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We’re on the second alphabet letter of our series and working through the letter “B.” What are some of the “B” words that become goals as we’re Starting Over Single?
A synonym for balance is stability and since most of us have felt rather unstable during the divorce process, this type of balance becomes a definite goal.
If we think about balance in terms of yoga, this is the position where we don’t wobble and fall down. We hold the pose, breathe correctly and then steadily move into the next pose or into a state of relaxation.
Emotionally, we may have been all over the place during the last months or even years. But now, things are starting to settle down a bit and we’ve conquered the greatest challenges.
We can begin to see some balance, some stability in our lives.
Another way to look at balance is to compare the way we approach work and rest. Many of us are single moms, so we’re working hard to provide for our children – maybe two or three jobs that we constantly have to juggle.
Rest and relaxation seem distant – something we used to do before we faced divorce. But rest is not only lying on the patio and drinking some iced tea while the sun warms our bones.
Rest is also a state of mind – the place where we no longer worry and dither over our problems, the state of being that feels more peaceful.
Finding a balance in work and rest is an important component of being healthy. To become balanced and to stay balanced, we have to learn how to set healthy boundaries around our time and our priorities.
Having the courage to set boundaries and be authentic about our wants and needs will help us stay in a balanced state of mind. And since we already know about chaos, balance becomes a beautiful place to reside.
For a powerful and helpful resource, check out the book “Choosing Rest” by Sally Breedlove.
Most of us take a “beauty” hit during the stages of divorce recovery. Our “wasbands” may have called us, “Ugly” or they’ve belittled us, emotionally and verbally abused us or even physically scarred us.
The last adjective we use to describe ourselves is beautiful.
But that attitude is based on lies. Some of the most beautiful women in the world are not perfectly photo-shopped.
In fact, each woman has her own unique characteristics that reflect her unique beauty. No amount of lies from an emotionally-disturbed “wasband” will change that fact.
Our children will remember us because of our character, our perseverance, the ways we have helped them, a favorite recipe or any number of memories we have built through the years.
In fact, a child knows and recognizes his mother’s voice above any other voice in a crowd. That speaks to the uniqueness and beautiful tone of women.
I often suggest that my SOS clients wear a tiara around the house. Just the idea of knowing we have a crown on our heads helps us stand a little straighter and feel a bit more significant – more beautiful – than we did before.
It’s also important to surround ourselves with beautiful things – a vase of flowers, a piece of pottery in your favorite colors, fabrics that make you feel beautiful, jewelry, painting your bedroom that special shade of cream, a new pair of fabulous shoes.
When our environment feels comfortable and beautiful, then we feel better. Surrounding ourselves with beauty takes away from the ugliness we’ve been through and helps remind us that beauty is all around us and within us.
Besides wearing the tiara, another practice to introduce beauty back into our lives takes a bit of courage. Look in the mirror and tell yourself, “I am beautiful.”
At first, this may seem ridiculous. Most of us have been taught to put ourselves down instead of lifting ourselves up.
But it works. You might even try it with emphasis on different words, “I am beautiful, I AM beautiful, I am BEAUTIFUL.”
Our words have power, so give yourself the gift of beauty and declare the truth about who you are.
Many of us had to find a new place of boldness so we could survive going through a divorce. We may have had to file the papers ourselves or we may have had to protect ourselves and our children by moving to a safer place.
Even if your experience wasn’t that drastic, the whole situation has changed you. In many ways, you’re stronger and bolder than you’ve ever been in your life.
Boldness surfaces when we have to stand up for ourselves in a counselor’s office, a lawyer’s presence or certainly – in front of a judge.
Boldness declares we will no longer put up with abuse. We will fight for our lives and for the welfare of our children.
Boldness asks a church for help to buy medicines or groceries.
Boldness demands excellence from ourselves. We work with our best productivity because we want to build credibility and strengthen our resumes. We have learned how valuable it is to have a good job and we’re looking forward to building a long and stable career.
Boldness stands up for the values we believe in and refuses to compromise.
Boldness writes a list of red flags we’ll be looking for in the next relationship and refuses to even “try” one date with anyone who will not respect us.
Boldness sets healthy boundaries around the priorities of life. Just because someone else thinks we “should” do something does NOT mean we have to do it. The “shoulds” of life can be dangerous.
Boldness seeks to find a church that respects single moms and their children and doesn’t shame them just because they may not fit into the traditional family mold.
Boldness values the history we’ve shared with our ex-laws and makes sure our children continue to visit grandparents and cousins.
Boldness looks for the best bargains, sacrifices when needed yet splurges when it will build a memory bank for our family.
Boldness is not afraid to face the darkest of struggles, knowing fear can only be conquered when we challenge it and push through.
Boldness is a quality of every divorced woman I know, and I respect them for it.
So what about you? How has balance, beauty and boldness surfaced in your life? Any other “B” words you’ve found useful?
©2016 Starting Over Single