Have you ever placed a plant in a window and neglected to turn it for a period of time? If so, you're familiar with that asymmetrical appearance that occurs as the plant resolutely grows toward the light.
In plants, this behavior is called phototropism, one of many innate growth mechanisms that dictate how the plant changes in response to its environment.
We aren't as beholden to the sun, but we have our own tropism that determines our growth: Credotropism – growth toward belief.
Just like the sun directs the shape of the plant, your beliefs govern the shape your life takes—especially after something as difficult as divorce.
In a series of studies, teachers were given false information about a class of average students. When the teachers were informed that the students were of below-average intelligence, the students performed poorly. When told that the students were brilliant, the same students scored high marks.
The teacher's belief guided the growth of their students. Just imagine what your own beliefs are doing for you. Do you want to find a way to feel better? Live better? Be better? It all starts with your attitude.
Are you looking at your divorce as the worst thing to ever happen to you? Are you fixating on your ex and what he or she did to the family? Are you focusing on what you have lost?
I get it. I did it too. It's all but impossible to not spend some time in that negative mental space. After all, you're mourning the loss not only of what was, but also of your imagined future. You may be dealing with limited exposure to your children, a loss of financial security, or the brutal reality that you have apparently been replaced.
And you can certainly stay in that negative headspace, building your beliefs about your life's derailment and its associated casualties. Yet in doing so, you will most certainly continue to steer your life into that dark tunnel.
It's true that your hands are somewhat tied right now. You can't simply turn back time and restart a path where the divorce never happened. You can't pretend that the negative effects aren't real and live as though this never occurred. And you can't snap your fingers and suddenly find yourself moved on (I know, I tried).
But you can start by believing that it is possible.
- You don't need to know how you're going to rebuild your financial security to believe that it is achievable.
- You don't need to know how your children are going to be okay in order to have confidence that it will transpire.
- You don’t need to know how you're going to find love again to believe that it can happen.
- You don't need to know how you're going to be happy and fulfilled to trust that it can occur.
It all starts with your attitude—your conviction that you can. Because you will grow toward whatever you believe. Trust that the sun will shine again.
Image Credit: Snapshots & Silhouettes
Written by Lisa Arends
Lisa Arends is a divorcee working to inspire others to move forward, recenter, and repurpose their lives. She has written the "How-To-Thrive Guide." Learn more about "thriving" and be inspired by visiting LessonsFromTheEndOfAMarriage.com.