It’s over. You’ve signed the divorce papers, and the relationship you entered with so much hope is officially over.

Everyone’s divorce story is different. Maybe you had been married for decades, maybe just a year or so. Maybe you have children, maybe you don’t. Maybe the divorce was your idea and maybe it was your partner’s, or maybe you both agreed that separation was best. Maybe you’re relieved, maybe you’re heartbroken — or a bit of both. Perhaps this has been an extremely traumatic experience for you for whatever reason and may still be.

But however you got here, the question now is where do you go from here? How do you heal, feel whole again and how do you figure out who you are and what you want as a newly single person? What is your new life going to look like, and how do you start moving in that direction?

Here are some useful steps you can take to start the process:

Mourning.

It is important to allow yourself to mourn. After all, whichever way you look at it, its a loss you have endured, perhaps because you feel you have lost an amazing person, or perhaps you feel you have lost yourself. Nobody gets married thinking, “I sure hope we can get divorced someday!” Even if, by the time you split, the divorce was something you wanted, a divorce still represents a loss.

Whatever your marriage and divorce experience has been, there will be emotions that have to do with grief. You may feel remorse for what you did or didn’t do, or wonder what you did wrong. Don’t dwell on those feelings but make room for them. Loss is loss. There is an empty space where something once filled it up, even if that something may not have been desirable.

Be aware of your feelings.

Be aware of and try work through the feelings you are experiencing. Don’t carry that heavy baggage from your previous relationship into your new life. Find a way to work through the lingering emotions from the demise of your marriage.

This is a very crucial part of your progression. Yes, not all experiences like this taught us valuable lessons, or seem to have had some life changing epiphany…sometimes certain things in life just simply happen and just don’t make any sense to us. As much as it’s an automatic response to want to build a protective wall based on our past experiences, we sometimes pre-judge new people in our lives based on OUR past experiences, this is not healthy for any new start. So, try talk out your feelings with a professional or focus your energy in a healthy activity you enjoy, but be conscious in your actions of judgement of others and don’t let your subconscious sabotage your new life. It’s common to sweep emotions under the table, but you have to work through them, or they’ll pollute, and more than often destroy your life going forward.

If you find yourself resisting the idea of getting professional help, you might want to keep in mind that asking for help doesn’t mean you have a problem or that you’re in crisis. It can be a way to work toward a better life, with someone who has no agenda, but YOU.

Start knowing and loving yourself.

I know most of us are good actors or pretenders and like to portray just how fine and glorious we are after a divorce. Fine, but then at least be honest with yourself in your quiet time. Regardless of what the circumstances were of your divorce, its extremely common for many people to feel a lot of self-rejection after a divorce.

You might think that there must be something wrong with you if you couldn’t make this relationship work or trying to think of what you could have done better or did wrong. Now is not the time for blame or self-blame, but rather a time for you to embrace who you are. You need to start looking at yourself carefully and really start liking yourself, see the good, the beauty the shine you offer to the world. Start enjoying yourself, loving yourself. You have to work on getting confidence and faith in yourself and the ability to believe in your own worth.

The “you”, before marriage.

More than often, when we get involved with someone, we tend to give up a lot of things we enjoyed as a single person as these no longer fit into our new vision of being in a relationship. Can you still remember who you were before your marriage, what you use to enjoy, do for fun etc.?

Maybe you loved to go out, but your spouse was a homebody. Maybe you always loved going to the theater, but your husband hated it.

What were your hobbies and activities before the marriage? What did you “put in a box”, in favor of your relationship? Rediscovering your interest in those again is important to rebuilding yourself and re-defining your individuality again.

No more Same old, Same old.

The life-changing period of divorce, though often difficult and unwelcome, holds a silver lining: It gives us the opportunity to break the cycle of habit and “same old, same old”. This is a time for self-exploration and self-discovery.

Maybe it’s as simple as a pixie haircut after a lifetime of wearing long, flowing locks. Maybe it’s trying a new sport, considering a different place of worship, or going back to college. Maybe you realize that you’d like to move to a new city or even spend a year living in Paris.

Of course, you can’t just run away and throw caution to the wind. Chances are, you have some very real considerations — kids (if you’re a parent), a job, and a budget (which may have been hurt by the divorce).

But chances also are that although you might not be able to do whatever your fantasy is, there may be other changes that ARE within your reach. So, don’t reject the idea of any change, just because you can’t make every change.

As long as the changes you make are healthy and constructive, these are very appropriate. Think about who you want to be…the person you were before the marriage, or maybe a new person? What are some of the things you would like to do differently?

Look and get excited about changes you can say YES to, instead of focusing on what’s out of reach.

Be comfortable in your own company.

Now that you are no longer involved does not mean you have to isolate yourself of never see anyone. Being on your own just means you are single and in no rush.

There are millions of people living alone in this country today…That’s a lot of people, and there are a lot of opportunities for social connection. There are possibilities to pick up new friends and enter different kinds of groups that have to do with your interests. The social dimension after a divorce can be very rich.

Broaden your horizons.

As beings of habit and beings that strive for comfort zones so easily, it is common that most of us knowingly or unknowingly repeat the same cycles in your lives, even when it comes to relationships. This is a good time to challenge yourself and consider considering dating (once you feel ready) outside your comfort zone — someone who’s not your type — without thinking that it has to head toward a permanent relationship.

For example, maybe you’ve always dated people from a certain socioeconomic background, or perhaps you always preferred sensitive musicians, or athletes, or the quiet, shy type. Turn your usual preferences inside out and stretch your dating horizons a bit and you may be surprised of the riches you find.

Be proud of your independence.

Generally, when we are in a relationship, we tend to share certain responsibilities. Perhaps, you eared the money and your partner payed the bills or you cooked while they ensured the garden was maintained etc. Now it’s all up to you. And it’s not likely to go perfectly, but that’s OK.

Suddenly you have a whole new realm of learning and responsibility. Don’t let this scare you. You may have had help in certain “departments” before, but that does not mean you are uncapable to do it yourself or learn new skills. Dealing with these new tasks can give you confidence in your own ability.

You don’t have to figure it all out yourself. Look or ask for help and even if you make mistakes, like paying too much for a car, you can learn from that experience. Mistakes gives us life skills and teach us that we can be independent. Our Transformation Coaching process, helps you reconnect you to your purpose, your power, and your inner-peace, so you can learn to rise strong into your next chapter of life.

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