Daily Meditations for Surviving a Breakup, Separation or Divorce by Micki McWade - Read Online
Daily Meditations for Surviving a Breakup, Separation or Divorce
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365 inspiring and supportive daily readings, quotes and affirmations will help you recover from the pain of a breakup, separation or divorce. Gain momentum towards a more positive and productive state-of-mind. Tried and true--these meditations are already used in support groups around the nation. A daily dose of e-sanity is a click away!

Published: Micki McWade on
ISBN: 9781452372631
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Daily Meditations for Surviving a Breakup, Separation or Divorce - Micki McWade

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***

Introduction

A breakup of a significant relationship or divorce is one of life's most painful events. Those who haven't experienced it may minimize the depth of the hurt and sorrow we feel. They may expect us to move on in a couple of months and when we can't, imply we're emotionally inept. We may make similar demands on ourselves, expecting to heal in a given time period. We may feel disappointed or hopeless if we don't heal on schedule. Why can't we just get over it?

It's both reassuring and demoralizing to understand that generally, for every five years of a marriage or serious relationship, it takes one year to heal. For some it will take longer and for others it will take less, but if people are telling you that after six months you should be all better, they are mistaken. Recovery takes time.

I was divorced after 23 years of marriage and a three-year separation. I mourned. I hoped that I'd snap out of it—that I'd finally feel better, free and happy. Hadn't I suffered enough? I didn't snap out of it. A slow growth process happened instead. It required putting one foot in front of the other, one day at a time. I'd feel good some days and not on others. Gradually the good days outnumbered the bad but it took time.

My personal philosophy is that if I have to go through a difficult time, I might as well learn something in the process. One of the sources I learned the most from was a Twelve Step program. The Twelve Steps come from Alcoholics Anonymous and were written in the late 1930s. They have been in use ever since because they help those who are trying to change their lives. Many people have recognized the wisdom of the Steps and expanded their use to aid recovery in other areas, such as codependency and over-eating.

I learned about the Steps in Al-Anon, which is a program for families of alcoholics. There was a lot of alcoholism in and around my family. I joined that group to learn how to prevent handing down the disease to yet another generation, if possible.

Through Al-Anon I learned that I was powerless over other adults, and that by constantly focusing on others, I lost myself. I learned that a Higher Power is present, and that help and grace come from this Source. All I had to do was ask.

I learned to apologize, to accept situations I can't control as they are and to understand myself, including what makes me happy and what I can't tolerate. I learned humility and that I'm not always right; everyone has his or her point of view and is entitled to it. I learned that change is hard and that sometimes I need to ask for help.

As I learned to apply these Steps to divorce, I wanted to share all this information with others because I found it so valuable. I also needed to keep myself on an even keel. I was raising four adolescent children when we separated and needed adult support. In 1993, I decided to start a Twelve Step Divorce Recovery Program because I wanted to move on and continue practicing the Steps with a group, but in a new context. I realized that although divorce papers were signed, sealed and delivered, I still needed recovery time. My ex-husband was going to remarry, and I knew the adjustment would be difficult for all of us.

I invited six friends to join me in a group setting like an Al-Anon meeting to talk about our breakup or divorce. Some friends were from Al-Anon and others had never heard of the Steps, but were interested in the work. Some were divorcing and others were coming out of a serious non-marital relationship. We've held Wednesday night meetings ever since and have had as many as 70 people at one time. More than 800 people have attended our meetings.

I felt compelled to share this program and adapted the Steps to divorce and relationship recovery. Getting Up, Getting Over, Getting On: A Twelve Step Guide to Divorce Recovery explains how the Steps can be used in this way and explains the basics of how to start a divorce support group. Healing You, Healing Me: A Divorce Support Group Leader's Guide goes into greater detail about starting a group—from finding a location to choosing topics to serving coffee at a meeting.

There is plenty of support for creating a hostile divorce. That is the norm today. Hostile breakups and divorces, however, lead to intense stress, possible dependence on drugs or alcohol, health problems, problems in the workplace, extraordinary expense and worst of all, difficulty and sadness for children.

The Steps are listed following the introduction and are referred to in some of the meditations. The Twelve Steps of Separation/Divorce Recovery are slightly different than those of AA. Both sets of Steps are included.

***

For a long time I sent an email Thought of the Day to group members. The quotations are generally wise and up-lifting words that provide inspiration or food for thought. I interpreted them to fit relationship—related issues and included an affirmation to make them directly usable. I encourage you to write your own affirmations to make the thoughts more directly applicable. In my recovery, I found it useful to start the day with a daily reading. The mornings were often difficult, but if I placed a positive thought in my mind early in the day, I felt stronger and more hopeful.

I read The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie, The Courage to Change distributed by Al-Anon, The Woman's Book of Courage by Sue Patton Theole and Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach. These daily reading books were very helpful, and I looked forward to reading one or more each day, depending on my stage of recovery. They expanded my scope on a slow, steady basis and since my concentration span was minimal for a while, a page at a time was about all I could handle.

In addition, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey and Tony Robbins' tape series, Personal Power were important tools for me. I recommend all of these to you, and there's a list of additional resources at the back of this book.

There are 365 meditations that span a year of recovery. My hope is that the ideas and long-range perspective will bring you some peace and a broader understanding of the situation as you move through the next 12 months.

There are references to divorce in this book but it was written in the hope that it will be useful for the end of non-marital relationships too. The word separation is used in a broader context than the pre-divorce period. A serious long-term partnership, whether hetero–or homosexual, leaves a deep wound that takes time to heal. When there are children involved, it takes longer.

There are certain principles in recovery from relationship that in my opinion are essential, and you'll see these themes repeated in different forms throughout the year. They include:

•Much of our quality of life comes from our choices and beliefs.

•If we do the best we can, day by day, we'll do well in time.

•A Higher Power is there for us, whether we believe it or not.

•What goes around comes around.

•Self-exploration is more important than a new relationship.

•Be as optimistic as possible.

My goals for this book are that it be used as a tool to aid and hasten your recovery and to offer an alternative thought system. Divorce is here to stay, but we can definitely improve our methods. If only one person in a couple chooses the high road, the other person will eventually be at least somewhat influenced by the integrity of his or her partner. If no one shows this consideration, problems escalate and everyone suffers in multitudes of ways.

I wish you the best in your recovery and on your journey. I hope that you will heal quickly, dream big and grow like crazy.

Blessings, Micki McWade

***

TWELVE STEPS OF ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcoholthat our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood Him; praying only for knowledge of God's will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

***

TWELVE STEPS OF DIVORCE RECOVERY

1. We admitted we were powerless over others, that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to wholeness.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood God.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our failings.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove our defects of character.

7. Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory, and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood God; praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as a result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

The Twelve Steps are reprinted with permission of Alcoholics Anonymous World Services, Inc. Permission to reprint and adapt the Twelve Steps does not mean that A.A. has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication nor that A.A. agrees with the views expressed herein. A.A. is a program of recovery from alcoholism only—use of the Twelve Steps in connection with programs and activities which are patterned after A.A. but which address other problems, or in any other non-A.A. context, does not imply otherwise.

*****

January 1

Vision is greater than baggage. —Stephen R. Covey

We may believe that our lives have always been hard, and we may also believe that because of all that has happened to us, we may never succeed or be happy again. In other words, we may be in the habit of being unhappy or dissatisfied.

The wonderful truth is that we can decide to live differently from now on. We can choose to create a different life from the one we are leading now. If we hold a picture in our minds of what we want and keep that picture clear, we will create a new reality. We are not stuck in the past. We are not destined to repeat the old patterns if we choose not to. We create our future today and by making different choices now, the future will be different.

AFFIRMATION: Today I will create a mental picture of what I would like for myself in the future. I will think about that picture every day.

***

January 2

Imagine. —John Lennon

Creating a new life requires imagination. Making mental pictures is the first step in creating our new reality. Will our creation be by default, or will we make conscious decisions about how we would like our new life to be?

Teams training for the Olympics use visualization to envision winning results. We can use the same practice to foster growth and maximize potential in our lives.

Can we imagine a life of creativity and peace for ourselves? How about forgiveness for those who have hurt us? Can we imagine a full and happy life with our friends and family? How about wonderful work that satisfies us and makes us feel productive?

What will you imagine for yourself?

AFFIRMATION: Today I will begin to formulate a mental picture of how I would like my life to be. I'll write about it in a journal.

***

January 3

Our task now is not to fix blame for the past, but to fix the course for the future. John F. Kennedy

Sorting out responsibility for what has happened in a relationship is an important part of recovery, and fixing blame seems to be necessary for a while but we don't want to get stuck at this stage. There are those who use the resulting anger as life-fuel and that may persist for years, resulting in poor mental and physical health.

As one who sailed, Kennedy knew that to get where he wanted to be he had to fix the course to arrive at his chosen destination. We have to do the same. Where do we choose to be in two years? In five years? How will we get there? What course shall we take?

Making those decisions is a far better use of time and energy for our own well-being than remaining in a state of anger and fixing blame.

AFFIRMATION: Today I will spend some time thinking about what type of life I want in the future.

***

January 4

We admitted we were powerless over othersthat our lives had become unmanageable. Step One of the Twelve Step Divorce Recovery Program

The biggest myth we create in our lives is that we have power over others. We can force issues in the short term, but not in the long run. We can't force someone to be who they are not. Many of us try so hard to make a person behave the way we'd like, we lose ourselves in the process. We forget to develop and take care of ourselves.

We can influence others by becoming a good example, but that's all. If you have tried to toilet train a two-year-old or control a teenager's driving habits, you know what I mean. We can set up limits and consequences, but we can't control behavior. So what does that mean? We control our own behavior and development and take responsibility for our own decisions and actions. This is where our power lies. Let's learn to make use of it.

AFFIRMATION: Today I will examine one area in my life that has become unmanageable and think about ways to improve it.

***

January 5

Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to wholeness. —Step Two

Separating from a partner creates a feeling of emotional amputation. A large part of our lives has been cut away, and whether or not the separation was our choice, healing is a painful undertaking. It takes a while to feel whole again.

One way to get to wholeness is to join a support group and practice the Steps. A lot of us consider a power greater than ourselves to be God or the Universe. Some consider the group a higher power because information is shared, friendships are made and the healing process is sped along by interaction with others. Many of us have our faith restored by practicing the Steps in the company of others.

Let's be open to information from sources outside ourselves. We read, talk things over, join a group, pray and meditate to feel whole again.

AFFIRMATION: Today I will be aware of a power greater than myself and begin to understand that I am not alone.

***

January 6

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood God. —Step Three

What a relief this brings! We realize we are not alone and that we can ask and receive help and guidance with any of our problems. Lots of us think that this is the most difficult step because it requires letting go of complete control, but the irony is that we really have very limited control anyway.

In Step Three we learn to do the best we can and ask God to come along to guide us. We do our best and then turn the rest over to the care of God. The miracle of this Step is that when we are able to do it, the result is so much better than we ever imagined. The more we turn our worries over to God, the more results we'll see. As we recognize that prayers are answered, we'll ask for help more often. This is how faith grows.

We begin to realize that we are not alone. Our days go better, we become more