Dr. Seuss once said: "Don't cry because it's over; smile because it happened." The beloved children's author never turned his wit and whimsy to the subjects of marriage or breakups. Yet these wise words can easily be applied to divorce.
Divorce hurts. But your pain doesn't have to destroy you. Make a conscious choice each day — and for awhile it may take near-constant reminders — not to be bitter about the end of the marriage.
Believe it or not, every event in your life is balanced with pain and joy. There is another side to your divorce. You just need to put on a different set of lenses and find the gift. Ask yourself:
- What can I do now that I couldn't do before?
- What are the things I no longer have to do?
- What do I have that I didn't have before?
- What can I finally let go of?
- How can I be different now, in a positive way?
Once you recognize the benefits of your divorce, you are well on your way to moving on. What follows is a step-by-step recovery plan. Here's what you can do:
Don't be a victim. Recognize denial, anger, desperation, depression as natural and take control of your new life. He may have tried to poison your life, but make sure you don't add to it. The only person's behavior you can control is your own. You are not a victim of your emotions, your past, your husband, this divorce or your choices. You can control what you do in this present moment.
Cherish your memories. Be grateful. Find a way to appreciate and cherish the marriage you had. Maybe it produced wonderful children. Maybe it helped you become a stronger person or showed you your potential. Be happy for the time you had but know it is now a new chapter. New adventure awaits you.
Be the woman you want to be. Ask yourself what kind of person you want to be. Once you can answer that question, you will know how to behave and will begin the first step in taking charge of your destiny. You can change your thoughts and your actions to be more consistent with the woman you want to be. Unsure where to begin? That's only natural. You have probably been last on your to-do list for some time. Begin with these small steps for inspiration:
- Start a new hobby.
- Take a class.
- Join a gym or health club.
- Make a new friend.
- Read a good book.
- Keep a gratitude journal.
- Set goals and make consistent progress toward their attainment.
- Take control of your personal finances.
- Pamper yourself with a bubble bath, a pedicure or a massage.
Stay strong. Focus on what you can do for yourself as a single woman. Accept your future life as a strong, independent and resilient woman. Your life is not over — it has a new beginning.
Five Tips On How To Heal And Move On After Your Divorce, by Relationship Journalist Lisa Steadman