Finding the Happy Side of Difficult Divorce Street – FLIP IT

Enjoy your life after divorce - The Off ParentThere are few funny moments in divorce but they do happen. And your ability to laugh at them, the circumstances, the difficulties themselves, can go a long way towards healing your heart.

The kid’s mom and I had a phrase we used, “If we can laugh about it later, we can laugh about it now.”

This got us through some rough times. Not all of them. But a lot of your recovery and happiness is up to you.

There are some good things that come from divorce, eventually.

  • You have to rediscover what is important to you.
  • You can begin developing your “whole” relationships with your kids.
  • You have a lot of time to get your priorities and goals in order. (Take the time, don’t rush right into another relationship. Give yourself time.)
  • You have to let go of the idea that the other person, the ex, is the cause for your unhappiness.

In my case this Happy Side approach took about two years discover. I passed through some of the hardest times in my life. But I still kept waking up with hope. Somewhere, even in the sadness, loneliness, and despair I kept a glimmer of hope.

I don’t know exactly what I latched on to. I don’t think it was the beautiful pictures of my kids that had around my house, though they helped. I don’t think it was the anger at my ex, though that too proved to be a motivating factor to getting my act together. I don’t think it was prayer and meditation, or doctors and medication, though those things certainly helped.

What served me in this entire process of divorce and recovery was my ability to see the light side of things. Even as things were falling apart in my personal life, I could generate some chuckles with my inner voice about how absurd things had become.

And this FLIP, this ability to see the other side, or to FLIP-IT, is available at any time in any situation. Pulled over by the police for speeding, AGAIN. How funny. If he knew how fast I was really going before my radar detector went off, man, then he’d really be mad. Hee hee hee. What, client can’t pay me this week. Oh, boy, if they had any idea how this was going to throw a wrench into my crazy financial system of duct tape, debit cards, and promises! Ho ho ho.

Okay, it’s not that easy. But it’s a perspective that you must, absolutely must, cultivate. Absurd and awful things happen. The absurdity is our reaction to them. If we wake up with a chip on our shoulder, it’s up to us to find the guacamole and make a tasty meal out of the madness of life.

There is no time like the present to flip your anger into absurd, cackling, fake laughter. It’s a known fact that your physical body doesn’t really know the difference between real laughter and fake laughter. So if you give a big ol’ Pee Wee Herman laugh, your body really thinks you are laughing. The endorphins and physical joy comes back into your system, fires up the happy side of your brain, and can bring you part of the way back to center.

FLIP IT.

Always Love,

John McElhenney
@wholeparent

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