Your marriage has ended and now it is time for you to begin learning to live a new life, a life that seems foreign, and a life that you probably felt you have been plucked into without any warning. Whether you have ended your marriage by choice or not, having to recalibrate and learn new ways of being will be a reality for all. There will be holidays, tasks and responsibilities, places, and people that will all seem new and unreal. You will be challenged and triggered along the way as you attempt to steady yourself along unsteady ground. You will feel scared and unsure as you begin to root yourself into this new way of being. You may cry out against the unfairness of it all as you struggle to learn new skills and create new memories.
I remember being in this place like it was yesterday. I remember feeling slighted by the deck of cards life seemed to have handed me. Learning to live my life completely on my own without someone there to run things by or pick up the slack was terrifying to me. I felt lost, I felt scared, and I felt pissed. Mixed in with that was my struggle to experience life on my own, a life that kept going on, day by day, even though it sure felt to me like life should just stop right in its tracks. Every holiday that came, every person I faced, and every place that I went served as a reminder to all that I had lost and the uncertainty of what lies ahead.
About 4 days after my Ex and I separated, I celebrated my 34th birthday. That painful night would mark the first of too many firsts that I would have to experience. Little did I know that hole in my chest, that feeling like something was missing, that sense of being off balance would pop up over and over throughout the next year.
Going through all of this was painful and scary, but along the way I learned and I grew. With each day that passed, I discovered tools, techniques, and wisdom that helped to empower me and make me stronger. I found a steadiness and truth that resided in my heart, and I know now, I would not have found this had I not gone through that challenging year of firsts.
And so today, I want to share what I learned so I can help you as you make your way through your year of firsts.
Here’s How to Get Through the Dreaded Year of Firsts!
1) Feelings are communications intended to provide you with feedback so that you can learn and you can grow. When you tune into them, as opposed to pushing them away, and give yourself permission to see them with curiosity instead of judgment, you are able to see exactly where you need to heal and where you need to attend to.
2) DO NOT assign meaning to your feelings. As just stated, feelings are a communication alerting you of something, and therefore can be one of your greatest tools throughout your journey. Feelings come and go, and therefore they are not meant to define who you are or the state you are in. For example, when you wake up feeling sad or lonely one day, this DOES NOT mean that you are now depressed and never going to get through this.
3) Giving yourself permission to create new memories will allow you to place old memories in their proper place. Grieving will not only make your old memories more intense, it will also distort those memories so that you only remember what you want to remember. The longer you stay in this space, the more powerful and distorted your past becomes. Creating new memories that bring you joy will allow you to remain grounded in the truth and help you to heal.
4) Self-care is not an option at this point in your journey. Actually, from this day forward Self-care is non-negotiable for you. You are grieving, transitioning, transforming and therefore you need to take care of yourself and love on every inch of your being. Committing to making yourself smile each and every day, filling up your own heart and soul, and celebrating your wins will empower you and show you just how possible an amazing future really is for you.
5) Reach out to others to help you through and give you support. Remember to use discretion with this though and to NOT reach out to your cheering squad, but instead those who encourage you to consciously move forward. Here is my article on more about this. Reaching out does not mean throwing up your pain all over others, rather it means being true to your feelings and standing in your vulnerability while receiving help from someone you trust.
6) Find someone who will show you the way to getting where you desire to be. Through the process of healing, it is essential to have someone in your corner who can give your perspective, tools, and a daily dose of ass kicking along the way. Someone who has been where you have been and has arrived at where you know you want to someday be. One day, as you look back at your transformation, you will be so grateful you made this choice for yourself.
At the end of the day, the only way to the other side is through. There really is no way to avoid the pain, the challenges, and the uncertainty. You can though go through the process in a conscious and intentional way that allows you to transform into the absolute highest version of who you are. A way that teaches you how to truly take ownership of your life and tune into your highest self. You got this warriors …every step of the way…you got this!!!
With love and joy,
This article originally appeared at http://jennjoycoaching.com/get-through-your-dreaded-year-of-firsts/.