When you get a divorce, the comparisons will increase. Many of us compare ourselves to our friends, but when your life sort of falls apart and you have to make a new one, it’s very easy to start wondering why your marriage ended. Why you are struggling or heartbroken. Why you can’t make your ends meet. It’s very easy to get engaged in a metaphorical war of “Why don’t I have whatever everyone else has?”
But engaging in a pity party/comparison war isn’t going to make you happier. It’s just a bunch of negative energy that you don’t need. With every comparison you make, you’re literally throwing your own damn self into the gutter. Quit it!
The next time you go to compare what you have to someone else, engage in this exercise. I guarantee you it will help your view point on life and your attitude, post-divorce.
1- You Don’t Have Cancer
Now you may indeed, have health problems, but if you don’t, remind yourself that that’s right! You don’t have what everyone else has! You don’t have cancer. You aren’t sick. You are healthy and capable of caring for yourself and your kids, if you’re a parent.
You feel healthy and well. You are able to make a living. Many people do not have that honor. Watching my friend’s mother go through chemotherapy and radiation reminded me that even if I couldn’t pay for my groceries, heck—I am healthy!
2- You Woke Up Today:
Guess what? Some people don’t wake up the next day. You did. You are here. What exactly are you going to do with this day? What will you do with the next 24 hours? Will you grow, heal, rest, exercise, goal-set, relax, or prepare?
Make goals for each day even if the goal is to relax and do nothing. You are here today. Make the most of it!
3- You Don’t Know How Good That Couple Has It:
Yes, you may know many happy couples. But you may also know people you think are happy but secretly, are not.
The truth is you really don’t know what a relationship is like unless you are in it.
Even if the relationship is a dream, it doesn’t mean that that particular relationship would work for you anyway.
4- You Won’t Have Whatever You Want & That’s Life:
You can’t have what everyone else has. And yes, there are people like big celebs who seem to have everything, but I guarantee you that they’ve got a boatload of issues you may not want anyway.
Like Biggie said, “Mo money, Mo problems.”
5- You Do Have Something!:
Okay, so your marriage tanked and you may be broke. Your friends may have sided with your ex. You may have lost your house.
Alright, I’ll give you my empathy and a hug, but now what?
What DO you have? You have to have something!
List all the things you do have. Maybe it’s a killer sense of humor. Killer legs. Killer 401K. Great health insurance. Awesome children.
You must have something. When you start to engage in your pity-party, start to think about what you do have.
6- You Can’t Bury Your Money & Objects With You:
Hey, I know money struggles. And not being able to make ends meet stinks. Losing homes and property in divorce is also a downright doozy. But the reality is there is no price on your happiness. You can’t take the money and your “objects” with you. All you can take is your memories of the people you loved. The feelings you have about yourself and others.
Those feelings and those people are so worthy. Even if you only have one person in your life that you can count on then that person is still incredibly worthy.
7- You Must Get Over It:
Yes, things might very well suck right now but being stuck in your own misery is about as helpful as gouging your eyes out or cutting off your hands.
If you want certain things in your life whether it’s money, love, better relationships with family or a better career…whatever it is, it’s up to you to get it. Your energy attracts what you want, so if you’re sitting around sulking and whining you’ll continue to reap negativity. It’s ok to feel discouraged and afraid and at times, hopeless, as long as you ultimately channel this energy for the good. Consider yourself an investment and if you invest in positive thoughts and positive actions, you’ll get back what you invest!
Laura Lifshitz is a pint-sized, battery-operated, writer, comedienne, and single mother. Laura will work for chocolate. The former MTV personality and Columbia University graduate is currently writing about divorce, sex, women’s issues, fitness, parenting, marriage and more for the New York Times, DivorceForce, Women’s Health, Redbook, Working Mother, Pop Sugar, Your Tango and numerous other sites. Her own website is frommtvtomommy.com .