Learning to self-love after divorce

Often people leave their marriage feeling broken, bruised and bashed-about. They struggle with confidence as a parent, partner and as a person. Often, they have lost their self-value. Somehow and in some way, they need to find themselves, see their worth and love themselves. Rachael Scharrer, founder of online resource, DivorceAnswered.com.au, has learned about the importance of self, finding oneself and loving oneself.

Women can appreciate how their body changes during pregnancy and after having a child. There are stretch-marks, the chest is not always in as good a form as before breast-feeding, the stomach isn’t as firm, perhaps there is a C-section scar. While we may not like the changes to our post-baby body, it tells of a beautiful story and the signs of a beautiful child.

Similarly, the end of a marriage, the separation and divorce takes a toll on us. While we may not have physical scars, we often carry around significant emotional scars. We become hyper-sensitive to certain buttons being pushed, often over-reacting. For some, they question their ability as a parent, partner and friend.

Self-love is about looking in the mirror, not loving everything we see, yet appreciating the trials and triumphs encountered along our life-path. The journey was possibly fraught with challenges – perhaps you were constantly put down, had feelings of abandonment, were abused. These have all been a part of life, constantly testing and teaching us to recognise the signs and make the best decision for ourselves. Self-love is also about being happy with who we are and having the respect and care for ourselves that we deserve and being authentically aware of who we are and what we deserve.

When we are self-loving, we are:

  1. Respectful of our body, how we fuel it and how we care for it (eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, being hygienic and mindful of unpleasant odours, treating illness appropriately)
  2. Respectful of our time and space (clean home, mindful of others’ time and property, understanding that our time is valuable and spending it with uplifting, supportive people)
  3. Respectful of our energy in words, behaviour and attitude (speaking politely and gently, caring for others without expecting anything in return, being mindful of our effects of on others, exercising gratitude for everything around us)
  4. Open to safe and calculated risks (like changing jobs, re-educating or re-skilling, creating opportunities while maintaining stability and security)

One of the challenges is working out how to get there… when we feel like damaged-goods, how can we start to love ourselves?

  1. By allowing ourselves to grieve the past hurts and wrong-doings
  2. By accepting the past and knowing that no-matter what, we did our best with the information and ability that we had at the time
  3. By allowing ourselves to forgive those who have hurt and wronged us. If you find this difficult, try seeing that person (or people) as a young child and cuddle or console them
  4. By learning from the lessons of our past: not to harm, mistreat or belittle others; how to see the ‘warning signs’ earlier; how to better protect others who can’t defend themselves or are defenceless.
  5. Then, channel your energy into something positive – have a community-focus and help the less fortunate or in-need, teach or educate others or translate your visions or experience (onto canvas, dance, sing or sweat it out).

The above actions collectively become a habit – it isn’t a practice done once. By often and regularly exercising acceptance, forgiveness and growth, self-love becomes a part of our every day activities and way of life.

Some people may need more assistance in the process to self-love. A psychologist, spiritual healer or skilled therapist can help to guide you along your path to self-discovery and self-love.

Sadly, some people struggle with self-love. This can be evident in poor choices, destructive behaviours, self-harm, addictive behaviours, anger/aggression issues and mental health or depression. When we love ourselves, we make better choices for our livelihood – even though we may not like doing what we have to (like attending rehab or abstaining from certain substances, curbing out tongue), we understand that it is for our own benefit and make the effort to work with organisations, people and items which will help us for our own good.

Ultimately, when we are self-loving individuals, we have a realistic sense of self-confidence, strong sense of self-worth (what we have and deserve and how intrinsically valuable we are) and overall positive sense of wellbeing. Self-loving individuals understand that it isn’t a state of being, it is a state of action – actively loving and accepting.


This is general advice only and is not provided as legal advice. If you have a legal issue, you should contact a lawyer and/or accountant before making a decision about what to do or applying to the Court. DivorceAnswered.com.au cannot provide legal advice. If you have an emergency situation, please contact Emergency '000'. © Divorce Pty Ltd