I invited Maxine Clancy to share ways that we can detox from our divorce. I really like the idea of detoxing from the pain and stress of divorce. It speaks of renewal and rebirth. Thank you so much, Maxine, for sharing helpful and tangible steps we can take to rid ourselves of the residue from divorce.
You might be asking; “Is it possible to positively flush out my Ex in 5 steps?”
In the spirit of keeping it real, it’s definitely possible, but not always easy. To be honest it takes a genuine desire to honour yourself and the relationship you had, a brave heart and a large dose of generosity. The rewards though, are immeasurable, especially if you have children.
Six months into my separation, I was at my lowest. It was the week between Christmas and New year and I was having panic attacks about the future. I was full of despair and at the same time I didn’t want to start the new year feeling this way. Inherently I knew I had to take charge of my healing. It was a pivotal moment, choosing not to be a victim of my circumstances helped me turn everything around and it can for you too.
Step 1: You need to choose to heal your heart
The popular myth “time heals” is full of BS, time passes but it doesn’t automatically heal.
I’m sure like me, you’ve had a friend who got divorced and never got over it, even after 5 or 10 years. In my experience, it’s the choices you make and specifically the choice to heal, that will give you the emotional freedom you crave. The moment I decided to take charge of my own healing was the moment that everything changed for me.
Step 2: Take 100% responsibility for how you contributed and showed up in your relationship
As a coach, I know relationships are an inside-out job, and by that, I mean we are co-creating with life through our thoughts and feelings, our external world is a reflection of our inner world.
At some level I knew I had unconsciously co-created these circumstances resulting from some inner healing of a childhood wound. So, I had to ask myself: Where had I given my power away in my relationship and what did I need to take responsibility for?
This is such a powerful questions as we’re used to blaming others, especially when we’ve been hurt. However, there’s a huge gift in taking responsibility: , as you get to reclaim your power and you discover life doesn’t happen to you, it happens through you. (As my mentor Katherine Woodward Thomas likes to say).
Step 3: Choose to accept and let go
We’re so used to clinging onto things, people, relationships, (stuff) and I desperately wanted to cling on to my marriage for safety. I was still madly in love when I found out about his affair and I didn’t want a divorce as I believed our love was way bigger than our problems. Yet you can’t make someone work at a relationship if they don’t want to. I had to choose to accept his decision and let him go.
The thing that so often stops us is the fear of the unknown, the fear of being alone forever (will I ever be loved again?), fear of stepping out into the world as a single person. Our pain and suffering can be a trusty companion compared to the uncertainty of the future.
Yet it’s through acceptance and letting go that we get to move forward.
“We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned,
so as to have the life that is waiting for us” – Joseph Campbell
Step 4: Practice the F word…forgiveness
Forgiveness is ONE of the keys to healing, the others are love, compassion and appreciation. Often what blocks forgiveness is the fear that if we forgive we are condoning the other person’s behaviour or invalidating our suffering. This is far from the truth. I like to see forgiveness as a “selfish blessing” because when we practice it, we receive the benefits. If you don’t forgive its very likely you’ll end up bitter, angry or resentful. This impacts your ability to have happy healthy love going forward and is hugely detrimental to your health and wellbeing.
After making the choice to let the marriage go I had to practice forgiveness hourly, and on some days when my buttons were pushed it was every ten minutes !!! (I’m a person, not a saint)!!
Step 5: Create a vision for a future you love
This really is the fun bit! You have to create a new vision for your life, just like the Joseph Campbell quote, there is a life waiting for you. One that can be even greater than the one you previously had and that’s because you get to take the gold from your heartache and the richness soften your heart some, making you a wiser, more generous and compassionate person.
I do believe everything in my life has made me the person I am today, and my greatest heartaches have also given me great gifts. I re-discovered my creativity and intuition after my breakup, wrote a children’s book and created the divorce detox, an online transformational course for women.
So, in this last step give yourself the gifts your divorce and heartache brings you… trust me, there’s always gifts if you choose to find them.
Maxine is founder of the Divorce Detox, a transformational coaching program for people going through divorce. Maxine is also a licensed Calling In the One Coach and has been trained and mentored by family psychotherapist, Katherine Woodward Thomas (think Conscious Uncoupling).
Maxine has been coaching individuals, couples and groups since 2000, having trained in Transpersonal Psychotherapy and Counselling at The Centre for Counselling & Psychotherapy Education London, specialising in Grief Therapy with Kingston Bereavement Centre.
Learn more about Maxine on her website at www.maxineclancy.com