Written Exclusively for It's Over Easy by Intimacy Expert Allana Pratt
How does one create a successful relationship after the last one broke your heart? Or continues to annoy you with cantankerous custodial battles? It's enough to make you want to give up on love...or, at least date your vibrating friend who doesn't talk back ;-)
What’s a smart, successful gal to do? Just get out there again? Not so fast my beauty.
The divorce rate in America is 50%, 67% for 2nd marriages and 73% for 3rd. What this says is that most people don't evolve from the first relationship. They don't take the time to integrate the life lessons, they don't sit in the fire to heal the heart wounds.
They don't get effective support to process the emotional triggers and traumas post-divorce. They end up attracting their worst case scenario because subconscious fears of betrayal, lack of trust or hidden low self-esteem are still running the show.
I call this sprinkles on top of the ice cream cone of sh*t. It’s not fun at first to process pain. Thus, few get to the other side where it’s gloriously free, deliciously sensual and potently powerful.
It’s especially devastating to watch a smart, successful woman berate herself, questioning why she’s so insecure, why she didn’t see it coming. Oftentimes, she creates adrenal fatigue trying to control what she knows she can’t control.
These women often shame themselves the most because they should have figured relationships out by now... and, unfortunately, that shame creates a huge blind spot to red flags and they end up getting betrayed, used or hurt even worse the next time.
Shame is very closely linked to guilt, which shows up as self punishment. You’ll often see a woman feeling guilty that she can only see her children half the time because of the divorce, then self punish herself with an abusive man who doesn't honor, respect or protect her.
Or, she’ll subconsciously punish herself, sabotaging her career, losing money in the stock market, getting into a car accident, developing chronic pain. She may simply lose her radiance; a dullness sweeps over her eyes, no longer able to see the light in her soul when she looks in the mirror, simple things no longer giving her joy.
Whether it's an online divorce, or an old-fashioned, more expensive lawyer-driven, just the word divorce carries so much shame! I prefer to take a counterintuitive approach and celebrate people who have the courage to end something that is not an uplifting contribution to their life.
I think it's far easier to check out, settle and live a fake, shallow and mediocre existence…or just have an affair on the side. Making the choice to face your truth, have tough conversations, potentially uproot your entire home and living, deal with the money, face the potential rejections of others, learn to date again… this is for the Brave Warrior Priestesses of the Light, if you ask me!
What if Divorce is a path of Enlightenment? For the past 20 years as an Intimacy Expert, Relationship Coach and thriver of divorce myself, I help people savor the sacred journey of divorce, for at some point, even if you and your spouse were able to have an amicable uncontested divorce, forgiving yourself is not always easy.
Even if you did your best, even if you took the high road, even if you were willing to make up for the damage done…even if you feel completely stupid that you didn't see the red flags and got the rug pulled out from under you. AND fully forgive the other, even if they don’t deserve it… you WILL be able to see them as your Master Spiritual Teacher… if you do the inner work.
Divorce is a portal to self realization if you choose it to be. It's a path of learning how to navigate intense emotions and keep your heart open in the face of anything. It's a path of learning to let go, grow up and have a little humility, rather than being a perfectionist or control freak. It's the path of learning how to soften and surrender our grip as we discover that OUR plan is rarely God's plan. It's a beautiful path of humility and dignity if you're willing to lean in and face your shadows.
It's so rewarding to watch clients face their fears, feel their suppressed emotions and process wounds into super powers. As they deepen their roots, they are able to attract a partner who has done their work as well, and together their high level capacity to resolve conflict and have deep, fierce, loving and meaningful conversations creates a relationship of exquisite thriving intimacy. Watching them find their HeartMate makes the journey more than worth it.
What then, is the powerful first step to begin your healing work so that you don't date again only to attract your ex in another body and repeat the same mistakes, only worse the next time?
I have found the most potent first step is to realize where we often collapse our worth with our accomplishments. It may feel like you’re good enough if you’re in a relationship or worse if you’re single. Better with more money and a smaller butt. Better if friends believe you, choose you, side with you, not him.
Yet accomplishments and achievements come and go. So desperately trying to make your outside world perfect is going to exhaust you because it’s futile. However your true self-worth is inherent, infinite and unwavering. You are a conscious being of choice. You are the maker of your reality. You are Light. And connected to All in a unified field of consciousness.
Notice if, as you navigate your separation or divorce, that you feel drawn to justify your behaviors or give reasons to why you are divorcing. Do you feel ashamed that once you've split up the money, your lifestyle isn't as opulent and you're embarrassed that this is all you have to show for yourself?
Notice where your worth is based on your external circumstances or what people think of you. This lets you know you're wired backwards seeking your worth, approval, safety and appreciation from the outside-in (which of course is insane because you can't control anybody or a life! Although we try :) xox)
Thus the next most important step is to wire yourself properly from the inside out where you take on extreme, radical self-value, self-honor, self cherishing, self treasuring, self adoration, self forgiveness AND self celebration… and here’s the tough part…you take on BOTH your wobbly nature and your magnificent nature at the same time!
Every part of you is worthy of love.
I mean it.
Until you unconditionally love every part of yourself, it is scientifically impossible to attract a partner that treats you the same.
This is the rewarding journey I take so many divorced people through… as they ‘Become the One to Find the One and Keep the One.’ They attract partners with extraordinary capacities to communicate and tell the truth because THEY are no longer emotionally unavailable to themselves :)
As we give transparency and appreciation to ourselves first and then to another, we receive transparency and appreciation from others. It all comes down to balance, science, Grace.
Healing from divorce may be the most worthwhile journey of self realization you will ever take that reaps rewards physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, vocationally, financially, socially, parentally, romantically and sexually. That’s one helluva ROI!
Remember, intimacy is an inside job and it can create the world you desire… such that one day you will say, 'thank you Universe for this divorce, as I’ve finally come all the way Home to my sweet self.'
About the Author
Allana Pratt, Author, Intimacy Expert, Relationship Coach
Author, intimacy expert, and relationship coach Allana Pratt (www.allanapratt.com) is a go-to authority for those who have suffered heartbreak and are ready to live unapologetically and attract an open-hearted, ideal relationship.
A certified coach with nearly 5 million viewers on YouTube, Allana offers private, group and online coaching programs for singles and couples to help her clients develop a healthy, intimate relationship with themselves first, which naturally attracts and enhances their ideal partnerships.
This Ivy League grad is the author of six books and hosts the edgy podcast Intimate Conversations. She has been chosen as an Icon of Influence, is a columnist for the Good Men Project, and has been featured in Huffington Post, People Magazine, and Forbes and on CBS, TLC, ABC & FOX and The Jenny McCarthy Show.
Her new book is Finding ‘The One’ is BS: Becoming ‘The One’ is Brilliant & Beautiful.
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