So, what is it? Have you been Naughty or Nice this year?
The journey of divorce will undoubtedly bring out our Naughty, Nice and everything in between sides.
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As I reflect back on my year, although I am Jewish and Santa doesn’t exist in my world, I am careful to be honest about whether or not I have been naughty…or nice.
The first year or two after divorce, the pull towards Naughty was really strong.
There are always lingering feelings of sadness, disappointment, anger, frustration and inequity that want us to embrace revenge, retaliation and punitive actions as we begin to move forward. However despite the inclination; anything that is said or done in an attempt at revenge and/or retaliation will only serve to lower the standard of your own life and will never accomplish your sought after outcome. In fact, the only outcome you can depend on will be an inner knowing that you allowed Naughty behavior to lead you down a path of being and acting in a way that does not honor who you are or are meant to be.
And of course, Naughty also wants you to have instant gratification and fun, regardless of how you or anyone else will feel the next day. It will often lead you to make decisions, financially, sexually, parentally and professionally, that may give you a temporary thrill, but will also deplete you of your integrity, honesty, honor and dignity.
In fact, it is the leading cause of decision making that not only leads you farther way from what you truly want in your life, but brings you closer to all that you don’t.
Those early days, months and years after divorce are full of the seductive charm of Naughty. Oh how easy it is to just dip our toe in its tempting invitation.
But here is what you may not know to be true; while it feels so hard to decline the invitation to join Naughty’s party, it is actually far harder to recover from and make amends to yourself after soaking in its hot tub, than it is to send your regrets and instead, do something that will propel you towards all that you desire.
I am now 8 years out from my divorce, and as I reflect on this past year, I realize that while there have been fleeting moments of Naughty (and mostly those that are healthy, honest and full of passion and desire driven by honorable motives!), I have managed to honor the new standard that I set for myself at the beginning of the year.
Each year, as I look towards transitioning from one year to a brand new one, I set a new standard for myself. A standard that reflects who I am at my core; my beliefs, my values and the big, bold and beautiful vision of what I want my new life to look and feel like. And at the same time, I make a commitment to myself to honor this standard no matter what enticing, provocative and sexy invitations Naughty sends my way.
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It isn’t always easy, but it is in resisting the temptation that my greatest growth and accomplishments are achieved.
So, I ask you again; have you been Naughty or Nice this year?