“The possibilities are numerous
once we decide to act and not re-act.”
George Bernard Shaw
Do you think you’re ready for a new relationship or ready to embark on dating because you’ve been divorced for a couple of years or you’ve been separated for two or three years? The paperwork has been filed, an agreement has been signed. You’re just waiting for that certificate that says you are divorced. You think “yeah, I’m good,” then you realize that you ARE NOT.
I thought I was ready. I wanted to make new, fun memories. I wanted to meet new people. What happens is that you think you have a handle on your past life, and it will have no negative bearing on your new life. After all, the new people you’ll meet will be very different from your past. You think you’re going to move forward and not make the same mistakes. You’re wrong! Well, I can say, I was wrong. Even though you can intellectualize the fact that you should be acting differently, years of acting a certain way becomes engrained in you. So, I reverted to reacting. It’s like learning to drive standard when you’ve been driving automatic all your life. You know you have to put your foot on the clutch, you know you have to shift gears; however, your reflexes are those of someone who has been driving automatic. The switch is not easy. It takes practice.
To paraphrase Steven Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, between stimulus and response there is a space, and, in that space, we have the ability to choose our responses and, in those responses, lie our success and happiness.
Sometimes, we must recognize that those responses are on automatic pilot and we revert to what we know. It’s not right or wrong, it just is. However, we must be aware of it. One of the 6 Conscious Principles is Recognition. We have to recognize our patterns; the behaviors that are based on our past pain and struggles. I may not have recognized certain patterns of behaviors as quickly as I did, had it not been for the person I met. He had more experience in the world of post-divorce dating and was able to show me that I had a pattern. But more importantly, I was open to receive that feedback. I saw it as a gift, not as a criticism. If we are not open to having those in-depth discussions, we are not going to grow; we are not going to move forward. Life is about growing. As they say, if we don’t grow, we die. So, think about that for a moment. Are you reacting to your new life in the way you reacted to your old life? Are you subconsciously stuck in your past?