With the wit and warmth of a girlfriend, divorced mother Kerri Zane shares her own story of bouncing back from the painful breakup of her marriage—and explains her philosophy about caring for yourself both inside and out before you make the leap into the next romantic liaison.
Using solid statistics, tangible facts, proven healing mechanisms, and first person stories of wisdom, she provides a beacon to show how to become a more confident and loving whole woman, ready for the challenge of finding “the REAL One” and forming an authentic and renewable REALationship.
|Publisher:||Morgan James Publishing|
|Sold by:||Barnes & Noble|
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RESCRIPT YOUR LIFE
Your story is not what happens to you in life; rather it is what you make happen in your life that is your story.
— Kerri Zane
Humans are meant to exist in pairs, and I am sure you thought when you married "Him" that you were done with that "searching for your perfect match" business. Now as a single mom, when you reflect on your life, you are a little bit older; yes, definitely wiser; for sure, perhaps carrying a few extra pounds; and no doubt ruled by your children's agenda. The prospect of starting over again to find another significant other can feel overwhelming and the task of connecting with a new mate hopeless.
But let's face it. You need time to take a deep breath and turn what most might consider a sad loss into a golden opportunity. Assess everything about you and rediscover who you really are now as a uniquely special single mom. Then give yourself the space to uncover who will fulfill you best as you move forward for the rest of your life. What you discover will allow you to make any and all the changes you see fit in order to be the best you can be. Then it will be easy to follow your heart and find the REAL One.
Grieve And Go On
Grief is primarily the pain of resisting what is.
— John Welshons Before you take one step forward, allow yourself the privilege and time to mourn the past. Grieving is perfectly understandable when you've lost your significant other to illness or accident, but many do not allow themselves to do so with divorce. It is a loss. Regardless of the circumstances, it triggers the same emotions. You become suddenly unsure of who you are and how you should be when not defined by a marriage. Everything about your life changes — the street route you take to drop your kids off at school, responsibilities around your house, finances, and your relationships with every friend and family member in your circle.
Change is stressful, and a lot of changes at once are even more challenging. Divorce is number two on the list of most stressful events. So naturally, the healing will take time. Give yourself permission to have different feelings and the time to function at less than 100 percent. It's perfectly normal to have lots of ups and downs and feel many conflicting emotions, including anger, resentment, sadness, relief, fear, betrayal, and confusion. It's important to identify and acknowledge these feelings. While these emotions will often be painful, trying to suppress or ignore them will only prolong the grieving process. Share your feelings with friends and family so they can help you get through this period. Not only do you need their emotional support but you also need people to help fill the social calendar that was more than likely previously filled by your former spouse. If necessary, don't be afraid to get outside professional help. Isolating yourself can raise your stress levels, reduce your concentration, and get in the way of your work, relationships, and overall health. Most importantly, accept that all these reactions are normal and will lessen over time. In The Power of Full Engagement, authors Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz give counsel that grief, like most toxic emotions, is best metabolized in waves, intermittently opening up the energy channel to allow the sadness in and then seeking recovery in the form of comfort, laughter, hope, and reengagement. You will find that eventually, the mourning will dissipate and be replaced by an overwhelming curiosity to rediscover yourself.
Start With Your Backstory
Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.
— Malcolm S. Forbes
The best way to begin to uncover who you truly are is by starting at the beginning of your story. From birth to this point, you are amalgams of your life experiences. They are the events and interactions with others that have defined you, from childhood games of playing house in cardboard boxes to tumultuous adult bedroom alliances. Each scene of your life blends with the others to create your story — or at least the story about you that you've scripted so far. Your story is, in fact, just a story. The beauty of the life you live is that you can rescript your story any time you want!
You are the scribe of every scene in your life. So, you are the one who gets to choose how you want to be in your story, which direction you want the story to take, and how you want to interpret it. In other words, your entire life is based on your scene translations and your personal choices. Unfortunately, you can't see into your own future, so it is not always clear what the consequences of your choices will be or how you will hold those stories in your mind. Like many women, you probably define the results of your choices — the subsequent experiences — as either "good" or "bad." You judge yourself as "wrong" if your choices don't work out the way you intended.
Defining events that occur as good or bad presupposes that you are a casualty rather than a power player in your own life. Admittedly, some of your choices have been or will be better than others, but the beauty of having the ability to choose is that you are in charge of what happens to you. And with every choice you make, for better or worse, there are lessons to be learned and personal growth to be attained. That is really what your life and being in relationship are all about.
The more you learn and grow, the more confident a woman you will become. You'll no longer need to live the "he's just not that into you" reality nor will you ever need to settle for someone less than ideal. What I'm talking about is you being ready when The REAL One enters your orbit. You get to choose him!
In order to break your "woe is me" pattern, you will need to reflect on your key life experiences and change your interpretation and choice. These events and your responses (or thoughts, beliefs, and ultimately, choices) to these events have led you to become who you are today. Your thoughts became your beliefs, and your beliefs became your story. Now, it's your choice to redefine the experience and rescript a whole new story to create the enviable new life you desire.
Rescript: Act One
Confidence is feeling satisfied with who and what we are.
Locked inside every woman's brain are three profound life-defining experiences. The first occurs early in her life, some time between the ages of two and five. First of all, no one, including you, could imagine that a child under five years old could be responsible for any kind of traumatic event such as abandonment, abuse, or social exclusion. Second, you did the best you could to understand the distressing events in light of your age and the circumstances. Science has found strong evidence that young children are incapable of processing any childhood traumas because the cortices in their brains are not fully developed. Without that capacity to make sense of an event, the feeling part of the brain takes over, and you react emotionally from environmental cues. If these emotions are not effectively dealt with, they create lifetime scars. You end up seeing yourself within the context of how the people in your life scripted your story. Further, you are not alone; the majority of all adult women have suffered some type of childhood trauma.
The impact of my birth father not showing up in my life has been a continual open wound that resurfaced over and over again in my romantic relationships. In my childhood story, I believed I was responsible for his departure because I was a bad girl. So growing up, I believed if I were really good no matter what the cost, I would never be the one abandoned again. In adulthood, I became the Queen of the Wrong Relationship. That way, when the guy turned out to be Mr. Wrong for me, not only could I be the abandoner, but also it was obvious to everyone why I left the relationship. No blame.
Rescript: Act Two
Your chances of success in any undertaking can always be measured by your belief in yourself.
— Robert Collier
The second traumatic experience occurs in your preteen or teen years, which may not be so much of a drama as a story arc.
Determined to never become beholden to any man, Patricia became the caretaker for every man in her life. She consistently chose to be in relationships with needy men she definitively could not depend on: two ex-husbands and her current boyfriend. Oh, and by the way, she bore three children — all boys! Patricia is a brilliant businesswoman. She works hard and bears the financial burden of her family.
Rescript: Act Three
Don't change other people. Be the change you wish to see in other people.
For single moms, the third life changer is the divorce or death of a spouse. Many women get so lost in their marriages by living in the shadow of their spouses that they completely lose their entire identities.
Kate's advice is to take the time to figure out what you want. Then, the next time you get into a relationship, you will know who "you" are before you become a "them."
The good news is that it's never too late to put heart back into one's life.
— Lucia Capacchione
Take time to sit down with a blank journal and rescript your back story. Write everything about your past and how you would like to tell that story. Then you can begin to map out a direction for your future. Write about who you want to be, where you see your life going, and how you would like it to play out. The more concrete you can be, the better. In my spiritual psychology program, it is called a living vision. Don't worry if your life shifts — you can always modify or update it as you go. After all, it is your living vision!
With fortitude and commitment to the new choices, your rescripted story is attainable. Inside all of us, we have what it takes to persevere and succeed.
To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.
— Oscar WildeCHAPTER 2
FILL YOUR GLASS
Your grass IS green.
— Kerri Zane
"Is your glass half empty or half full?" This is a common expression used to determine if you are an optimist or a pessimist. Any situation can be seen from many angles, and you need to decide in which half of the glass your personal worldview resides.
According to Dr. Martin Seligman, author of Learned Optimism: How to Change Your Mind and Your Life, pessimists tend to believe that difficult events will last a long time. This undermines everything they do, and they believe it's entirely their fault. Optimists confronted with hard knocks think of misfortune in the opposite way. They tend to believe that defeat is just a temporary setback confined to one case. They do not believe that defeat is their fault but is rather a challenge to learn from and then try harder the next time.
How do you see your life post divorce? Will it be the glass-half-empty type in which you trudge through the rest of it with your proverbial load of baggage? Or will you be a glass-half-full woman and view your previous relationship as an invaluable lesson in the game of life. Your answer to this question has implications for how your post-marital years will play out. It will drive your actions in every interaction of your future relationships with your children, former mate, and future REAL One. The closer to the brim of your champagne flute you go, the more you will thrive!
Put The Head Chatter On Hold
There is only one meaning of life: the act of living itself.
— Erich Fromm
To get the glass half full, you must start by eliminating your negative thought process. Everyone has voices inside his or her head chattering at him or her all the time. It can't be helped. Sit quietly for the next 60 seconds. Are you watching the second hand sweep by? Can you hear those inhabiters of your awareness yakking away? They're probably asking you why you are sitting quietly listening to them right now, and they're also undoubtedly commenting on how stupid it must feel. In any event, those voices are talking to you constantly. It's okay — you can't stop them, so don't even try. You can, however, rescript their dialogue. If you don't, they are going to keep you living in a state of self-doubt, which will become your pervasive aura. Everyone around you will sense your lack of self-assurance.
For many of us, the most common negative messages that the voices repeat over and over include you're so stupid, you're a loser, you never do anything right, why would anyone ever like you? Or, you're such a klutz. The messages tend to imagine the worst in everything, especially you. If you acknowledge the voices enough, over time, you'll start to believe what they're saying no matter how untrue or unreal they are. Loving yourself first begins when you can replace the negative-message head chatter with new positive internal personal perspectives.
Erase The Head Hate: Step One
Start to really focus on your head chatter. When one of the negative thoughts pops into your head, stop the process as soon as you realize what's going on. Then ask yourself the following questions about these mental misfits:
Is this message really true?
Would my friend say this to another person about me? If she wouldn't, why am I?
What do I gain out of thinking this thought?
Erase The Head Hate: Step Two
Turn the negatives into positives. Science has discovered that you can only keep one thought in your head at a time. Your job is to opt for the happy thought rather than the negative one. You can begin to rescript the self- deprecating behavior through deleting negative words like worried, frightened, upset, tired, bored, not, never and can't from your chatterbox vocab by planting positive ones like happy, peaceful, loving, enthusiastic, warm, and can. Don't allow statements like I'm scared that ..., I'm upset because ..., or It worries me if ... to rule your internal dialogues. Instead, substitute a statement like It will be nice when. ... Always use the present tense, e.g., I am healthy, I am well, and I am happy. Start your statement with I, me, or your own name. Positive present-tense head chatter allows your upbeat mindset to already exist. Also, by using the personal pronoun, it gives you true ownership. Shifting your head chatter from a tenuous state of what-ifs or when this ... then that to the proactive I ams will help you to manifest your goals.
Like Marcy, once you learn to concentrate on what you want to accomplish rather than on what you do not want to occur, your glass will begin to fill. In fact, psychological research shows that people who focus on positive experiences are able to put up with more discomfort than negative-thinking people. This mind-over-matter capability is an invaluable tool.
Put Your Smile On
The truth is, life really is a matter of how you look at it.
— Martin Seligman
Smiles have powerful healing capabilities. Again, science has shown that putting on your happy face influences your brain to respond in a positive way. In one study, subjects who were asked to hold a pen in their mouths, which caused them to inadvertently make the facial muscle movements characteristic of a smile, rated cartoons to be funnier than did the other subjects even though they were unaware that it was their own smile that was boosting their reaction. The biological reason for this is that when you feel down, your brain tells your face you're sad, and your facial muscles respond by putting on a depressed expression. This reflects back to your head that yes, in fact, you're feeling blue. By consciously changing your facial muscles so they don't correspond to what you're feeling, you send a different message to your head. The brain will respond by beginning to change your mood accordingly. Are you smiling yet?
Regina's happy thought processes helped her find a world worth smiling about.
Any fact facing us is not as important as our attitude toward it, for that determines our success or failure.
— Norman Vincent Peale
As you begin your day, your frame of mind proves extremely important. If you start your day in the positive and expect that you will succeed in completing what you set out to do, you exponentially increase the chances that you will have a successful outcome. It's a "bestpectation" — expecting the best possible outcome in every circumstance. A bestpectationer is able to look at the bright side of life so that even the darkest of situations can be spun into golden opportunities.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "It Takes All 5"
Copyright © 2013 Kerri Zane.
Excerpted by permission of Morgan James Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Part 1 The Inside 5 1
1 Rescript Your Life 3
2 Fill Your Glass 13
3 Flying in the Face of Fear 29
4 Being "me" 43
5 Right here, Right now 55
Part 2 The Outside 5 67
6 Balance Your Multi-platforms 69
7 Retrofitting Your Financials 81
8 Love Your Vessel 93
9 Put Your Game Face On 105
10 Sex and Sexability 119
Part 3 The "Real One" 5 129
11 Be A Filrty Girl 131
12 Diving Into The Dating Pool 145
13 Enjoy The Journey 155
14 The 5 Finger Philosophy 165
15 Rock, Paper, Hearts 183
Final Thoughts 197
What People are Saying About This
"For anyone who's gone to hell and back post divorce or simply living through a rough patch in a marriage, this book is the essential dust yourself off and put yourself together again. Kerri's advice is weighty but delivered in a light hearted way that could easily be the voice of your favorite girlfriend. The best advice is about treating dating simply as fun, rather than a chore, in a quest to find someone, once you have found yourself."
-Claire Atkinson, Senior reporter, New York Post