The most life sucking, debilitating, and destructive emotion we face in relation to divorce is shame. As Carl Jung said “Shame is a soul eating emotion”. When mixed in with all the other heavy feelings from divorce, it can do more damage than anything we experience from the outside, including the vicious blows and attacks of our ex. Shame hides underneath our more visible emotions, like anger and sadness, completely inconspicuous but driving our actions and sabotaging our decision making.
Learning to identify shame and properly deal with it is the most useful skill we need to learn if we want to make divorce decisions that will serve us well on the long run, and want to ensure a happier and healthier future for ourselves.
Divorce is one of the most shame, blame, and guilt producing event in life. Doesn’t really matter if we are the one leaving or being left, it affects our sense of worth like nothing else. We question everything we believed and thought about ourselves, our abilities, characters, and choices. Even if we are blaming our ex for it all, deep down we are filled with shame. The more we try to run from it, the more it will hunt us. The more we try to cover it up with anger the more damage it will do in us and ultimately in everyone around us.
There is only one way to battle the shame and guilt we feel for leaving or being left, and to stop the endless blame cycle: learning and practicing self-compassion.
Self care is knowing our needs and taking care of them. Ourselves. Not expecting someone else to do it for us.
Some of us have a hard time with this generally and it can get extremely challenging during divorce.
Self care sounds selfish and divorce already feels selfish. No matter which side we are on, the one leaving or the one being left, either feeling selfish, or resenting selfish. If we are doing the leaving, the guilt produced by it is already telling us that we are self-centered people so taking care of ourselves seems like heaping more shame on. If we are being left, the naturally comforting role for us is being the martyr, and we all know, martyrs don't have needs, and even if they do, they can be sacrificed.
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