Wednesday, December 21, 2011
I find myself repeating these words alot lately: "I wish..." I wish so many things, many of them pertaining to my parents' divorce. I wish that they were still together. I wish the pain and hurt never happened. I wish my family could all be together in one room again, the way we once were.
Unfortunately, we don't always get what we wish for.
When I focus on what I wish would happen (or didn't happen), I often feel worse. I feel an incredible sense of loss and sometimes that loss permeates my entire being and can drastically change what kind of a day I have. You know, it's funny how it's easier to control what others say to you, but not so easy to control what you say to yourself. My own thoughts are often what derails my progress, not my family.
So how do I focus on the future, while still paying tribute to the family I had for 24 years? First, I think it's being merciful towards myself. Kind of a weird thing to say...but think about it. Are you hardest on yourself during this time? Do you keep telling yourself you could do a better job of dealing with your parents' divorce? In my case, I tell myself to get a grip and act like a 25 year old and not a child. Easier said than done. And you know what? I think that's okay. In fact, I think it's normal.
Give yourself mercy. And then look to the future. Find things to be excited about...whether it's a new job, new place to live, new friends, new significant other, new marriage, what have you. There are still things to look forward to, even if it may seem like you've lost so much. One thing I've been trying to work on is learning that I have more power than I realize. I'm not at the mercy of my family or the crappy situation we've found ourselves in. I have the power to respond to each situation and the power to set boundaries. I don't have to do anything I don't want to do or subject myself to anything that is unhealthy. Do I always live by this rule? Definitely not. But I think it's important to remember, especially given the impending holidays.
Do yourself a favor -- allow yourself to grieve for what you've lost and wish things were different. But set a time a limit. When that limit is up, move on. Do something fun (massages are always lovely) and try to keep your mind off of your sadness. It really does help. Slowly, each day, you'll notice that you're not focusing on the bad stuff as much as you once were.
Any other tips for how to deal with the "I wish..." feelings? Would love to hear from others -- whether through comments or email (email@example.com).