How many of us can truly say we’ve been given a second chance?
Oh, sure, everyone’s been given a second chance to shoot for another basket, to do better on the next test, or to not screw up the pasta this time. Little second chances are pretty much a dime a dozen. They are a blessing because they allow us to redeem ourselves and have an opportunity to improve because we can study how we did it last time and make adjustments before the next.
I don’t knock the little second chances because where would any of us be today without them? Yu live and learn- right?
My question is how many of us get the big second chances, and what do we do with them? For most of us, a significant second chance may be only a once or twice-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Someone who beats cancer. Someone who fights addiction and wins. Someone who rebounds from homelessness.
What about someone whose marriage goes down in flames and the whole life they created is destroyed?
Any one of these scenarios is a disaster of sorts. They all begin with something truly heinous such as being on the brink of death, being a slave to substances and behaviors, living like a human remnant, or one’s marriage and family set ablaze.
What, at first, looks like the very bottom of the pit of humanity becomes the makings of a second chance.
Nowhere to go but up. Once an ending, now a beginning. A clean slate.
So, what do you do if you are handed one of these major life second chances?
Continue to wallow in self-pity, mourning the horrid hand of cards dealt by life.
Linger in denial, oblivious to what has occurred.
Fall right back into nasty old habits, doomed to repeat the past.
Become hard, bitter, and closed off from future happiness.
OR you could:
Step back to evaluate what happened, take notes, and grow from the experience.
Take ownership of your part in the situation and take steps to improve.
See this as an opportunity to try new things.
Face all of your demons, make peace with them, and put them to rest.
Forgive yourself and the others involved, and set the pain of the past free.
Grab control of the steering wheel of your life and set it on the course for happiness.
Set some goals and start working on achieving them.
Decide you’re worth whatever happiness is waiting for you and welcome it into your life.
A second chance doesn’t always come in a pretty package. It may come wrapped as a divorce and all of the unpleasant accessories that often accompany; but, make no bones about it: a second chance is a gift. You will have to open the gift and decide what to do with it, but it is an opportunity to transform yourself and an unpleasant set of circumstances into a new beginning.
Like so many gifts, some assembly may be required. You can’t expect your “after” to deliver itself up on a silver platter. You will have to invest time, effort, and commit your personal touch to make it come alive.
Sadly, some people don’t recognize when they’ve been given a second chance, so they may turn it away, refuse it, or waste the chance at a do over. You have to be willing to keep your eyes and heart open to new things, to take some risks, and to power through some terrible times to see positive end results.
It’s all about perspective and desire. Do you see within your life the need to change? Are you at a place where you are ready to accept the gift of a second chance? Do you see change as a potentially magical adventure or something to be terrified of?
It’s okay if the prospect of trying something new or riding along while your life is turned upside down makes you feel queasy! No one said different is easy or that flipping a disaster from side A to side B is a cakewalk. It won’t happen overnight, it likely won’t happen without a few tears shed or a moment or two of contemplating surrender. If you want to reach your end goal badly enough, you will have to keep plowing ahead, even when it gets really difficult to do.
If you choose to accept the challenge and the gift of a second chance, I plead with you to really size it up and see the potential, as well as the beauty in what you’ve been handed. Don’t be tempted to give up, and don’t be afraid to reach out for help to keep you motivated and inspired! Divorce is the pits, but it’s not “the end.” What happens after you make the decision to divorce or to finalize the divorce is just day one of the rest of your life! You decide what comes next. You decide whether this will remain a miserable situation or become the seed for good things yet to come!
This article originally appeared on Divorced Moms
Photo credit: Getty Images