Divorce will rip away much of what you knew to be safe, true and/or comfortable. Indeed, it can cause an all-out identity crisis as your world spins out of control and you begin to question multiple aspects of your life.
But, have faith: Something will grow from all of this, and it will be you. —Unknown
It's true. With divorce, comes painful pruning; however, you'll also be able to grow in new and exciting ways. When the sun shines again (and it will), you'll be poised to bloom with a new brilliance.
Here are seven steps to prepare you:
1. Accept the reality of your situation.
Stop fighting the rising tide. Let go and accept the things you cannot change, while maintaining a mindful attitude to control your response to what happens around you.
2. Love your loneliness.
Loneliness is a temporary condition you'll have to accept. While you're in that space, take the time to appreciate the stillness and the silence amidst the hectic processes abounding in your life. You might also dive into a super-solo activity such as reading or meditation.
3. Make an attitude adjustment.
It's easy to get bogged down in feeling like a victim in your divorce process, but you'll heal and grow faster if you're able to release that old story and step into a new one. An attitude of gratitude and an optimistic outlook will help you build a bright new future.
4. Embark on a voyage of self-discovery.
Throughout a marriage, it's normal to fall into a specific role of spouse or parent (among others). When the constructs of your old reality fall away, it's a good time to take a closer look at yourself. Who are you? What do you long for? Who do you want to become?
5. Perfect your support squad.
Be sure to surround yourself with those who will lift you up and encourage you to grow in a healthy manner. It's okay to erect new boundaries to limit negativity from friends or family members who are committed to a different outlook.
6. Set goals.
As you envision your future, what do you see? Do you imagine yourself making more money in a different job? Or going back to school to open your mind in new ways? Do you want to set a spending limit on finalizing your divorce? Or travel to Africa and see elephants in the wild? Write it down and make a commitment to yourself.
7. Get to work.
Now that you know yourself, you know what you want, and you have an appropriate support squad, it's time to do what's necessary to reach your goals. Decide each day what kind of progress you're going to make toward your new life, and congratulate yourself as you reach mini-milestones along the way.
Divorce represents a change in your life, but it also presents an opportunity for you to become a smarter, stronger, better version of yourself. Commit to positive change, and trust the process. You can grow from this.
Written by Tara Eisenhard
Tara Eisenhard is a divorce coach who helps struggling singles overcome shame and frustration, en route to finding peace and cultivating a life they love. She is also the author of the novel "The D-Word: Divorce Through a Child's Eyes." Other articles by Tara can be found at her blog, Relative Evolutions.