Guys, guys: do you know Garth Brooks’ hit song Unanswered Prayers? Bear with me here–this hasn’t turned into a music blog. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, jump on YouTube and listen carefully. Go on, turn it up.
Because this song has a VERY powerful message.
When you don’t get what you want in life, there’s a reason: it’s to get you to your destiny.
When my marriage came crashing down, my heart and spirit crumbled along with it. I felt so alone and lost. But most of all, I was devastated by the fact that my lifelong dream of being happily married had failed.
On the outside, my ‘everything is totally fine’ face was well practiced. But it hid the blubbering mess and desperately unhappy person on the inside.
A few months into my separation, Unanswered Prayers came on the car radio. I was actually a huge fan before Garth Brooks went off the rails, so this song instantly took me back to happier times. And more importantly, it reminded me of something very important: Life happens for us, not to us.
Coincidentally, the very next day a friend had arranged for me to meet a spiritual reader. I sat in a small mountain cabin scented with incense, listening to the dulcet tones of wind chimes in the wood, not knowing what to expect. After a lengthy pause, the reader looked at me and said, ‘Your angels want you to know that your ex was, and is, an important part of your life – he is one of your teachers. Your destiny, my dear, is still waiting for you.”
What was going on? I had a feeling that the universe was trying to send me a message.
I wondered: rather than fighting this change, and feeling miserable about everything that had happened… should I try to embrace it, and have faith that life was happening for me? I knew it was an interesting and possibly more productive mindset to have, but there was a major problem: I had a big old lump of unhappiness weighing me down. It was holding me ransom in this negative place where I didn’t know who or how to be.
So I did what I always do in times of trouble: I turned to, ahem, YouTube.
I came across a Tony Robbins clip where he talked about happiness, and unhappiness. And, particularly, how to find yourself again after misfortune. What he had to say really resonated with me, and you might find it helpful, too.
What makes us happy
The way Tony puts it, we dream about our future from a very young age. Who we are? How we are meant to be? We create a story in our head (an expectation) about how things should play out: Tony Robbins calls this story our blueprint.
On a personal note: I always imagined my grown-up self surrounded by family and friends, travelling the world, having a successful career, being super fit and healthy, happily married, raising four kids, living in a beautiful home, and being generous with time and money to those in need.
I went about life with my eyes on the prize, and yes I was pretty darn happy – up until D-day!
So, what exactly is happiness? Tony Robbins tells us, ‘it’s when your reality is meeting or exceeding your blueprint.‘
That’s pretty simple. Right?
But, what happens when life gives us divorce?
It would probably be fair to say that you’d become incredibly unhappy! You feel like you’ve been thrown off course. You’re alone. Your expectations have been smashed to smithereens.
Your reality no longer matches your blueprint.
When your reality no longer matches your blueprint you feel pain. But just to add fuel to the fire, when your reality doesn’t match your blueprint AND you feel like you have no control over your situation (you feel helpless), this is when you experience tremendous suffering. Not a great place to be at all (I know, I’ve been there!)
How can we breakthrough from here?
When you’re feeling lost and alone, you’ve got a few options:
Play the blame game
Blame is definitely the easiest path to take. And, it does provide some short-term pain relief. But blaming someone or something else or even blaming yourself for your pain and suffering is not the answer. Nelson Mandela famously said that building up resentment in your soul is like, “drinking poison and hoping your enemy will die”. This is so true: it’s usually the blamer who ends up bitter. In other words, it’s best to steer clear of this option! Or, at the very least, identify when you are taking this destructive path and switch tactics.
Change your reality
This option basically helps you get over trauma by trying to replicate what you’ve just lost. Know anyone who’s jumped back in a similar relationship in no time at all? Fingers crossed for them that it works, but the danger here is that this new reality may also be destined to fail as it’s based on a blueprint that was not aligned with their destiny. Something to think about!
Change your blueprint
This option is definitely the hardest option and takes the most work. But the rewards are massive: personal growth and true happiness. It involves changing your limiting beliefs, shifting your anger and denial, and attracting different things into your reality. You need to press reset on your blueprint, and recreate your story. Storyboard new visions and dreams. Reinforce these daily via affirmations and a vision board. Look deep within your soul for those things that make you truly happy. What things inspire you? What gives you a tingle in your stomach? What lessons have you learned through life and this traumatic experience? Stay focused and be committed to a brand new blueprint.
Finding your life’s new blueprint
Everyone, at some point in their lives, has to deal with a trauma on one level or another. In your case, a devastating separation or divorce has likely taken something or someone from you. I do feel your pain.
Well, Mr Always Look On The Bright Side (AKA Tony Robbins) says, “sometimes not getting your blueprint can be the best thing that ever happens for you, because the disappointment drives you to find something more important inside of you. Or, makes you look for another aspect of your life – a spiritual aspect, a family aspect, a physical aspect. By doing this you can always find, in any situation, a benefit that can take your life to another level.”
(I totally agree!)
“We all have the ability to transcend anything that happens to us”.
I didn’t think that this was possible in the early days – but here I am! So, yes, I’m a believer.
Tony goes on to say, “some people live the rest of their days in a story about their pain and suffering – which, they definitely have the right to do. But, there’s a big difference between what you have the right to do, and what you deserve to give yourself and others.”
So, the real question you need to ask yourself is: what are you going to do with your trauma? Are you going to let this separation or divorce destroy you or help you to grow?
“Life is a series of growth spurts!”
When you’re ready to choose growth, by embracing your new reality, spending time looking deep within (way beyond the story you once created for yourself), and acknowledging that life is happening for you (not to you), here’s what will happen:
You’ll realise who you actually are and what you’re truly capable of. You’ll see that you’re so much stronger than you ever thought. And you’ll be inspired to take life by the horns.
You’ll deepen all your relationships. You’ll find out who your real friends really are, who you love and who loves you back.
Every time you push yourself and have a breakthrough – you get stronger. You’ll build up what Tony Robbins calls a ‘psychological immunity’. You gain a positive mindset of, ‘I’m ready for whatever life has to give me’. And, YOU get to decide who you’ll be and how you’ll react when faced with challenges in the future. Tony says, “that this strength of spirit is what creates a sense of freedom and joy in your life. And that strength of spirit basically comes from living a life when you are constantly in a never-ending state of being to improve yourself and help others.”
Just because you feel lost right now and that life is not as it should be, does not mean your life is doomed and that you’ll never find yourself again. It simply means you are you are going through an incubation period and transformation. Be aware that life is happening for you, not to you. And, always remember – you’re in control of your blueprint.
If you’re currently facing the reality of a breakup, separation, divorce, co-parenting journey or are a victim of domestic abuse, there is now an app to help you document absolutely everything that you need to – information, communication and evidence – so you’re ready for whatever legal obligations that may arise.
Now available on the Australian App Store and Google Play (coming soon to USA and UK markets).
For more support why don’t you download my FREE e-book, 5 Separation & Divorce Hacks. It’s packed with helpful tips and advice from those who’ve been right where you are now. It will help you go in the right direction faster, and less painfully.
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I’d love to hear the new goals and dreams you’re working on to redefine your blueprint. Let me know in the comments below.
You’re doing just fine. Take it one day at a time. And remember, be especially kind to yourself.
Founder | Hello Mojo