As we continue our Summer of Feeling Better, there’s another issue that we all feel as we try to nove on from divorce.
There are many times in our lives where we may feel like we are not sure of our paths but it gets even crazier as we start a new chapter in our lives. Everything we have known and how we have defined ourselves—things that have built up over years—even decades—gets thrown out the window in a matter of months.
But when you feel like this, don’t panic! There is merely one thing you must remember.
You may feel lost because your GPS is no longer working.
GPS, compass, Google Maps—yeah—those are probably really corny analogies, but stay with me on this!
So many of us had our entire lives invested in our marriage and our families. It was the lens with which we viewed the world. Our concept of being a spouse and a partner was our GPS—whatever we did, it was with the marriage in mind. Whatever decisions we made—whether they were career-oriented, financial, even personal—were seen within the “well, is it good for the marriage and is it good for the family?”
That question we always asked ourselves served as the turn-by-turn directions we would follow, that would eventually lead us to the final destination: a comfortable and happy marriage and life with our spouse.
But when your marriage ends, that GPS and final destination are thrown out the window.
However, that does not mean that you are destined to live the rest of your life with no direction.
Don’t panic if you’re feeling lost! It just means it’s time for a new GPS. Image via Seccuranty.com
Life after divorce might seem like you’re lost, but you’re not. But now, you have to know your new final destination and where you’re going.
Those feelings of “what am I supposed to do now?” and overwhelm come from one reason alone.
Feeling lost comes from not knowing what our vision is.
Think about it—we knew where we were going before the divorce stuff even happened. Our vision was to grow old together and be comfortable and happy.
But now that this vision has changed, it’s time for a new one.
Many of us feel lost because our sense of purpose has changed once we’ve been divorced. We feel like we’re merely surviving and have not given ourselves the gift of dreaming again, of plotting and scheming and thinking about what we can do to be happy. We are so busy with dealing with the daily roller coaster of emotions and being okay with being by ourselves or trying to figure out all the financial and logistical craziness of divorce that we have not done the one thing we must do.
Feeling like this? Don’t worry. The solution is simple! Image via QuickMeme.
We must step back and “Hey! What is my vision? Where do I want to be?”
Identifying that vision becomes our new final destination. And unless we identify that vision for ourselves and then take the steps to get there, it is impossible to move forward and find our way again.
I know, I know. You may be thinking, “But Martha! How in the hell am I supposed to do that?”
Well, I have news for you lovelies—taking care of yourself and finding out what makes you happy and working to get there is self-preservation. You can go on auto-pilot and go through the daily motions of life, but it will be very hard to move on and reclaim the happiness you deserve unless you figure out that vision, and have a plan to get there. You must do this for yourself.
Not to worry though! I think I have something that can get you started. Take a look at the exercise below!
You didn’t think we’d wouldn’t have an exercise, did you? 🙂
Exercise: How to get rid of your roadblocks
So, the whole concept of finding a vision doesn’t have to be some funky hippie “run away and go join a monastery in the Himalayas” type of thing. Unless that is your vision. And that’s cool, too.
1. Take a minute to ask yourself this one question: What do I want?
If that seems overwhelming to you, take a look at some easy examples below!
I want to be happy in my home.
I want to feel confident again.
2. Then ask yourself: “What is stopping me from getting what I want?”
The things that are stopping us—the obstacles to our vision—are the daily BS things that we face and frustrate us. I want you to list those—be honest and complete, but don’t spend too much time getting caught up in the obstacles. I know for me, those obstacles included the following.
What’s stopping me: I am staying in the home although he has left, but I don’t know how to shake the feeling that he is still “here.” There are still pictures of us together, some of his books are here, and I feel like everything just seems frozen in time.
What’s stopping me: I didn’t feel great when we were having marital troubles, but now that I’m alone, I feel like my self-esteem is completely gone. I feel like I don’t have any purpose and it’s awful. How do I rebuild?
Once you have a few of those obstacles in mind, the fun part begins. We are going to learn how to kick those obstacles out of the way by coming up with an easy plan that erases them and gets you closer to your final destination.
3. Now, write down what you are going to do to start overcoming those obstacles.
You don’t need some crazy D-Day type battle plan. It doesn’t need to be a PhD dissertation. All you need are some simple steps that you can start taking today. If you need some help, take a look at the quick plans I created for myself when I felt stuck after my divorce.
No extravagant planning needed to get your life back on track! Image via D-DayRevisited.