We won’t try and sugarcoat it. Our society is currently witnessing higher divorce rates than ever before. We’re not going to argue about the hows and whys or judge anyone’s decision. And we’re not going to encourage anyone to stay in or out of a marriage. This article is inspired by the story of a woman who healed and rebuilt herself after divorce, to become the spectacularly strong (and interestingly cool) person she is today. We’re really grateful that Interior Designer, Angie Salama, agreed to share her empowering story with us and pass it on to a lot more people who’d benefit from it. And just in case you think that the article’s topic is irrelevant to you, stick around because things are about to get really interesting.
Now, enough with me talking (yes, I know I talk A LOT!), get comfy and read on…
Angie was married for 5 years; she thought her life was okay. But when she realized how unhappy and drained she was she made the decision to divorce. She was so emotionally exhausted that she couldn’t build the relationship she had always wanted with her child, and was unable to do the work that she had always loved. She took a 9-month break from her marriage to rethink and reevaluate. She tried to work things out, she started by working on herself, but she eventually realized she wanted a divorce. And of course, it wasn’t easy at all. Inspired by what Angie did to heal after her divorce, we’re sending out these powerful messages to help you out if you’re going through the same. So here’s what Angie did to overcome this experience and internally heal.
1) It’s okay to put things on hold until you’re totally ready to resume
Even though she totally loved her job, the first step in her healing process was to put everything on hold. She began focusing on herself. Because, let’s be honest, you can’t pour from an empty cup. So, don’t be hard on yourself. You can’t be drained, and expect yourself to do well at work or even relationships. Whenever you feel overwhelmed, just take a step back and rethink things. Love and prioritize yourself and things will automatically fall into place.
I know you might be thinking: I can’t just put everything on hold. For most of us it’s almost impossible to do the same, to quit our jobs for a year just to heal. Well, it’s okay, you don’t have to. Yes, you might not be able to opt for the exact same solution, because you have to support yourself and your children. But here’s what you can do: Don’t set insanely high standards or put extra pressure on yourself. Realize that you’re going through a tough time, and do what you have to do without blaming yourself about everything. Everyone heals in their own way. We’ll say it one more time: don’t be hard on yourself. That’s the key!
2) It’s okay to be selective in your relationships and enjoy your own company
A very important thing for people who are going through hardship generally is to surround themselves with the right people. Family support is really important and great, but only when it’s positive. Stay away from negative people and those who put you down. Filter people out. It’s totally fine to be selective in your relationships. Enjoy your own company. When you love yourself you attract good vibes and good people.
3) Counseling is important
Angie took life-coaching courses and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (in simple words, NLP is learning your own mind’s language), not for the purpose of becoming a life-coach, but to be able to help rebuild herself. Yes, she became her own therapist! This helped her reassess and rebuild her relationship with her ex-husband, who was co-operative enough to go to post-divorce couples counseling, for the sake of their child. We know you might be thinking: not many men are willing to do that, but it wasn’t easy for her either it required a lot of work and effort from the both of them to come to a common ground while raising their son.
Luckily, you don’t have to be your own therapist and take life-coaching courses. Needless to say, counseling and therapy are really important in case you need them. Embracing your vulnerabilities actually makes you a lot stronger. And here’s a tip for people with kids who are going through a divorce: Team-up with your ex. Do whatever it takes to reach a compromise and agree on ways to raise your children, because it’s always best for the kids’ development to see their parents having a healthy relationship after divorce.
4) Discover your passion
Angie took self-exploring to the next level. She went out of her comfort zone trying loads of new things to find her passion. She practiced yoga, resumed diving (talk about an advanced certification), kite-surfed, went on adventures and even tried art-therapy. She continued to pursue the activities she enjoyed and ditched the ones she liked less. She focused solely on herself trying to find her own happiness and internal peace, and enjoy her own company. But our favorite part here is the art therapy! Angie went to workshops to draw and paint. It wasn’t actually a specific art therapy workshop, but it was in itself art therapy for her. She even showed us some of her pieces, and naturally we loved them. They express exactly what she went through and how she felt.
So, go out there and try dozens of new things. Find your passion t. everything adds up and every experience you go through is an added value to you, if not now, then later. It is never too late to try new things. You can start at any age to do what you love, shift careers, or start a business, etc.
5) It’s all in your head
It really is. You are the only one who can empower yourself, or put yourself down. You can build your self or bury it. Learn to love yourself confidently and unconditionally. Explore new things and be true to yourself, embrace who you really are and don’t apologize for it.
We were really curious to know the turning point in Angie’s healing process. But, to our surprise, Angie told us there wasn’t one. She said it might have taken her a year or more to heal, but she didn’t know when it happened, and at some point, she felt she was ready. She went back to work after turning down a lot of tempting projects and offers, and things fell into place with her son, family, and friends. Angie still practices some of the habits she developed and enjoyed until now, like diving, working out and detoxing. She tries to keep it up. She says she currently doesn’t have the time to go to the art classes regularly but tries to make it to some workshops every now and then.
With the interview over we wanted to know how Angie’s life was going and here’s what she had to say: “I feel great. I’m happy. My relationship with my son, family, and friends is really stable now. I’m blessed. I don’t look back. I feel it’s never too late for anyone, including myself, to take any major step in their lives, as long as one realizes what they want and can do. I’m looking forward to embracing my new life and expanding my business. I aim for more success in my work because it’s my passion.
I’m not criticizing marriage or saying that divorce is good. My message is that if you went through a divorce, there’s a lot you can do to rebuild yourself and heal. Just start working on yourself and you’ll see how capable you in fact are.
And here’s a quote that I really like and believe in “The healer you have been looking for is your own courage to know and love yourself completely” – Yung Pueblo”
Oh, Angie! You really are an inspiration. Here in our office, we have the single, married, divorced and it’s-complicated, and we’ve all benefited from your story. And no matter where you are in life now, we’re sure you will too.