Sunday, May 1, 2011

Trying To Find Security While Divorcing

Trying to Find a Sense of Security While Divorcing
Safety can be quite elusive when undergoing a major change.
Published on May 1, 2011 by Susan Pease Gadoua in Contemplating Divorce

There is no security on this earth, there is only opportunity. ~ General Douglas MacArthur

Actual security doesn't exist. In any given day, all that any of us has is a sense of security. We surround ourselves with all things familiar, and we take actions and think thoughts that make us feel more in control of our environment. We build structures that we think will never tumble, we set up some certain jobs with tenure, and we have the institution of marriage that is supposed to last forever. But life has a way of keeping us humble, and we see that some of the things we believed would be forever are not always forever.

Thinking we have security isn't a design flaw in our species. In fact, it's quite the opposite. If none of us felt safe and secure, we wouldn't be able to take risks or venture into unknown territory. Having a sense of security helps us to grow and change.

When life throws us a curve ball, it is our sense of security that is broken, not our actual security (since that doesn't exist).

It's normal to feel let down (or even betrayed) when something we thought we could or should count on doesn't last or proves untrustworthy. But even with the best of intentions, no one can promise anything forever; everything "permanent" can be changed, and any security we have is merely a sense of security. We can certainly take actions to diminish the chances that our security will be threatened, but nothing we do is foolproof.

Understanding this can change your perspective on what you are experiencing. It can also facilitate your acceptance of your divorce situation, which, in turn, will facilitate your movement through the grief process.

It's not wrong to want to feel secure but it's unrealistic to believe that you are immune from events that will shake your foundation. Absolute security doesn't exist for anyone, anywhere. With this in mind, enjoy the times when you do feel secure knowing that it is a comfortable and necessary illusion.


I enjoy my sense of security knowing that real security is an illusion.

Journal Exercise

* Write down all the experiences you have had in your life that you thought were secure but were not. How did you regain your feeling of security?
* How will your view on life change knowing that security is nothing more than an illusion? Will you make different choices? Will you appreciate what you have more?

This article was excerpted from Stronger Day by Day: Reflections for Healing and Rebuilding After Divorce, by Susan Pease Gadoua

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