In times of difficulty, especially if you are rebuilding your life after a divorce, you naturally look for consolation. It’s easy to reach for something to use as a life preserver, something to keep you afloat or distracted from being lonely.
This is a time when it’s easy to reach for something you believe will bring you consolation but in fact will make matters worse, such as working too much, spending too much, drinking too much and even getting into a romantic relationship when you’re not quite ready for it.
But to get through the rough spots with grace and your sanity, the best life preserver you can have is in placing yourself and all your concerns into God’s hands and then begin practicing habits that will help you stay motivated and focused. Setting goals and priorities as you’ve been doing is great (get up to speed with steps one, two and three) and here is the next step to take: Create a personal motto for yourself.
Having a motto is simply adopting a brief statement that incorporates your goals into words and reminds you of why you are fighting this good fight. It should be easy to remember.
- Think different (Apple).
- A diamond is forever (DeBeers).
- Just do it (Nike).
These are all slogans that are memorable and focus directly on the product being sold. You can do the same thing for yourself as you work toward being happy by adopting some statement that will focus you on what you are trying to accomplish.
For instance, if anger is an issue for you or you want to work on learning to forgive, a good motto would be: “Make me a channel of your peace” from the peace prayer of St. Francis. This way, when you feel the anger taking over you can simply repeat your motto to yourself as a reminder of your goal. “Make me a channel of your peace, Lord, make me a channel of your peace…”
You will find this is a tremendous help in getting yourself back on track.
Mottos come in handy most when you find yourself overwhelmed or experiencing strong emotions because saying your motto out loud or under your breath as a quiet prayer will remind you of your goal to be a better person, find peace in the midst of the situation, and move closer to being that happy person you’ve already described for yourself.
So there is your homework for this week, and in my next post (coming Thursday, Feb. 2) we’ll talk about enlisting some pretty powerful people to help you on the road to a new life.