Divorce can knock even the most stable of us off our feet—I can vouch for this, as it happened to me. I remember thinking that I had it all and knew where my life was going, and that my husband and I had a bright future ahead of us, together.
That was, until my marriage failed.
Everything I had known and how I defined myself—things I had built up over years, even decades—got thrown out the window in a matter of months.
It was like stumbling in the dark. I remember feeling so completely lost that I had no idea what my life would become. This feeling went on for ages until I realized something: feeling lost during divorce is merely a matter of perspective.
A simple change in how I viewed the world was the kick-start I needed to put the panic behind me, rebuild my confidence, and move on with my life.
The following mindset shift helped me get back on my feet:
We may feel lost because our GPS is no longer working.
So many of us have our entire lives invested in our marriage and our families. It is the lens with which we view the world. Our concept of being a spouse and a partner is our GPS. Whatever decisions we make—whether career-oriented, financial, even personal—are seen as, is it good for the marriage? When a marriage ends, that GPS and final destination are thrown out the window. However, that does not mean that we are destined to live the rest of our lives with no direction.
After divorce, we must discover our new final destination.
Those overwhelming feelings of what am I supposed to do now? come from one reason alone—not knowing what our vision is. Think about it. We knew where we were going before the divorce stuff happened. Our vision was to grow old together and be comfortable and happy.
Once a vision has changed, it's time for a new one.
Many of us feel lost because our sense of purpose has changed after divorce. We are so busy dealing with the rollercoaster of emotions, or trying to figure out the financial and logistical craziness, that we fail to do the one thing we must do: Identify our new vision. Finding what makes us happy is self-preservation. We can go on auto-pilot and go through daily motions, but it will be very hard to move on and reclaim the happiness we deserve unless we figure out that larger purpose.
Taking this step means we have something that sticks—something we can use to help boot out those silly roadblocks. Once we formulate the steps to get there, nothing can stop us.
Written by Martha Bodyfelt
Martha Bodyfelt is a divorce coach and founder of the Surviving Your Split website. She is no stranger to personal tragedy—she has had everything she knew in her life blow up in her face, leaving her feeling helpless. Through hard work and transformation, Martha now strives to help people get through their separation and divorce in the most stress-free, drama-free way possible so they too can move on with their lives. Learn more at SurvivingYourSplit.com.