Have you ever wondered how others have come out of the throes of divorce sooner, more whole or even better than they once were? I know I wondered that when I found myself on the other end of that unexpected news and lengthy legal documents. Not that the devastation instantly disappears, and certainly not to imply that healing means we’ve never hurt, but there are things we can do to help through the process to wholeness.
Recently, I was at a “chat and chew” with some divorcees. As we munched on food, served up support and shared our “war stories” we offered similar insights on what it takes to make it through what surely no man or woman ever expects to happen. Though our situations were all totally different, and the lengths of time we’ve been divorced varied an overriding theme was the importance of staying connected. That’s right, it’s as complicatedly simple as that.
Divorce in itself already reeks of division. It’s nasty and it goes straight for the jugular when it comes to cutting things up and apart. There’s so much literal separation that comes from separation that it can often be stifling, feeling as if the world has crumbled and it just so happens to have fallen on your head. That’s enough to contend with, however, the dissolving of a union between husband and wife also has a sneaky little way of making said husband and said wife disconnect from others.
The grieving process is natural in divorce. That’s something that we all endure and should allow toward healing. But in the days, months and years following divorce I’ve learned that it helps so much to make a concentrated effort to stay connected, to the right people, of course. Staying connected spiritually is an absolute given and a must. But we also need to focus on not retreating from people who have been sent and assigned to help us get through. That means not thinking that everyone is talking about you or whispering about what happened. That means getting out of bed sometimes when the covers and closed blinds are holding us hostage. That means accepting that invitation even when we don’t want to. That means going through with that invitation even after we’ve accepted, but want to reject it at the 11th hour. That means letting family and friends know when we need to see them, spend time or get out of the house. That means purposing to laugh, appreciate life and stay around those who can help lift you higher.
Staying connected to those who love and support us is the best way to make it through any tragedy, divorce included. So when all else fails, stay connected.