Once your divorce is completed you can take a deep sigh of relief. The outcome may not be perfect, but now is the time to look forward. With the holidays approaching choose to give yourself the gifts that have emerged from your divorce. The first gift is more like a coupon you can redeem, now that you are single. You now have more personal space! Discovering your authentic self is a rare opportunity that comes from being complete with your divorce. Finding out what you enjoy and what you personally like is yet another gift from your divorce. And, you also have the chance to turn your down-time into productive up-time that moves you forward in your personal evolution. Your divorce may or may not have been easy, but it certainly can be an opportunity for you to become your best self. I encourage you to allow these gifts into your life.
1) Personal Space:
When you are married your sense of personal space is naturally diminished. Initially, the closeness of sharing the bed, the closets and bathroom feel cozy and intimate. It is a time to grow together and learn about one another's habits. It is exciting, until it is not. When your marriage begins to falter and later crumble, sharing the bed, the bathroom and closet become miserable extensions of a bond that no longer feels safe and secure. The gift your divorce has given you is that you get back your personal space. It is time to sprawl across the bed and spread your wings. Find the rhythm in your very own breathing and fall peacefully to sleep. In the bathroom, your privacy is priceless. No waiting and no need to strategically time your morning routine because of your spouse's schedule. Relish this brand-new gift of space. And more closet space - need I say more?
2) Find Your Authentic Self:
By the time you exit a long-term marriage, you have evolved in many ways to be part of a couple; that one part of the whole marriage. Between compromising, people-pleasing and trying to keep the peace, it is likely you are no longer so similar to that person you were when you said, "I do." It is a process to get back in touch with your authentic self, and having a divorce coach can be valuable in getting you back there. We all change and grow, yet there is a core component to you that you were once in love with. Yes, you were once in love with yourself when you fell in love with your now ex-spouse. Who was that person you once loved? Take some time to investigate your own personal core values by journaling. Prioritize your health and fitness, spirituality, work, money and other relationships from the perspective of being true to yourself. Enjoy this gift of wholeness!
3) Rediscover What YOU Like:
A marriage in which two parties continue to evolve and grow and allow their "branches" to intertwine can become a lasting, loving romance. Other times, one party pursues their own solitary interests and leaves the other spouse on their own. Perhaps you have learned to participate in the activity that your now ex-spouse enjoyed. It is time to assess whether that endeavor brings you joy. Discover if you are relieved to be free of activities that your ex chose or if you desire to embrace them in a new way. What did you enjoy doing that he or she did not support? If you are not sure where to start now that you are on your own, it is a great time to re-assess your health, your emotional needs, your hobbies, fitness goals etc and engage in things that uniquely resonates with you.
4) Make Down-Time, Up-Time:
Whether you are newly divorced or are well into this new chapter of your life, there will be pockets of time that are no longer consumed by working on your marriage, engaging in couples' activities and simply sharing a life with your spouse. This gap in things to do is often referred to as down time. Frequently such down time can be, well, a downer! You may be reminiscing about love lost, or fantasizing about "if only" something went differently, then you would be happily together. I encourage you to embrace down time as a gift of your divorce. Take a breath. Get grounded in the moment where you are. Release the thoughts of the past and things that could have been different, and allow yourself to be in the present. What are some new and good endeavors you can consider? You have more time while you are single then you did when you were a spouse. Reframe down-time as up-time. Consider your future and begin to create a vision for what you want your life to look like. Using your journal or creating a vision board in your up-time will shift your energy into a positive place. What a gift!
The holidays are approaching and with them, you have received four beautiful gifts from your divorce. Choose to see the good as you move forward into this season of joy and gratitude.
If you are struggling being divorced we are always here for you.
Carla Hugo, Certified Divorce Coach