You may not really love yourself after divorce. Your self-esteem might suck.
Your confidence may be non-existent, and all your insecurities may be screaming like sirens in your head.
Do you find yourself second-guessing every damn thing you’re doing?
And even if everybody in your life thinks you have your shit together, from your boss to your co-workers to your family members to even your girlfriends….you stay awake at night, wondering what’s the point of even going on?
“I’m such a failure.”
“No one will ever love me again.”
“I’m going to die alone with a house full of cats and reruns of Grey’s Anatomy playing.”
I’ve been there, sister. You’re not alone.
During my own divorce, well-meaning people in my life kept saying how strong I was, how resilient I was, but deep-down, I hated myself.
And I remember going to work at my super-stressful, male-dominated Department of Defense job, where everybody thought I had my shit together, when the fact was, I was crying in the bathroom stall on an hourly basis.
I questioned my every move after my husband left, second-guessing how I laughed, how I ate, how I dressed, how I even talked.
It took *years* to finally unlearn all those shitty narratives that kept me from loving who I was, with all my quirks and silliness.
But what if you don’t have years and years to love yourself after divorce?
You deserve to quickly master that radical self-love and let go of that divorce pain.
And you deserve better than to constantly question your self-worth and who you are.
Because that’s a self-loathing pattern guaranteed to keep you stuck, afraid, and lonely.
So if you’re tired of criticizing yourself after divorce and ready to *finally* start moving forward, you’re gonna need to start appreciating yourself. Loving yourself. And doing it consistently.
Step Number 1 to Love Yourself After Divorce: Reflect on the exact things that make you Wonder Woman.
You, like most women, were probably conditioned to believe that we shouldn’t “toot our own horn.” Growing up, you may have heard things like…
“Don’t be a braggart. You don’t want people to think you’re arrogant. Modesty will help you go far, blah blah blah.”
So what did you do? You probably hit your talents, quietly doing them but not really celebrating them.
Why do you think it’s so hard to accept a compliment?
But you’re going to start basking in the warm glow of your incredible quirks right now. Because they’re essential in the journey to love yourself after divorce
Make a list of AT LEAST 5 THINGS you’re a bad-ass with. What do you do that’s incredible, that others could take for granted?
- Do people rely on you to keep their secrets because they know they can trust you?
- Do you make the best meatballs this side of Italy?
- Are you the person family members and friends come to for advice?
If you’re struggling to come up with examples, email a handful of your closest friends and family members….they will be THRILLED to give you some clues. You’ll also be surprised at what they have to say.
I remember going through this exercise myself and unsure of what to write, so I asked my friends and family. Here’s what I got back:
- I was great at explaining wine to people in a way that was fun, not condescending and snobby
- My homemade tahini honey cookies were better than anything you could find in a bakery
- If someone wanted to take a trip abroad, I was the “travel expert” and would give them them the best advice on where to go, what to do, and what to avoid
- When someone needed honest advice, I was the first person they’d go to, because I never sugar-coated anything for them
Step Number 2 to Love Yourself After Divorce: Every day, freakin’ acknowledge that you’re Wonder Woman.
The time for being modest is OVER.
Now is the time to make the celebration of all that you do a part of your day.
That could be looking at yourself in the mirror in the morning and saying:
I am loved.
People trust me.
And dammit, I am worthy of recognition for who I am.
It could be writing in a gratitude journal every night the 3 things you love about yourself or that you’re good at.
It doesn’t matter how you recognize it. But you *must* start doing this.
Because if you don’t, then who will?
Step Number 3 to Love Yourself After Divorce: Reflect on the things that you absolutely LOVE, regardless of what other people think of it.
Do you love breaking out into a solo dance party while you’re cooking dinner?
What about painting scenes of the beach with water colors?
How about dressing your dog up into adorable little sweaters?
Or maybe going into your favorite bar and having random conversations with complete strangers?
Regardless of what you *love* doing, you need to be doing more of it.marthabodyfelt.com
So make a list RIGHT now of those things. Don’t hesitate or overthink. Set a timer for 5 minutes and write that list.
I did this exercise myself, and here’s what I came up with:
- I’ll find Richard Simmons’s “Sweating to the Oldies” videos on YouTube and dance/shake it shake it at least once a week
- I buy bags of fancy espresso beans, keep them in the fridge, and regularly just sniff the bag for a few minutes at a time without making the espresso
- I look at cheap properties in places like Serbia and Cambodia
Silly and quirky? Yes.
But soul-sustaining, inspiring, and giving me energy? Absolutely.
What are the quirky things you love to do?
Step 4 to Love Yourself After Divorce: Every week, commit to doing at least one thing that you love doing.
After you list the things you love doing, take out your planner and schedule a non-negotiable time during the week that you are going to do that activity.
Yes, you can put “Do not disturb” on your calendar between 3:00pm-3:15pm so you can dance to Whitney Houston in the kitchen.
To love yourself after divorce, you have permission to put your errands on hold this weekend, drive an hour to the beach or to the mountains, and paint, draw, or write in your journal.
So much of your life has been focused on taking care of others and pleasing other people. But it’s time to love yourself after divorce. You have been so caught up in those things that you forgot that what you wanted mattered, that who you were mattered, and that you deserve to take the time to celebrate those two things.
Without feeling selfish or guilty.
These will be the building blocks to getting your confidence back, and feeling that sense of self-worth that’s been missing for years.
Don’t you owe it to yourself? To love yourself after divorce?
So, how about you? What are our quirky, silly, incredible quirks that you will start celebrating? Reply to the comments below and let me know!
Can’t wait to hear from you.