I was in shock, hurt, and afraid. Not only was I grieving a failed relationship, but I had kids depending on me to hold it together. There were new habits and schedules to get used to, new responsibilities, and new feelings of emptiness in my heart.

Now add all the stress, anger, and blame that divorce often carries with it. I wanted to scream, “Stop the world, I want to get off!” The anger and attacks from this person I thought I was spending my life with felt debilitating.

Did I have reason to feel like a victim? Was I being attacked? Did the universe suddenly hate me? It sure seemed that way.

Everyone I knew told me, “Poor you. What are you going to do?” Even lawyers wanted to put me in this role of helplessness. It was thought to be the perfect defense. I remember being on the phone with my lawyer, saying, “But I do not want to be treated like a victim. This victim thing isn’t for me.”

Victimhood feeds on anger, hurt, and blame. Everything is being done to me. This put me in flight or fight mode when what I needed to be was strong and able to see clearly what was best for my children, my life, and yes, even my soon-to-be ex.

If I was filled with blame and feeling cornered, I would lash out in defense. I would constantly be feeding this feeling of hurt. There would be no room for thinking “I can,” because instead I would be feeling that it was someone or something else’s fault for how I felt and where I was.

This victimhood would sink me down to a world of “I can’t” and make me subservient to my circumstances. Everyone and everything except me would be in control. How could I build a positive, supportive life for my children if I was stuck feeding the victimhood? How could I find my inner strength if I allowed myself to feel this false sense of helplessness? Most of all, how could I forgive if I was blaming and not in control?

One day I was complaining to a close friend about my soon-to-be-ex and his new attacks on me. She said,”Alena, you can only take care of your own circle.” I had no idea of what she was talking about, but when I figured it out, she became my hero.

Taking care of my own circle meant just that. I could control my circle. What was my circle? First it was me! I could control how I reacted or responded to situations or circumstances. I could control how I wanted to see myself and who I wanted to be. I could control how I helped my children and how I perceived what was happening in our lives.

All of a sudden my life opened to possibilities and opportunities. If I had control, then I could change. And if I was in control of change, I was in control of my world.

This was huge! It opened my eyes. Now I could see clearly some of the steps to help my children deal with the divorce, to form our new family, to deal with my divorce in a way that was best for everyone involved.

If I had not taken this control of my response to my world, I would have never even noticed or helped when my children began to show signs of stress from their family being dismantled. I would have never noticed that opportunities to learn and grow were all around me. Experiences and people were ready to show me how to grow in strength and confidence during and after my divorce.

Sure it would have been easy to stay a victim. If I hadn’t chosen to “take care of my circle,” my children would not be the happy and secure people they are today. I would still be angry and hurt. The divorce would still be proceeding, and my life would be stuck and not moving forward.

However, because I did follow my dear friend’s advice and take control of my circle, our family is strong, happy, and secure. I feel strong, confident, and best of all, I like who I am. I continued to grow and actually bloom throughout a long, hard divorce.

I realize it can be hard to want to do anything when you are scared. Unfortunately, waiting can be exactly the wrong thing to do for you and your family. Your family needs you and you need them. Take little but firm steps towards taking control. Maybe start with your children. Plan a family night with movies and pizza or leave treats with special notes of love in their lockers, all to show you love and support them. Or start by treating yourself better, taking time to get centered and gain peace. Don’t allow people to treat you like a poor little creature. You can even start to think about who you want to be during and after this divorce. Begin to think about what is best for you and the family. Remove the fear and start opening to the options and possibilities.

The mentors or teachers that came into my life were a major factor. Each one gave me a tool to accept my changing circumstances, grow in the midst of them, and eventually transcend all the garbage of the divorce. The best part is that because I didn’t feel like a victim, it was easier to forgive, let go, and move on in my life.

These mentors/teachers were so paramount to my success, I decided to make it my mission to guide people not only through divorce — although that does seem to be the majority — but also out of the stuck places their lives. By providing support, tools, insights, and compassion, I help people create lives filled with abundance, love, and absolute joy.

Start today. Make a decision! No more victimhood! Take control of your circle and watch yourself unfold. What an amazing flower you will become!

Light and Love always!