Divorce season painful, but survivable

There are times in my coaching career when I notice a pattern in the clients I am seeing and the issues they are growing through.

Lately, the “hot” topic has been divorce. It’s “hot” because several clients are going through it and “hot” because it’s a very emotional topic.

Eight years ago, when I was going through divorce, my attorney said, “When people go through divorce, they say and do some of the weirdest things.”

My smile back to him must have reflected the sentiment that I had already begun to experience this from my soon-to-be-ex.

But the attorney wisely followed it up by saying, “That applies to BOTH sides of the divorce equation.”

That meant ME, too. Wasn’t it SO much easier to blame the ex?

Going through divorce resulted in tremendous growth for me.

Divorce is so raw and personal. Sometimes, the pain brought me to my knees, and I wondered if it would eventually kill me.

But out of that place of despair and questioning came a determination to move through it. What other choice did I have?

The journey did bring about some amazing changes in my life. But if you had told me this at that time, I wouldn’t have believed you.

Everything felt so difficult — impossible really — and yet I made it through. And I know that my clients will also make it through, no matter how painful it seems now.

So I started to wonder why all of these “divorce” issues were presenting themselves through my clients. I’ve noticed times in life when lots of people are going through the same life-changing event and it feels like a season: wedding season, baby season and divorce season, for example.

Over the weekend, as I looked at the obituaries, my husband reminded me that someday we would be recognizing more death notices that included people closer to our ages — death season.

Apparently, several people around me are in divorce season. Although my divorce was eight years ago, my clients’ emotions, experiences and eagerness to make it through remind me of my own struggles.

Topics we have covered in our sessions include parental reaction, moving out, kids’ responses, knowing what’s best but hesitating, not wanting to hurt him/her, clearing out his/her stuff, sorting through marital friendships, lack of passion, selecting an attorney, parenting plans, infidelity ... the list goes on.

If you’ve been through divorce, I’m sure you have things to add to this list.

Perhaps the reason divorce season is surrounding me again is to present learning opportunities that were too painful for me to experience at the time. Maybe now I can better understand and more fully integrate these emotional lessons.

I can empathize with my clients, feel their pain, confusion and struggle and be a resource for them. Then I can step away from my role as a coach and take time to process and release whatever is left from my own learning experience.

I’ve heard that as a coach, the people you attract are there to help you learn and grow as much as you are there to help them.

I hope that as their life coach, I am helping my clients through their processes, while continuing to grow myself.

It is through this constant growth that I learn and can continue to be a conduit of healing, both as a coach and as a human being.


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