Divorce. It’s complicated isn’t it? We tend to think of the dissolution of a marriage as an ending. Of course, in a legal sense and an emotional sense it is. Families come unglued, locations shift, jobs appear and disappear and finances are put to the test as are all current relationships. Underneath all of that upheaval and change is a nugget of gold. It may take some time to unearth it, but once you do, you have the ability to make a deep and lasting connection to yourself and to the possibilities of not just loss…but RENEWAL. On the flip side of all that pain and reorganization is not what you have lost, but what you have gained. There is no greater time in your life to pivot and authentically make this extraordinary discovery in regard to who you are today. Need help getting there? Time to stop reading the last chapter of your story so that you can create the legacy you most want in your life…TODAY. Begin. Let me know how I may be able to support you in your journey toward what is next in your life? There is always a next…
Where Do I Begin Once Divorce Becomes A Decision?
Take time to reflect on the journey you have just taken. Whether married for one year or twenty, you need to decompress, to stop and think about where you have been and where you are going. Just like a traditional grieving process, the process of divorce evokes similar steps, which may begin with denial, and anger and end with depression and eventually acceptance. Not everyone experiences every one of these steps when divorcing, but when you are separating from your marriage and your old life, it is wise to give yourself some breathing room to just be yourself. Make sure that you are exercising, eating healthy and finding time for relaxation and meditation. Surround yourself with the things you love and the people that you love being with.
Set Your GPS
Now that you are navigating new terrain, make sure that you have a destination in mind. If you plug in “I don’t know” into your car’s GPS, where will it take you? You need to schedule an appointment with yourself every month and draw up a plan to re-evaluate what new opportunities may now be available to you in both your personal and professional life. Is this the perfect time for a reinvention? Are you thinking about starting a new career or opening your own business, trying a new hobby, or joining a new network of people? Chart your course with as much newness as you can. Take a class, join a group, play a sport, read a book, network, travel, make new friends. Are you ready to start dating again? Mixing things up allows you to partake in experiences that you may not have been able to during your marriage and to tap into your continuing evaluation of the “new you”. The only way to know what works is to take the ride.
Press The Reset Button
This new chapter of your life is just that. IT’S A NEW CHAPTER OF YOUR LIFE! What do you want it to say? This divorce “do over” is filled with opportunities and possibilities to tell your new tale. All of your experiences add up to make you smarter, more confident and unique. You cannot be the same person at 50 that you were at 20 because you have evolved and changed. Divorce is hard work, but it forces you to look in the mirror and get to know the reflection you actually see. Pressing the reset button acknowledges the birth of the new you and the new direction you can now take.
Who are you talking to?
When you are going through a divorce, your friends and family are a valuable resource for you. That said, they will be offering advise and telling you what to do. The best way to make decisions is to come up with your own solutions. Hiring a life coach as a guide and strategic planner affords you a safe and supportive, confidential and non-judgmental environment in which to work toward defining and refining your goals, and moving forward in your life.
The Chapter After Divorce: Returning To “Me”
The papers are signed and the ink is dry. Your divorce was a long time in coming so you don’t really feel differently. Or do you? Celebration or isolation…maybe a bit of both need to be embraced…but the fact is that you are now officially entering a new chapter of your life.
The difference in this chapter is that now your focus returns to you. If you have children, of course your parenting will be taking center stage as you navigate new family dynamics. Keep in mind that pivoting, as a post divorce parent requires a sharpened focus. In order to pay the best attention to your children you have to pay renewed attention to yourself. More than likely, this new self that exited from your marriage is quite different from the one that entered into your marriage many years ago.
3 Ways To Turn The Spotlight On You and ask the right questions of yourself post divorce:
- Listen for the whispers. For years you may have been making decisions to please a spouse or to keep your family glued together. In the process, what other important decisions did you miss or ignore, or push toward tomorrow in the process? Tomorrow is now today! Put an ear to your heart and really listen to yourself. What do you most want to do now? The time has never been more perfect to turn up the volume on the whispers in your life and take action on whatever is most important to you. There are no wrong turns, only opportunities to try and to learn. It is not too late for anything you truly want to do. You have so much power at your disposal, use it to reinvent the life you most want.
- Try something new. This is your time to rewrite the rules. Take a class, take a trip, hire a coach, or begin a new hobby. Invest now in rediscovering your passions and identifying what is important to you. This is a time to ask some tough questions of yourself and it is a springboard from which you can position your next moves.Get to know yourself again. Refreshing your life post divorce is all about tapping into your inner child. What did you once love to do? What have you wanted to do but have not done?
- Make your life happen imperfectly. Sometimes when we are in committed relationships, we are busy with the day-to-day of our relationship or our family and may be working hard to make a mate’s life work, or our lives together to mesh. In the process, we often negate our own needs and become busy waiting for the right time, or the ideal scenario in which to take action on what we want. You can refocus that same energy, and time, and commitment that you had in your marriage on making your life one that is filled with the elements that bring you joy and promise. No more excuses based on your old relationship. No more waiting for the right moment, or for everything to be perfect and wonderful. The process of reinventing yourself has begun, so enjoy the small steps toward a grander renewal. These small steps require your commitment to embracing a mindset of doing, of saying yes now and figuring it out later. It is not a sprint to the finish, but a marathon event. Think of this chapter of your life as one that does not have a finish line, but rather an exciting path of self-discovery and an endless array of possibilities.
Life After Divorce – My interview on ‘DivorceForce’
Divorce FAQs – Click here to read
7 True Thoughts No One Ever Tells You About Being an Adult Child of Divorce (a “DivorceForce” exclusive)