Christine Griffin CPC, CRC

Charting a new course for L.I.F.E.

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Letting go

Posted by Christine on January 19, 2015 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Letting go . . . why is it so hard and necessary to Live Life?

This process of letting go is not easy when it comes to divorce.  Each party took vows of commitment to one another at one point. Whether it is 3 years into the marriage or 30, you have built your life around this other person. You have dreams, plans and expectations of one another. It took years to build trust, commitment and communication that the relationship was built upon. When this whole thing comes crashing down, society is very willing to encourage you to move on. Is it really that easy? Not so much. I will agree it is absolutely necessary to live life but not easy. Here are the top 3 reasons why it is not so easy:

First, you must grieve the loss of a relationship. The loss of a person with whom you once built your life upon is the equivalent of a death. With that grieving process, you feel sad, depressed and must come to accept the reality that the relationship is over. It is a process that occurs over time. Until you have fully grieved "letting go" is an elusive prospect left for those living life while you feel like you are in the waiting room.

Second, your ego takes a hit. Your self-esteem suffers and you look back with regret and doubt about how things unfolded. You want to understand how things fell apart and as you watch your ex moves forward or, on the other side, holds on to the past. You may even be angry. You will even go back and forth from wanting to salvage the relationship to moving past it. Giving up, feels like a failure and as long as you hold on to hope, you haven't failed.

Third, confusion about your future can be overwhelming. How can you let go of your old life until you know where you are going in your new future? Often your life with your ex stems from expectations you have built within from a very young age. I do not know anyone that had divorce as part of their vision for themselves. It is rare that someone has a plan b for their lives. So, it becomes daunting to think about "how" to move forward. One must have hope for the future even if they don't have all the answers.

That being said, it is vital to "let go" before one can truly move forward. As anxious as you may be to move forward, it is necessary for you to work through acceptance, rebuilding your self-esteem, and hope for your future. Without doing that initial work, your energy for the future is sucked into the past. You are the equivalent of a yo-yo being pulled back and forth. If you are anxious to move forward, do the work first. Then you will be ready to let go and move forward to the life that is waiting for you. Trust me when I say that your future life will far exceed your expectations. You are smarter and more grounded and that is a recipe for an amazing life.

You are amazing and your time is coming. . . .

 

Top 10 Life Lessons from my Divorce that make me better!

Posted by Christine on January 14, 2015 at 5:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Top 10 Lessons

Today, I am a different person than I was when I was married (thank God). I am also a much different person than I was when I was going through my divorce. I am wiser and just plain better (seriously, I am). I am not sure my ex agrees; however, his opinion is not relevant to me anymore. I am better because of the lessons that I learned about myself and life. I am blessed and am generally much happier for having learned these lessons. In no particular order they are as follows: 

  1. No matter how “bad” my circumstances feel in a moment, I will be just fine ( and likely better than fine);
  2. I am in charge of me and my life; nothing (and I mean NOTHING) is responsible for the results in my life except for me – no victim mentality;
  3. I have intuition for a reason – follow it;
  4. I know that all my experiences serve me so no more “regrets” or “mistakes” – just wisdom;
  5. I am so much stronger than I ever gave myself credit for – I CAN do anything I choose to;
  6. I am not perfect but I am still am still pretty awesome (not in the egomaniac kind of way);
  7. I am accepting of myself and apologize when I trip up (I still do sometimes);
  8. I understand my values from a deep level and do not need to explain myself;
  9. I know how to “let go” so I can move forward (others are not perfect either);
  10. I learned who my true friends were (thank God) and have a new found appreciation for those in my life (an inner circle that is precious and one must earn the right to be part of it). 

I look back and know without a doubt that I am exactly where I am meant to be. I meet every day and every experience with this new wisdom and am happier because of it. What lessons have you learned? Are they the same?

 

When am I ready to "BE" with someone new?

Posted by Christine on January 12, 2015 at 8:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Are you ready for someone new?

I am often asked for recommendations or what is normal for moving forward. How soon should I enter another relationship? For some they charge forward after divorce and it seems to be what they need to get "unstuck." The reality is that I don't know and all of your answers are going to come from within you. You are ready for a new relationship when you know the "new" you; the wiser, confident and improved you.  

Notwithstanding how common divorce is, there isn't truly a recipe to follow.  You have heard the cliche "rebound" relationship that "they" talk about.  I am not sure who "they" are but "they" say alot.  These things are cliche for a reason, because there is some truth to what they say.  Rebound relationships occur simply becuase you weren't ready to truly be in a new relationship.  There is much healing, reflecting and self-discovery that happens as a result of a divorce or breakup.  If you bounce into bed (literally and figuratively) with the next one that crosses your path, before you have done the work, the result will not be a good one.  BUT, that doesn't mean that the rebound relationship was a "failure."  I hold a new belief since my divorce that no relationship is a failure.  In one of my trainings as a coach, I would hear "there is no such thing as failure, only feedback."  That holds true here in that every single relationship is an opportunity for you to learn about yourself.  What you experience in a relationship is often the result of things going on within you and the relationship acts as a mirror for you.  Therefore, I leave it up to the individual to decide when they are ready and when they want to jump back into bed, so to speak.  The one steadfast position I hold though is self-discovery and being true to yourself is your TOP priority.   Entering into a relationship should not be a means to avoid doing the work on yourself.  A relationship (even if a short term) can be part of that prcoess.  A new relationship shouldn't be a goal in and of itself.  You must be happy with yourself first before you can be happy with someone else.  Again it is cliche but true happiness doesn't come from outside of you and from external circumstances.  True happiness comes from a state of mind and a disposition that you choose.  I have been told that I am annoyingly positive.  I am ok with that.  If you are happy from the inside out then you will never look to another for fulfillment or blame someone for stealing your happiness.  NO ONE can steal your choice in how you see and react to life.   So when you feel new then you are ready for someone new. 

In the meantime, enjoy yourself and all the beautiful things you bring to this world.  If you do not see the beauty in you, then find it.  You are each beautiful from the inside out.  Start with a new relationship with self and the new relationships with others will follow.  Enjoy and live L.I.F.E.


 

Letting go to move Forward.

Posted by Christine on April 22, 2014 at 10:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Amazing breakthrough tonight with a client about "letting go." She was finally willing to let go of the "fight" in court to get the back child support that she felt "should" have been paid. She says this gave her relief and freedom to truly move forward. She even received closure with her ex when she shared it is not about the money but more about spending time with their daughter. As long as you are engaging in a "fight" you will not find peace to move forward. No matter how "right" we think we are about anything, spending our resources committed to making others accountable according to our own perception will never allow you to move forward. You can only hold yourself accountable and if others do not choose to be accountable, we cannot force it on them. You can attempt to raise awareness but do not engage in a fight if what you want is peace. What do you want? When you know that answer you can make choices to bring that result. If your answer depends on someone else doing something then you give away your power. Own your results and make choices based on what you have control over and let go of the rest. You will be glad you did.

We so often get stuck in taking a position, which, at first, feels like the right thing to do.  It may be worth making the effort to go after what you believe is right and I am not saying that you become a door mat.  What I am saying is that you recognize when your efforts and the "fight" become center stage.  It no longer serves the purpose of potentially gaining something but rather you are sacrificing much more than what you could ever get in return.  Ask yourself what are you giving up when you go after this result.  If the cost to you becomes so great that you are losing no matter what, it is time to let go.  It doesn't mean that the other person has "won" but it just means that you are not willing to play the game anymore.  It means that you win when you refuse to give your power away.  It is up to you, not others how you experience life.  Choose how to spend your time and resources carefully.  This is your life and you get to live it.  Be brave and strong enough to let go and you will suddenly be looking forward and not back.



Investing in Your Self

Posted by Christine on April 10, 2014 at 10:35 PM Comments comments (0)

We had a great call tonight with some members who are willing to step up and share and ask for support.  It always amazes me how people can be so insightful so quickly.  Tonight we talked about investing in your Self.  It is deeper than just self care but more about a reflection process of looking within to own the choices that you have made to get where you are but even deeper to look at what beliefs were driving those choices.  In knowing your beliefs (conscious and unconscious) we can then be mindful about what we create in the future.  I used myself as the example of looking at my results first and then worked my way backwards.  For me, I found myself in a marriage long ago where I was not heard, valued, appreciated or respected.  While it would be tempting to blame him and play the victim, that won't serve me to understand how I got there and what drove my choices to create something better for my future.  So, I took the time and made the investment in reflecting on why I would choose that.  I saw in my childhood how I was often the one that got very little attention.  There were 5 children and I was number 4.  My older sister had a hearing loss where she required more attention and my younger brother had more needs.  I was often a shy little girl who didnt speak often and kept to myself. I didn't have many needs and took care of them if I did.  I often wasn't heard and I developed a belief that what I had to say was not important and that others' needs were more important than mine.  So, I often put myself last.  In looking back as an adult, I now realize that my Mom didn't devalue me but rather saw in me a resourceful and independent girl.  I now hold the belief that I am a strong, resourceful woman with much to say.  I became an author even of my book, Divorced: So What, Now What?   That is an amazing shift.  It all began when I made the investment of personal reflection and stopped looking at my circumstances and others as the root of my problems.  It starts and ends with you.  Another woman spoke of her realization that she was the youngest of 10 thus the one that was viewed as not responsible.  So, she chose a marriage where she got to be responsible for almost everything.  This would be a case of "be careful what you wish for."  She now gets to look back at why she chose that and what belief was driving it so she will choose differently.  You want a change then look within.  That is where your answers are.  That is where you begin to invest your time, energy and resources.  I promise that you will be so glad you did.  Who better to invest in than you?  


When you show up, great things happen!

With Blessings to your learning.  ~ Christine

Divorcing an alcoholic?

Posted by Christine on March 31, 2014 at 8:10 PM Comments comments (1)

Can anyone relate to the feeling of indecision that plagued me over the course of more than a decade?  I was confused for many years about how to stand by my husband who was an alcoholic.  I thought it was my job to stand by him in sickness and in health.  I was told alcoholism is a disease.  If I left him, wouldn't that be the same as leaving him if he had cancer?  It felt wrong to leave because of the values I held and yet eventually I did just that.  I realized that I got to choose my values.  I also couldn't reconcile my self respect and dignity in that relationship anymore.  I became a shell of my former self and I was on the brink of losing myself altogether when I finally decided to leave.

I recall the date and the event clearly.  I was emotional and defeated; I surrendered and also felt at peace on some level.  In hindsight, I see that my decision was truly about preserving my vows to myself first, and I could not do that in the context of that marriage.  

It was strange how the many years of struggling, yelling, working and talking things out boiled down to a single moment in time for me.  There I stood in the garage in front of my husband and simply stated, “I am moving back to my Mom’s tomorrow.”  He was leaning against the desk with a beer in hand, and I am not even sure if he looked at me.  I recall feeling confident in the decision, and yet completely defeated and at the mercy of the moment.  It was somewhat surreal, and I felt as if I was just carrying out what needed to be done.   My son was only a year and a half old, and he was asleep in his crib for the night.  It was too late to take immediate action, but I knew in that moment that I was done playing, and living the life I had chosen up to that point. 

The events that immediately preceded this moment had shocked me to the point of taking drastic action, and yet the night in question was like so many others in our past as well.  For me, however, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back.  It was yet another argument with my-then husband, but this time it was different.  I was demanding to know where he was and why he did not call me, as he was out half the night.  I was told that it was none of my business, and eventually he blurted out that he was sleeping with another woman.  When he said this, I heard agitation in his voice and I interpreted that he was simply tired of me asking him, and merely wanted me out of his space.  It was not a heartfelt confession coming from shame or regret, or even a wish to wipe the slate clean to get honest.  It felt like an attempt to push me as far away from him as possible.  He was sitting with his eyes locked on the computer in our bedroom, and was occupiedwith what he was doing. He did not want to have a conversation with me.  

I was devastated and angry at this point.  I demanded that he let me know who she was andhow this had happened.  His eyes werestill glued to the computer, and he only glanced up momentarily to give me short answers such as: “it doesn’t matter” or “it’s none of your business.” It seemed the more upset I became, the more indifferent he was.  He just did not care and his only concern in that moment – and most of the time in our marriage – was that I simply stayed out of his hair and out of his way.  I tried in vain to understand the ‘who,’ ‘what,’ ‘when’of this affair.  Even after putting that out there, he did not want to engage in a conversation or argument.  I was confused, angry and beyond hurt.  This was the last straw.  No explanations mattered when I felt this quiet surrender come over me.  Internally, I shifted. In a nano second, I went from feeling anger and demanding answers, to looking at what I wanted to do.  Suddenly, I did not want answers and I did not want to know.  I only wanted to create something different than what was, and the change needed to come from me.  I was finally willing to do something drastic to create something new.

So it was in that moment that my life changed forever.  I wrote this excerpt in my book as well and it was one of the most pivotal points in my life.  If you too are struggling with a decision, I ask you to look deep within.  The answer is in you and the sooner you make the decision, the better off you are.  Indecision itself is a decision.  Take action and take control, no matter how small.  You are worth it. 

You can only cry over spilled milk so long before it spoils . . .

Posted by Christine on April 9, 2011 at 9:41 AM Comments comments (0)

Remember the saying . . . don't cry over spilled milk?  It is one that we are all familiar with and yet it is not one that we think about often.  Within this simple saying lies a profound meaning, especially for those going through divorce.           

    

It is impossible to recoup spilled milk for use and consumption and thus the saying really directs a person to understand and accept quickly that you simply need to let it go and accept it.  It is simply impossible to "unspill" the milk and I have not yet determined how one can consume it once it is spilled.  Picture this: you are sitting at the table eating your meal and accidently you bump your glass and the milk has now tipped and has made a mess.  It is all over your meal, the table (and everything else on it); it even splashed onto the new clean black shirt you were going to wear to work that day.  It has also run onto the floor.  So, in a moment you went from sitting and eating a meal to having a huge mess on your hands to clean up.  You went from being on time for work to now being late.  Like with the spilled milk, a divorce suddenly leaves you with this big mess in front of you.  You may initially be upset over the mess and go into blaming as to who caused the mess and what an imposition it is to now have this mess in front of you.  It is not the way you thought things would have gone but there you are and inevitibly you must deal with the mess.  If you do not tend to and take the time to clean up the spilled milk, it will spoil and it will smell.  What works best is to simply tend to the mess and move on.  Get the milk cleaned up and go on with your day and in the case of divorce your life.

If you are still stuck in the blame game and want to point fingers at the reason for the spilled milk/divorce, it will be difficult to spend energy on what is important.  It is important to tend to the mess and move on.  You would not sit at the table and spend the entire day debating with your wife it is her fault that the milk spilled and thus she should clean it up.  Would you put your whole day on hold to make yourself "right" and make her clean up the milk?  Do not put your whole life on hold for the purpose of being "right."  Choose you new course and move forward.

It sounds silly to do so and yet with a divorce and such significant transitions in life, we spend much of our energy wanting to understand what went wrong and we want to appoint blame.  Going through this exercise gets you stuck while the milk contintues to stink.  If you choose to stay in this place, your life will stink.  It is useful to look at what your actions were that contributed to the result, however, it is not useful to dwell on it; simply use that information to make a new choice for the future.

  

  So the moral of this story is to avoid the stink and handle the mess so you can smell the roses.   I assure you that when you have done so, you will get to spend energy on things that matter to you and live, laugh and enjoy life again.  I get that it is a significant event and it will be one that changes the course of things but you get to choose going forward wha the new course will look like and you can have a life that smells like roses if you wish. 

Here is to a life that smells great!!

The Gift I see in You!!!!

Posted by Christine on December 27, 2010 at 7:12 PM Comments comments (0)

So, this holiday season there have been many reminders to me of how we hold our loved ones; the ones that we love unconditionally.  For me it is my Mom and Dad, siblings, my son and even life long friends.  It is the perfect time to take a moment and put aside their imperfections, that we all have, and simply acknowledge the blessing and gift that they are in your life.   

 

A gift is something voluntarily transferred by one person to another.  It is an act of "giving."  Being with the ones you love is about giving of oneself and looking at what you can do for them.  When you catch yourself criticizing and wanting more from your loved ones, especially at the holidays, simply ask what you could do for them.  You get in life and in relationships what you give.  So, if you are not getting what you want out of life and relationship, look within and ask yourself what you can give.  Be a giver this season!!!  

 

Take a moment and acknowlege your loved ones by sharing with them the Gift that you see in them!!!  It is a gift they will treasure and remember.   It is priceless!!!!  So, I challenge you to do so today and see what happens when you give in this way.  It is amazing at how such a simple gift can have such a profound impact.   Have fun!!!! 

 

BE all you can BE . . .

Posted by Christine on November 26, 2010 at 10:55 AM Comments comments (1)

Have you ever had a moment with a newborn when you can simply hold and look at them and see that they are perfectly divine.  The rest of the world disappears and you are connected wtih them in the most profound way.  They have just begun their time and you can look at them and know that there is nothing for them to "do" that makes them anything more than what they already are.

 

As we get older we forget that.  I am a Gentle, Trusting and Giving woman and that is how I Be in life.  I hold that space and there is nothing for me to do to create more value or worth.  We are whole and complete before we ever "do" anything.  Yet, society has us believe that having the better job and having the better house and accumulating more stuff makes us happier and complete.  A newborn reminds you that  you do not need any of those things and returns us to the place of being spiritual beings having a human experience.  It is about our connections with each other and recognizing the gifts in one another.  I never look for others to prove themselves as to what they do to recognize their gifts.  Being all you can Be it is really just a matter of embracing who you really are and there is nothing more to it than that. 

 

Who are you and who is it that you Be in this world?  These are the gifts you were born with and it is up to you to bring them forth in this world.  It is that simple.  So Bring it is all I have to say. 

What Happens in Vegas . . . .

Posted by Christine on November 18, 2010 at 10:02 PM Comments comments (1)

What happens in Vegas will Not stay in Vegas this time around!!!!  I had such great learning and achnored myself again in my prior training that I brought it home with me and want to share it with everyone.  I recently returned from an amazing trip to Las Vegas where I got to be part of the staff for transformational training.   

 

 It was an unbelievable 4 days of being with people and assisting them to discover who they truly are.  Who they are that gives them the power to create the things in their life that they say matter most.  When I did my training I discovered my power in Being a gentle, trusting and giving woman. 

 

I witnessed people stretch and do things that even they could never imagine they would do.  In the end though each of them transformed themselves from a cacoon to a butterfly.  It is about choosing how you show up in relationships and in life.  Do you give 100% or do you give just enough?  Do you push yourself to do more and to create more or do you go through the motions and simply pay the bills and stick to your routine?  Do you stretch and look for new experiences and learning?  I know that when I  show up as a Gentle, Trusting and Giving Woman that Great things happen in my life.  What power is within you that you can embrace and create great things for yourself? 

 

I acknowledge each and everyone that I met during the weekend and for having the courage to take on their lives.   Wouldn't it be great to finally understand that it is you who will be taking a stand?  Once you own the power to take on your life, you will reach for the life that you love.   Have the courage to take yourself on.  I invite you to step up and into your own greatness.  The time is now!!! 

 

When you Show up, Great things happen!!!!  What are you waiting for?


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