Today’s post is a little different. I wanted to share with you a clients words about his experience of the pain of his divorce and the process of rebuilding him and his future.
Over to him…
The words hit me like a hammer ~ “There’s nothing wrong with you. You’re not broken, you never were. So you don’t need fixing. You’ve simply lost your way. And I’m here to show you the way back. And it’s not difficult or complicated.’
I was sitting in the office of my coach, Stephen Hedger, at probably the lowest point in my life. My marriage was over, I was facing a toxic, difficult divorce.
Most of the therapists that we had seen during the last stages of our marriage had only succeeded in accelerating the end of our marriage. And had made me feel awful, deeply inadequate as a husband, as a man, as an individual.
I remember thinking that if everything that they had told me was true, then there was so much wrong with me, that there wasn’t enough time left in my life to fix it all.
That all that was left for me was a huge amount of effort to make my life, make me, slightly less broken than I was.
I sat in the chair looking at Stephen and wondering how the hell I had come to this point. How had I ended up in this situation, emptied out, with no passion, no energy, no nothing.
I looked back at photos of me in the past, from before my marriage, seeing the energy, passion and confidence in my eyes. Seeing the possibilities and potential in that person. The excitement about life.
I remembered how easy life felt, how straightforward it seemed. How life seemed full of open doors, exciting people to meet, incredible adventures to have.
Where had that person gone? Could they ever come back or was it too late for me? Had my time come and gone already before I had even realised?
Stephen calmly listened to all these thoughts tumble out, an unfiltered stream of consciousness.
He then just looked at me and smiled, wisely, calmly and kindly and said those words that changed everything for me ~ “There’s nothing wrong with you and there never was. Let me show you why”.
That was the turning point.
Over the next 3 months I went on an incredible journey where I completely rebuilt myself. My confidence went from an all-time low to being completely indestructible.
My passion and my energy were completely rejuvenated. I fell back in love with who I was. This wasn’t arrogance, just a calm, kind and deep love for myself. I loved being me. I felt a calmness and a peace that I hadn’t had for years. I knew with a profound certainty that no matter what happened, I was OK and would be just fine.
The whole experience become a journey of incredible learning.
One of the most important things Stephen ever told me was that I should embrace my problems. That they were in fact my friends, showing me what I needed to learn in order to become who I wanted to be and to create my life on my terms.
Through my divorce I received the greatest gifts I have ever been given. Firstly I learnt (because I had to), how to get back in control of my mind. I learnt this so well that it has never fallen away.
As soon as I have any bad feelings at all now I realise that I have lost control of my mind for a moment but I have to hand exactly the tools and techniques and because I used them, tested them in the white heat of a divorce battle I know, I have experienced just how powerful they are.
I was no longer handicapped by having half my energy being used on pointless fear and worry.
Despite what the world thinks this is your natural way of operating. It isn’t natural to dwell, to soak in your fears and anxieties. Your natural way is to simply deal with the situations life presents you, take the benefits, leave the baggage and grow.
There’s an old saying of be careful of winning the battle but losing the war. Which is exactly what happens when you allow blame into your life.
Let me give you an example.
At the start of my divorce, I felt a lot of anger, resentment and blame towards my ex-wife. This is obviously a very common, ‘normal’ way to feel in a divorce and in any relationship break up. I spent a lot of time talking this through with Stephen.
His work, very early on in our sessions, was to shift my thinking away from any thoughts of blaming my ex-wife. He showed me that I could spend all of my sessions with him talking through all the things that my ex-wife had done that made me angry, resentful or upset. In some of those situations those feelings would be ‘justified’. In others, not so much.
But the certain outcome was that at the end of our sessions, my life wouldn’t have taken a single step further forward. I could explain to Stephen how ‘right’ I was in all of this, how bad I felt my ex-wife’s behaviour had been, how wrong she was.
But what would I learn from that? How would that make my life better now or in the future? How would it help my daughters?
My ex-wife was no doubt feeling very similar feelings towards me, based on our different perspectives of what had happened.
Let’s assume, purely to illustrate this point, that I was 100% in the right and she was 100% in the wrong. That meant I had literally nothing to learn, no value to get, no growth, wisdom or experience to extract from this situation. All opportunity to change and grow, gone.
Stephen explained that when people get stuck, when they get addicted to blaming others, they get locked into a destructive pattern of behaviour. Through blaming, they start to create and then stack resentments towards their partner. A pattern that if I didn’t resolve, I would take into my next relationship.
One of the most important things I worked through with Stephen as I was going through my divorce was designing a new blueprint for my life. This wasn’t about what I wanted to have in my life – things like my perfect partner, finding my purpose, creating the wealth I desired etc. That would come later.
This was instead creating a new blueprint, a new set of rules, my authentic rules, that were my way to live and my way to navigate through my life. Rules and a blueprint that would help me become and to live as the very best version of myself.
Stephen showed me that to achieve my dreams, I had to become the best version of me, because it was the very best version of the real, authentic me was who would make those dreams a reality.
I had to become the person I wanted to be in order to create the life I wanted to live.
He was showing me that I had fallen into the trap of playing small in order not to upset others and in doing so I was limiting my life, the possibilities for what I could achieve and who I could become.
When I was going through this life design process, Stephen used to regularly challenge me to check that my designs were really my own.
I ended up realising that a number of the designs I put down were still ‘shoulds’ rather than my real desires. Or were limited visions of what I felt was ‘realistic’, or things that I hadn’t put on the list because whilst I really wanted them I was concerned that they would seem silly, or embarrassing in some way.
Stephen was constantly challenging me to make sure I wasn’t still holding back. That holding back was just another way my ego would put limits on my life. As Stephen said this was the time to truly ‘let it rip’.
Why You Have A Responsibility To Become the Best You
But first let me tell you a short story to explain why you unleashing your greatness and achieving the success and confidence you desire matters so much to me.
When I was working with Stephen we talked a lot about makes relationships thrive and what causes them to fail.
Stephen said that when nearly all couples come to see him, he is almost certainly dealing with pretty much the worst version of each person in the relationship.
At the start of the relationship, when they fell in love and when things felt amazing, they were being great versions of themselves. And so the relationship makes each person feel wonderful within it.
Overtime, as they hit changes, challenges and problems (and they don’t have the framework or tools to deal with them in ways that strengthen the relationship instead of weakening it), each person tends to become a lower version of themselves in the relationship.
This changes the dynamic within the relationship, so that each person withdraws a little, becomes a little more disconnected because they no longer feel wonderful, but a little less safe, a little less loved.
Eventually, unless they find ways to deal with these challenges, the relationship falls into decline and crisis. One or both people end up operating in that relationship as the worst versions of themselves; scared, fearful, angry, hurt and causing each other pain.
Is it any surprise then, he asked me, that these relationships are in deep trouble?
Is it a surprise that these relationships are a cause of pain instead of happiness, beset by arguments, resentments, toxic behaviors, affairs and many other things besides?
But the truth about the relationship isn’t defined by the state of the relationship when both people are existing as the worst versions of themselves. Any relationship would be challenged in those circumstances.
The truth about the relationship (and the people within it) comes from when they operate as the best of themselves with the tools and frameworks to deal with the challenges they face.
When they unleash their greatness within the relationship. No matter what.
When they remain true to the very best of themselves even when the other person is struggling or behaving poorly.
They do this because they realize that this is who they really are.
Stephen told me that initially both parties want to express the pain they feel, the hurt within them that they feel has been caused by their partner. They want to explain the situations that have caused them pain.
But can you see how pointless it would be to try to improve these relationships by simply dealing with the ‘presenting symptoms’?
Unless and until you change the version of the people operating in the relationship from awful to good and then to great, the same or slightly different symptoms will continue.
Until each individual changes their focus to being their best self no matter they will simply take the same challenges into the next relationship.
The great relationship that both people really want – passionate, connected, sexual, with respect, love and the freedom to be all of who you are – only comes when both people operate as the best of themselves in the relationship.
This is where the reality of Einstein’s wonderful quote that ‘No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that caused it’ matters.
By raising the consciousness of both people in the relationship, the problems get solved.
- Stephen Hedger showed me the path back to myself, to my best self and unleashed within me talents and greatness that I didn’t know existed. Stephen showed me who I really was, that I wasn’t broken and didn’t need fixing. He showed me the truth that changed the path of my life. That I didn’t need to learn to become confident and successful, that I simply needed to unlearn all the toxic damaging nonsense that was blocking my natural confidence and success mindset. He showed me that the path to my dream life was through becoming and living as the very best version of myself in every situation no matter what.
I do hope you connected with his words and no matter how dark life seems there is a way forward not just to settle, but to thrive.
This client really took the time to learn and practice what he discovered with me. He took personal responsibility for where he was and this enabled him to take back control of his life.
Other recent couples who have been through this rebuilding themselves and their marriage program have also commented.
- “This work is life changing”
- “Our marriage has never been so good”
- “We are together and it’s a miricle”
What I didn’t share with you…
This gentleman was so moved by what he learnt during this time all his discoveries are in his new book.
I’ll be sending you all the details once he is ready to launch…