Divorce is an enormous life transition. The basic storyline goes something like this. One day you’re in a relationship and the goal is to live happily ever after. Then over time, your relationship hits the rocks. People get unhappy with each other and someone makes the decision to divorce. How do you bridge the gap between your past and your future?
Transitions are hard for most people. There is a disconnect between where you were and where you want to be. You have a foot in two worlds – the world you’ve been living in until now and the unknown world you’re stepping into.
What makes transition so tricky? Well, most of us don’t like uncertainty. It gets confusing, messy, and overwhelming. Transitions challenge our self-confidence. Living in that gap calls upon inner resources and emotional resilience we aren’t even sure we have. Our comfort zone gets stretched. Sometimes we question why we even set out on this journey in the first place! Here are some practical dos and don’ts to help you handle your divorce transition.
What NOT to Do
Be an Ostrich – Sticking your head in the sand and denying you’re in a place of transition doesn’t help. Living in denial prolongs your journey and healing process. Plus, you’ll miss a lot of the wisdom and resources that can come from this transition.
Sprint Through the Finish Line – Transitions and endings can be painful, so sometimes people like to rush through them. “OK, I’ll give myself until Friday and then I’m going to stop feeling sad and forge ahead.” Healing your heart takes time. If you rush through it too quickly, chances are high you’ll simply repeat past mistakes in future relationships.
Become a Control Freak – Trying to manage, plan, and control everything is like straightening up the deck chairs on the Titanic as it goes down. People feel out of control and powerless, so they overcompensate and get busy micromanaging. Getting busy and controlling things is a way to avoid being with our feelings.
What TO Do
Become Sherlock Holmes – Transitions are powerful times that offer great wisdom. Pay close attention and notice the clues. Become mindful of your inner dialogue and limiting beliefs. Write them in your journal. Simple awareness will help to break you free of them.
Be Willing – Let go of your need to know and be willing to surrender. It’s really just an ego trip to think you have to know all the answers or how you’re going to get there before you actually experience your new destination. Being open and willing allows you to recognize resources, opportunities, and answers you hadn’t even considered before.
Trust Yourself – One of the THRIVE Principles™ is trust and it’s never more needed than when you’re in transition. Trust that you will be able to handle whatever life throws your way. Trust that you will come out the other side wiser, more confident, and capable as a result. Create a mantra such as “Let this be a gift for everyone involved” to keep you grounded in that foundation of trust.
Stay Present - Take it one step at a time and be patient with yourself. Stay in the present moment and be alert. Resist the temptation to transport yourself into a future fantasy or rehash the past. As spiritual teacher Eckhardt Tolle reminds us, your power is always right here, right now, in this present moment.
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