1. My own personal mantra is "Listen to your instincts/gut"- don't let ANYONE (including yourself!) talk you out of what you KNOW you need to do for your and your children's ultimate health and happiness."
2. "Everything is going to be fine."
3. "I'll figure it out". Say it over and over, even if you're not sure you believe it: "I'll figure it out". I still say it.....a lot.
4. "Time heals any pain, and you will be out of this soon."
5. "Fake it until you make it."
6. "Every living thing had the right to be free."
7. "Breathe and say 'I am stronger than this.'"
8. "This too shall pass."
9. "Let it go."
10. Only you know: "Accept that you have no real influence on the behavior of your ex partner and the details of a divorce decree are almost impossible to enforce. Realize that whatever drove you apart will likely grow over time. Focus on being the best person/parent you can be. From my mom: Only you will know what the right thing to do is, and only you will know when to do it, and [I] will support you 100%."
11. He's not your problem: "This is an odd mantra, but it helped me look at the 'real issues' that we were grappling with--My mantra was: 'he is not your problem....' I kept saying it over and over until I could figure out what the problem was and then focused on solving that problem. I cannot stress how helpful this mantra was because it free'd me from blaming everything on 'him' and helped change my focus, from my ex to the real issue at hand, and quite frankly, forced me to look at my behavior as well."
12. Find realistic perspective: "Just the stats in the books mentioned above which show that it isn't separated vs. together that is critical to kids' well-being, it's living in a more conflict-free environment no matter the setup, kids with warring parents that never divorce are worse off than kids with sane parents who live in different places. Also stats showing that most divorces and separations aren't soap opera-messy - we read about the bad ones but most aren't like that, stats show - which helps me."
13. My ex might be driving me insane or otherwise behaving horribly, but she is my child's other parent, and for that reason alone, I don't want her to be unhappy or (if possible) feel wronged by the terms of our divorce. My child will only suffer if her other parent is financially strapped or doesn't get enough time with our child. Leaving a long relationship with your child's other parent takes a lot of courage. Be proud of yourself for having the guts to make a big change. Your kid will thank you someday (or not, but you'll know it was right).
14. "You’re going to be great. The longest journey begins with a single step. The day I moved out and into my new home, in the midst of divorce, after almost 25 years, two weeks before my son started high school, I took a deep breath, and told myself “this is it, taking a giant leap, just close your eyes and go for it”. I have never been happier, finding my inner joy, struggling to fix things that break, standing in the pouring rain trying to keep water from pouring into my house, a million things can go wrong, and a million and one can make you stronger than you ever believed. I am like a blade of grass, the storm may bend me, but in the morning sun, I will stand straight again. That’s all you need to remember, believe in yourself."
15. "It's really a wonderful adventure. I'm sure it's scary, I haven't been on my own much but you need to start enjoying you. It's your time now. Do your hobbies, see friends, explore!"
16. The only way out is through.
17. You have to learn to get up from the table when Love is not being served.
18. One of the hardest things to do is forgive someone who isn't sorry.
19. "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time..." - Maya Angelou
20. When you stop caring about what other people think, you start the process of freeing yourself to be true to oneself
21. "Everything will be okay in the end. If it's not okay, it's not the end." - John Lennon
22. Take deep breaths from time to time...ask the universe for help.
23. Bonus: Dolly Parton! "The Dolly Parton song 'Light of a Clear Blue Morning' -- had it on repeat when I was in the thick of it. It helped me a lot! Also the Alabama Shakes, 'You Ain't Alone.' Music in general. Divorce anthems playing in my headphones as I ran around the park got me through."