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  • Christopher McHale

My #1 piece of advice for someone getting divorced

I learned it the hard way.

Can’t buy me love

I made lawyers rich. I bought them cars, memberships for golf courses. I tore my family apart. Hurt the kids. Lost a small fortune. I fell into a glorious all-American thirst trap and sent my life off the rails into hell.

I stood on a bridge high above the river and leaned toward the dark waters.

I did all this because I was sitting in bars and drinking every night. I was rolling off walls. I was falling into bed and keeping to the edge so I would never, ever touch the person next to me.

We were miserable. We were not meant to be married. Never were. I didn’t make a mistake. I walked into it with arrogance, not love. I thought I could fix it. I am the world’s most naïve human. It feels that way sometimes.

I had this successful life and putting one foot in front of the other was hell.

It was killing her; it was killing me; it was hurting my kids. Not all the money in the world could fix it.

So I made the call.

You’re 911

I have no regrets about all this. I have no doubts. But when you reach a juncture like that, be careful. The world is full of wolves, and divorce is a moment of extreme vulnerability. People will take advantage of you. People will pick your pocket. Even folks who say they are there to help you.

You’re on your own. That’s my key insight. You got yourself into this mess and you’re the only one who can get yourself out of it. So prepare for that. Learn to be solitary. Learn to keep your own counsel. It’s like wilderness training. It’s like your parachuted into wild backcountry with a flashlight, one set of clothes and a packet of trail mix.

There are no answers out there. There’s no advice that will help you. You need to set your direction and walk.

  • You need to watch your resources.

  • You need to get in touch with your emotions.

Watch them. Massage them. Don’t let them overwhelm you. Life’s not a Ted Talk.

This is all crazy, right? Why would someone write something like that? Because the world is full of support, but the support only works if you can stand on your own two feet. If that sounds counterintuitive, consider this.

The world is full of Oprahs. Everyone has an opinion, an experience, and people love to share these things. Everyone has a business card and they love to charge you fees. Every church has a collection basket. If you seek, they will find you. And confuse you, that’s the crux of it. Confusion.

The confusion comes because you are seeking answers from outside yourself.

You are unique. The solutions are deep within you. That’s where you need to go.

That’s it. That’s my best advice. That’s what I see when I look back at the hellscape behind me. It sounds easy, but it’s not. Because when you decide to get divorced, emotions wash over you. A tsunami of self-doubt. And that’s when you try to figure things out, trying to understand.

  • That’s when you rage.

  • That’s when you hate.

  • That’s when you cry.

Help is on the way. Too much help.

That’s also when your family is supposed to gather round you. That’s when your friends are supposed to put their arms on your shoulders. All good. Everyone needs it. But it’s all secondary.

You need to wake up in the morning and have your head straight. You need to look at the mountain ahead and climb. You need to set your goal and let nothing stop you. And you need to do all this with a calm heart and a soft breath.

You need to focus. You need to set your boundaries and make your intent, your desire for a better you the goal.

I believe we all have inside of us a solid sense of our best selves, a blueprint from birth. It’s right there.

We block ourselves off from it sometimes. We let ourselves be ruled by what the exterior world wants to make of us, instead of making ourselves who we really are.

You don’t need an afternoon talk show to find yourself. It’s right there, this innate sense of who you are.

The decision to divorce is actually your first step. It’s the beginning.

Embrace the mistake

You got married, why exactly? If you’re going through a divorce, something is not working. Something is off, either in you or your partner. The marriage is blocking you. The marriage is a mistake.

The hardest thing is to embrace the mistake. How could you let yourself get into this box? How could you have been so dumb? What were you thinking?

Well, most likely you think you weren’t thinking. You let your emotions run away with you.

I wanted her or him or them. I wanted them! You were feeling. Believe me, I get it. But really, I see it a little differently.

You were over-thinking. You were rationalizing. You were having this debate in your head and convincing yourself, but I don’t think you were truly feeling. Not really.

  • You weren’t really in touch with your heart.

  • You were being ruled by your head, not your heart.

  • You convinced yourself.

You squashed your true self. You sacrificed, however you see it, but understand: The answer is in your heart, not your head, your true heart, and sometimes your heart asks a lot of us.

To put yourself first is hard. To embrace your truth of who you really are is the hardest of all.

It’s why I became an artist. It’s why I look to artists to lead me. The truth is in yourself. Bring it out. Live it.

You are unique. The solutions are deep within you. That’s where you need to go.

When you’re in touch with your true heart, and only then, is when you can call solutions to you. You will hear the right words. The right advice will find you.

You knew it all along

You will have a finely tuned bullshit detector, because nobody can touch you when you stand in your unique center. You see the world exactly as the world is, through your own unique eyes, protecting yourself, steady at the helm, sure of your ground.

Whenever you get confused, take the time to touch base with your heart, meditate, pray, find the true solitary you and celebrate it. Be sure of yourself first. Always.

The answer to every problem in life is already inside you, because the answer is always the same. Whatever makes you unique, however you protect that, whatever you have to do to nurture that, that’s your answer.

Thanks for reading and visiting my portfolio. And thanks for supporting my work. I write, compose, live my life as an independent artist. It's my job to uncover and reveal my truth. I believe it is all our jobs, Why we are here.


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