Fall is here, and that means shorter days, cooler nights, and an array of seasonal events that remind us to “be thankful.” Yet, for many people who have gone through a divorce or are going through the process, finding reasons to be thankful and feeling grateful can be difficult.
I empathize with everyone who, because of a divorce, is struggling to find reasons to say “thank you” these days. And while each person must heal their emotional and psychological wounds in their own appropriate time, here are some suggestions on why you may, indeed, want to be thankful after all:
- Yes, your divorce may have been – or might currently be – painful, stressful and scary. However, be assured that there IS light at the end of the tunnel, and you WILL smile, laugh, and hopefully even fall in love again. As impossible as these things may seem right now, keep in mind that millions of people get divorced each year. If they can re-build their lives and feel thankful again, so can you.
- You may feel compelled to focus on what you’ve lost or are losing. However, keep in mind that you still have a great deal – including the wisdom and experience that you didn’t have prior to your divorce. You can use that gift to enrich your life and even help other people who may be walking in your footsteps. You may want to check out the thread “The Gifts from my Marriage” on the Divorce Magazine discussion forum, where your insights will be valued and appreciated.
- It may seem like a stretch, but the fact remains that simply living in the “developed world” is ample reason to be thankful. Billions of people – through no fault of their own – are born in places where violence, illness, malnourishment, lack of opportunity, and limited lifespan are the status quo.
- The indescribable beauty and grace of nature are no further than outside your window or the door. Learning, or in some cases, re-learning how to appreciate nature can open you up to an overwhelming sense of gratitude that enriches your life immensely (and it’s free!).
- While virtually all of us have health complaints, there are countless people in the world right now – including those who may have idyllic domestic situations and so-called “perfect marriages and families” – who are forced to recover for weeks and months in a hospital bed, or in some cases, have been told by their doctor that they’ll never recover. If you aren’t dealing with a serious health issue, and can look past your aches and pains and feel vibrantly healthy, consider yourself fortunate.
What’s Your Game Plan for the Holidays?
It may seem early, but now is the time to give your holiday game plan some thoughts, especially if you have children and need to plan things out with your ex. As you mull over our suggestions – and hopefully feel inspired to consider some reasons of your own to be thankful – we also encourage you to have a game plan for the weeks and months ahead.
By that, I mean that you should have an idea of whether you’ll be spending time with family, friends, or perhaps choosing to spend some time alone so you can reflect, heal and introspect. Maybe you’ll even volunteer your time at a shelter, or a food bank, or in some other way (and this is yet another reason for you to be thankful – that you can still help others, and that your contributions are valued!)
Martha Chan is the co-owner and V.P. Marketing of Divorce Marketing Group, Family Lawyer Magazine and Divorce Magazine. She is responsible for all online and offline marketing initiatives of the company, and is the Editorial Director for Family Lawyer Magazine and Divorce Magazine. She is married to Dan Couvrette and is a step mother of two sons. Connect with her on LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter and Facebook. She can be reached at (866) 803-6667 ex. 136 or firstname.lastname@example.org.