. A more general approach might be something like, “This marriage didn’t work out, but that means there is something better in store for me.”
Here’s an analogy that’s helped me reframe these “not enough” core beliefs. I love to hike and climb mountains, and I’ve recently been pursuing that interest more strongly as my time and energy has freed up for longer trips.
One way of looking at mountain climbing is that there would be no point in climbing because someone else has already done it and got there first, and many are faster or better at it than I am. This is the “not good enough” perspective.
But another perspective is to climb the mountain because I enjoy the journey and the views along the way. It doesn’t matter how many others have made the journey or how fast. This perspective focuses on my experience, and the path of joy.
To create a life we love after divorce, we all need to stop listening to the voices of pain and stay on the path of joy.