By Rosalind Sedacca, CDC
Accepting the reality and finality of divorce can be a tough challenge. We need to be able to let go of the life we knew and prepare to face an unknown future. That can be intimidating. Here are 5 key steps to accepting your new reality with grace, peace and positive expectations for a happier life ahead, especially if you’re also a parent!
1) Focus on yourself — not on your former spouse
We can’t ever undo the past. But the past can undo us — if we’re not careful about our thoughts, beliefs and actions. The only one we can ever change is ourselves. Don’t waste valuable time pining about the past, blaming your ex or wishing you had done something differently. Focus instead on how you can transform yourself today into the person you most want to be, with confidence and high self-esteem. When you shift from within, things on the outside will shift as well. Only then can you choose to make healthier decisions about your life and your future new life partner.
2) Seek out the support you need
Tough times demand support systems if we want to progress into the next stage in our lives. Recovering from the wounds of divorce is not something to tackle alone. Reach out for a coach, therapist, support group or member of the clergy experienced in this work. It will accelerate your progress while boosting your self-esteem at the same time. There is no shame in needing support. The world’s top athletes, entrepreneurs, actors and others all depend on coaches to achieve greater success!
3) Accept that this is a process
Feeling angry, depressed, embarrassed, hurt or other negative emotions is a natural part of the grieving and moving on process after divorce. Accept your feelings and look for the lessons you’ve learned through your marriage and divorce. These can be gifts you can use when you’re ready to move ahead and step out into your new reality. If you’re feeling stuck in any emotion and can’t let go, reach out for the help you need from an experienced professional. Remember, you’re not alone, so don’t isolate yourself or stay immersed in your pain.
4) Take responsibility for the part you played
It’s easy to feel like a victim in your divorce and put all the blame on your former spouse. But that keeps you stuck in a place without growth. Before you can move beyond your divorce you have to “own” the role you played in the marriage as well as the insights you can take away to use in the months ahead. When we take responsibility for experiences in our lives we have the power to make positive changes – and that’s essential for creating the brighter future we all desire and deserve.
5) Remember you are a role model for your children
Regardless of whether they acknowledge it or not, your children are watching and learning from you through lessons both good and bad. What are you teaching them about how to recover from a challenge in life? What are they learning about how to deal with conflict and difficult people around you? What lessons are they getting about taking responsibility for your life and your actions? What are you modeling about being a victim versus becoming victorious, despite tough times? Your children will thank you for being a mature, responsible parent and showing them how to overcome challenging situations. Step up and BE the parent they need now and in the future!
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Rosalind Sedacca, CDC is a Divorce & Co-Parenting Coach and Founder of the Child-Centered Divorce Network. She is author of the internationally acclaimed ebook, How Do I Tell the Kids about the Divorce? A Create-a-Storybook Guide to Preparing Your Children – With Love! Her free ebook on Post-Divorce Parenting, free articles, free ezine and other valuable resources on divorce and parenting issues are all available at http://www.childcentereddivorce.com.