Spiritual Divorce: Divorce as a Catalyst for an Extraordinary Life

Spiritual Divorce: Divorce as a Catalyst for an Extraordinary Life

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by Debbie Ford
     
 

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Could the end of your marriage be the first step toward reclaiming your personal power and joyfully living the life of your dreams? If the answer is yes, this book is for you.

Divorce rocks the very foundation of our beings, leaving us feeling lonely, flawed, enraged, undesirable, hopeless, and empty. In Spiritual Divorce,

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Overview

Could the end of your marriage be the first step toward reclaiming your personal power and joyfully living the life of your dreams? If the answer is yes, this book is for you.

Divorce rocks the very foundation of our beings, leaving us feeling lonely, flawed, enraged, undesirable, hopeless, and empty. In Spiritual Divorce, New York Times bestselling author Debbie Ford reveals how this devastation can be transformed into a profoundly enlightening experience. This empowering guide shows how the collapse of a marriage is, at root, a spiritual wake-up call, an opportunity to liberate ourselves and reclaim our lives. The end of a relationship—no matter who ends it—is a damaging moment. Ford offers a clear program for turning ruin into renewal.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Despite the deluge of books on divorce, Ford (The Dark Side of the Light Chasers) still manages to offer a fresh perspective on this difficult and potentially devastating experience, which she identifies as "one of the darkest times in most people's lives." Calling on the popular tenets of 12-step programs and A Course in Miracles, Ford advises readers to view divorce as a "spiritual wake-up call" that "propels us to a journey of self-discovery," an opportunity to learn the lessons sent by the Universe or God, to "align with the destiny of our higher selves [and] our soul's purpose." While these tenets are no longer new, Ford applies them for the first time in this area, guiding readers with her Seven Spiritual Laws: Acceptance, Surrender, Divine Guidance, Responsibility, Choice, Forgiveness and Creation. Her clear and uncomplicated structure makes it easy for readers to absorb the underlying principles through meditation, prayer and the "healing action steps" presented at the end of each chapter. A workshop facilitator with the Chopra Center for Well Being, Ford knows the self-help/divorce audience intimately. Her first-hand experience of her parents' divorce as well as her own lends authenticity and empathy to what would otherwise be an abstract philosophy. Her voice is positive, encouraging, understanding, loving toward self and others and deeply personal, making this a better book than her first one; it could well become recommended reading for all divorcing couples. (Feb.) Forecast: The success of Ford's first book and her affiliation with Deepak Chopra will, along with her 12-city lecture tour, spur interest in this worthy book and prompt healthy sales. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061227127
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/24/2006
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
338,025
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.50(d)

Meet the Author

Debbie Ford is the national bestselling author of The Dark Side of the Light Chasers, The Secret of the Shadow, Spiritual Divorce, The Right Questions, The Best Year of Your Life, Why Good People Do Bad Things, and The 21-Day Consciousness Cleanse, and a coauthor of The Shadow Effect. Ford conducts workshops and trainings around the world supporting lifelong personal, emotional, and spiritual education and transformation. She lives with her son in San Diego, California.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Things Aren't Always What They Seem

In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within methere lay an invincible summer.
-- Albert Camus, Summer (1954)

Divine guidance lays the foundation that gives us the support and understanding we need to begin practicing the Law of Acceptance. Acceptance is the essential ingredient that enables us to begin the healing process. We cannot accept a situation until we're ready to look fearlessly at the facts of our circumstances. We can't heal what we cannot see, and we can't heal what we cannot feel. Yet too often the pain from our past and our fears of the future keep us stuck and unable to see our lives as a whole. Our blurred vision prohibits us from being in the present and opening up to higher levels of awareness. "It is only when we have the courage to face things exactly as they are, without any self-deception or illusion," the I Ching states, "that a light will develop out of events, by which the path to success may be recognized."

Acceptance comes when we step out of denial and judgment and are willing to see the present exactly as it exists in this moment, without any drama or story line. Drama keeps us stuck in an endless spiral of excuses that prevent us from being able to distinguish between fact and fantasy. Our drama serves as a defense mechanism designed to protect us from the pain of our past. When we're caught up in our drama, we are no longer living in the present moment. Instead, we get hooked into every similar experience from our past that was left unhealed. We think we are responding to the challenges of ourlives when in fact we are reacting to all of our unresolved pain.

We must realize that what is happening in this moment is calling us to heal what happened to us in the past. To break free from the confines of our story we must distinguish what is real from what is unreal. What is from the past and what is happening now? What is our presentday pain and what is the unresolved pain of our past?

The drama of our story blinds us from seeing clearly the facts of our lives. Our drama is always personal. Its theme is "something is happening to me." Our story can always be traced back to some underlying issue that's been with us since childhood. For example: "I'm not lovable," "I can't trust men," "People aren't there for me when I need them," "Love doesn't last," Our story is invariably laced with "life is doing it to me."

An important aspect of our healing is learning how to separate the facts from the story. Fact is an unbiased observation of the events of our lives. Fiction is the story we create out of our unresolved emotions from the past. It is rarely based on the facts. Here are some examples that can help you to differentiate between fact and fiction:

"My wife left me" (fact) versus "My wife left because I am unworthy of love" (fiction)

"My husband emptied out our checking account" (fact) versus "My husband has deceived me and ruined my life forever" (fiction)

"My child had an emotional episode at school " (fact) versus "My child has been damaged for life by my separation" (fiction)

Distinguishing the facts of our lives from the fiction lays the foundation for acceptance.

When Dan and I separated, I was filled with fear and became overly dramatic. I was sure that my life was over and that my son would suffer from the same emotional problems I had experienced as a child of divorced parents. After weeks of torturing myself, I decided to write down exactly what was going on in my life without all the dramatic side effects. My list looked like this:

I don't have any money of my own put away.

My husband doesn't want to continue going to therapy.

He doesn't see any reason to get a divorce, even though we aren't living together.

  1. I will have to live inside his budget until I find a job.
  2. I will have to get a job.
  3. Dan will take my son for sixteen hours a week.
  4. We will sell our house.
  5. I will rent a home for my son and myself.
  6. I will no longer cook dinner every night for Dan.
  7. We will no longer be a couple.
  8. I will have to pay my own bills.

After looking at the list, all of the internal noise that amounted to a lot of drama about Dan not loving me, or how I failed at yet another relationship, disappeared. In light of the facts of the situation, my exaggerated fear that I'd be living on the street seemed silly. Every upsetting thought I had about Dan taking Beau away from me vanished. Inside my mind I had been having hundreds of crazy thoughts that contributed to a belief that my life was ending. Distinguishing between fact and fiction became liberating. The facts demonstrated that only my marriage was ending, not my life. And the facts showed that I was going to have to make some changes. Even though I didn't welcome these changes initially, by writing them down I realized I could handle them all.

Distinguishing between my story and the facts was a life-changing experience. It afforded me the freedom to view the events of my life apart from the dramatic hell I was living in. "Divine detachment is when the lower self steps away from the drama it has created and allows the higher self to observe and comment upon it, clearly and without emotion; honestly and without hesitation; completely and without reservation," explains Neale Donald Walsh, author of the Conversations with God series. He goes on to say: "You will know when this process is working for you because there will be no negativity, no judgment, no anger, no shame, no guilt, no fear, no recrimination or sense of being made wrong-just a simple statement of what is SO. And that statement may be very illuminating."

Living in the story of our divorce and the drama of our circumstances comes with a huge emotional price. It costs us peace of mind and prevents us from living in the present. It denies us access to the clarity of our wisest self and keeps us stuck in the pain of our past. Most of us don't realize all the ways we use our story to make ourselves feel important or to get attention. Recognizing our need to dramatize divorce helps us to break the unconscious motivation that prevents us from seeing with clear, loving eyes.

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