LILY Letter 20: Progress After Loss

August 24, 2021

Intentional Courtship: A Mid-Singles Guide to Peace, Progress and Pairing Up in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is divided up into 3 sections. “Part Two: Progress—Adventures in Dating” includes the middle six chapters, which focus on the beginning of intentionally courting to find your future and forever companion.

When we each went through the process of divorce from our first spouse, we experienced physical and emotional pain beyond what we thought we could survive. Reverberations of that trauma went on for years. As a result--try as we might--we didn't make much progress in our dating relationships. In our Latter-day Saint culture, divorce is often accompanied by severe moral judgment. As a result, we believed when we got divorced that something was wrong in the world and the cosmos was out of balance. That kind of judgment about divorce prolongs and intensifies the agony and keeps us from progressing in life, creating healthy new connections, and rebuilding our future.

It is best to see your path as exactly what you needed to become the person God intends you to be. An important key to progressing is accepting wherever you are, even if it may feel disappointing. We recently talked with a married couple who met as singles in their later years after they had raised large families. They each experienced loss of a spouse through death. What they had in common is the ability to accept the death of their loved one after many years of happy marriage with what we call "radical acceptance." They both have strong testimonies of the gospel and know the plan of salvation. Accepting God's will in their life allowed them to heal quickly, continue loving their children, and find their way to each other much more quickly and easily than they might have otherwise.

Looking back, we can see ways in which life could have been easier and more constructive had we applied radical acceptance sooner when we went through each of our own divorces. With the benefit of hindsight and inspiring stories of those who use radical acceptance wisely, we can see how interpreting loss through a lens of acceptance can lead to quicker healing and more creatively cultivating a joyful future.

LILY Pod Episode 28: A Mid-Singles Guide to Progress

In “A Mid-Singles Guide to Progress," we discuss how to move forward in dating and in life, as related to the second part of our book, Intentional Courtship (coming fall 2021).

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