Since My Divorce: An Interview with Blogger Mandy Walker

Blogger, Mandy Walker opened up a much needed dialogue for women who have gone through divorce. Rather than focus on the negative, she encouraged women to share about their accomplishments since their divorce, and in doing so, created a supportive community strengthened by stories. Here’s our interview with Mandy — enjoy!

What are some of the lessons you learned through your own divorce that inspired you to help others?
After my divorce, I started interviewing other women about what they saw as their most significant accomplishment since getting divorced and sharing their stories on my blog, Since My Divorce. They shared amazing stories and I learned something from everyone. They were my therapy and that helpedme healed. I wasn’t the only one! The emails and comments I got on my blog told me that so many people going through divorce are looking for guidance and support too. They want to know if others have been in a similar situation and how they’ve coped. The stories I was sharing were helping my readers heal. That made me feel good because by nature, I’m a helper. I didn’t realize at the time I started my blog that it would turn into a calling but it has and I’m grateful for that. It’s important to me that I’m doing work that helps to make a difference.

What do you think the main obstacles to happiness are for women who are recently divorced?
I think there is still a stigma attached to divorce and judgment. Sometimes that judgment is self-judgment and sometimes it’s from other with whom we have to interact. It comes from the societal and cultural norms and expectations with which we are raised. These are a major barrier to happiness for both men and women. Recognizing these beliefs and then challenging them, realizing that they no longer serve us is a major step on the journey to happiness after divorce.

What's your advice for women overwhelmed by being back in the dating scene after so many years?
My advice is to date when you’re ready and not because your friends are telling you. Then, take it at your pace, don’t take it too seriously, have fun and don’t be in a rush to be exclusive. There’s a difference between dating for fun and dating for keeps. You’re going to be much more confident if you’ve taken some time to truly reconnect with yourself, what makes you laugh, what feeds your soul, and your values.

How do you practice self-acceptance and find unconditional love for yourself? How does practicing love first help you attract more love and happiness in your life?
Good question. Self-acceptance is easy when everything is going well so in situations when I’m being challenged, instead of telling myself I’m a fraud or a failure, I try to see that I’m in that situation for a reason and there’s something I’m supposed to be learning. Most of the time, there’s a skill or a technique I need to practice or a need that I haven’t been paying attention to. When I see that, I get a different perspective on the situation. That helps me accept what is happening and not to beat myself up. It gives me a way to respond that is more focused on what I can be doing differently rather than trying to change another person. I tend to be an optimistic, forward-looking person instinctively and that helps.

When I’m kinder to myself I have more understanding about others and I think that helps me to be a better mother, a more supportive friend, and a more compassionate coach.