I had the pleasure of interviewing Rasheed Ogunlaru on divorce and how this introduces us to endings and beginnings and on the role accepting divorce plays in helping us move on.
It was an interview that was full of really valuable information on how to manage the emotions and stresses that accompany the divorce process.
Rasheed has worked with people for a while now and really understands what really goes on for people during their dark times. He has worked with all kinds of people, from those in the public eye to others who looking to move on with their lives and careers.
In this interview, we talked about endings and beginnings.
This is what Rasheed had to say:
What would you say to someone who is going through divorce right one who is considering divorce?
Our whole lives are built around relationships and it can be painful when any kind of relationship comes to an end. You can feel all sorts of emotions. There’s so much pressure to be a certain way when in a relationship, including how long they should last.
Relationships are like train journeys. There are going to be some relationships where you go through the entire course of that journey together because you’re heading in the same direction. While there are others where people would get off at different stops because you’re going on your life journey and they are going on their own life journey.
The one person whom you’re stuck with for the entire journey is you.
So you’ve got to take time out for yourself. For very many people it may have taken them a very long time to even get to this point in their lives in accepting that their relationship isn’t working.
Realise and recognise that there are three things going on at the moment – there’s you, the other person and then there’s the relationship in between and the key thing is how can you honour all three.
How can you honour you? What is it that you need? Where are you at? Is it time for you to move forward? Are you ready to move on from this relationship? How do you protect yourself because sometimes things may get very, very unpleasant?
Then there is the other person; and their life, letting them go and moving on without them. And finally there’s the relationship that is ending. What it means and how to go about it? It’s very, very important to honour all three of those spaces.
There can be such huge pressures on what you should do and how you should feel but remember there is no script to follow so what you are feeling is uniquely you.
The divorce process and the divorce proceedings don’t need to be bitter. It is possible to have an amicable divorce today. Going to court as a means of going through divorce or the divorce proceedings isn’t always the way. There are other options including family mediation, collaborative law, working with a McKenzie Friend.
The narrative around divorce doesn’t need to be adversarial. Many couples decide and manage to sort out their divorce proceedings together and amicably.
What about the difference between leaver and the left? The left who maybe in shock and full of anger?
Give yourself time and space. You may feel numb and unable to do things. Know that there is support out there. You don’t have to go through it alone. Good friends, counsellors,family, therapists but be mindful of the type of support you reach out for.
You may also feel guilt and blame. It’s easier to move forward when you don’t carry such emotions with you. Realise that these things just happen. Which brings us on to acceptance.
What role does acceptance play?
First of all, acceptance is not about being passive.
Rasheed explains that this is one of the most powerful steps one can take in being able to positively deal with the divorce process and start their life after divorce and separation.
Understand that it is what it is. That is acceptance.
That moment of acceptance is the beginning of being empowered. It’s the beginning of thinking, “OK, where am I actually with this? What help do I need? What are the things I need to put in place?”
Realise that if it is over, if it is unresolvable, if people are going to go their own way, then you’re going to need to go on a journey. That is inevitable. Accept it.
Be mindful of the fact that there will be practical, financial and a lot of things that will need to be addressed, especially with regards to the children of divorce and others concerned but there’s going to be a moment where you are going to need to take care of yourself because you are going to need to address how you are, your own wellbeing, you cannot negate yourself. And if there are others, you are going to need to be as strong as you can be, for their sake as well as your own.
Addressing things with a good heart and good intentions is something that would be good to do because that’s all part of looking after yourself and moving on because there is still life to be lived!
To finish off – How to deal with divorce?
When going through divorce there are three important elements to keep in mind.
Firstly, what practical support do I need?
Secondly, what issues need to be addressed e.g. the children, the house, and other assets?
Thirdly, how am I looking after my emotions, my spirit, my feelings? What’s the emotional stuff that needs to be addressed or honoured or acknowledged and the support that I need? How am are you feeling in your spirit? Because there may also be that dimension where you would be wrestling with what’s in your heart?
In your heart you might be someone of kindness, someone caring so what is it that’s going to nourish you? Whether that’s spending time in nature or if you someone of faith or a humanist, whatever that looks like for you how are you keeping that going because it is an important part of your life.
Remember that sometimes this can also be a beginning. You are at a new stage in your life. Nothing ever in life is lost.
All those experiences, all those memories they are still alive, they are still all very relevant and you might be able to see them within yourself, within the other, within the children, within the things that you have created.
As strange as it may sound right now, be very grateful for this gift of life and for this opportunity of moving on because it will make you stronger, it will make you wiser and know that you be ready to love if you open your heart to being loving and kind.
Don’t let the divorce shut out your emotions towards yourself and others. Embrace life and life will embrace you and I wish all the best as you move forward in your life.
Thank you Rasheed.
Rasheed Ogunlaru is a leading life coach, motivational speaker and business / corporate coach.
His clients include entertainers, celebrities, entrepreneurs, experts, Chief Executives, professionals, healers, therapists, organisations and the public. He specialises in helping people find lasting fulfilment in all areas of their lives, careers and relationships – from within.