As a divorce coach, I’ve seen lots of parents radically transform themselves when their relationships begin to unravel. While embracing change and using it as catalyst for redesigning your life, isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Hopping on the life makeover train without bothering to look at where you’re headed isn’t the answer either.
Choosing to share your life with someone undoubtedly changes you. It permeates your sense of self, who you are and what you value. Your way of life is no longer exclusively defined by your own hopes and dreams, desires and choices. In short, your me becomes a we. When a relationship ends it’s only natural to feel a gap. A space has emerged that wasn’t there before.
Shifting back into me-ness is no easy task. It feels foreign, uncomfortable and scary. My advice, don’t ignore the gap. Accept it for what it is and use it as an opportunity to grow. While the impulse to change everything all at once may seem enticing, there are some benefits to taking a more thoughtful approach.
To get started, consider taking stock of where you are and where you want be.
* Where in my life do I need to put energy into feeling whole again?
* What has this relationship taught me about myself?
* How would I like life to be different?
* What do I value and what would it take to design a life that reflects those values?
* What in my life am I ready to let go of?
* Are there compromises I’ve made in the past that hold opportunities for me now?
American writer, Irene Peter once said, “Just because everything is different doesn’t mean anything has changed.”
To ensure your change is long lasting, instead of a quick fix, avoid taking rash or impulsive action. Think through decisions, especially about significant matters. While it may not be easy, do your best to honor what the emptiness has to offer and give yourself time to evaluate what you want your future to look like from this point forward.
**For additional information, suggested resources and practical tips on taking care of you, check out PARENTING APART the book. Providing separated and divorced parents the tools they need to raise HAPPY and SECURE kids.
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