Katie Holmes' Divorce Mantra Is Exactly What Moms Need

broken heart mendedI still remember the day Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise announced their split -- it was the same weekend that my ex-husband and I separated. But aside from the timing and the countless photos of Katie with her daughter Suri, we don't know much at all about that interstellar divorce. Until now! Holmes is finally talking about her divorce in People magazine. And what she says is really interesting for those of us who've been there or are in the thick of it. She's given us a kind of mantra.

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Holmes told People:

I don't have any fear now, I don't have a lot of rules for myself, and I don't take myself that seriously.

Okay, it's easy to read this and think it's about Holmes and Scientology. (Hello, RULES!) But let's look at the bigger picture. What does it mean to say this after you've ended your marriage and begun a new life on your own?

No more fear. If there's anything divorced moms have, it's truckloads of fear -- about supporting yourself and your kids, about your kids' emotional health, about managing the chaos of your life, and most of all about facing that big, dark, scary void ahead of you called the future.

I think what some of us find is that you have to look that fear in the eyes, like a child facing the monster under their bed. Face your fears, acknowledge them, and a weird thing happens. They lose their power. For the time being. Who doesn't want to be fearless?

Not a lot of rules for myself. This one is kind of mind-blowing -- shouldn't everyone have rules? But unnecessary rules can hold you back and keep you from growing. What worked before may not work now, and it's important to realize that and be willing to change.

You're creating a new life for yourself and your family. It's been helpful to me to lift some of my rules so I could explore a little. I've been trying to focus less on shoulds and focus more on figuring out what I value, what I need, and how I love.

Don't take myself so seriously. Oh yeah, THIS. All the soul-searching and rule-lifting and fear-facing can get heavy. I think it's helpful to laugh at yourself sometimes and remember you're just a speck in the universe.

I think on those rare moments when I take myself less seriously, I'm easier on myself. I'm less tortured by the many, many mistakes I make. Because if there's anything a divorced mom can count on, it's making loads of mistakes. To say nothing of what many of us may consider our biggest mistake -- marrying him! Well, get over it. You're not the first woman to make a marriage mistake and you certainly won't be the last (I tell myself). All failure is just an opportunity to learn and try something different.

What do you think of this divorce mantra?

 

Image © iStock.com/BrianAJackson

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