Healing after divorce? It sounds impossible, I know. Just saying the word divorce brings up hard emotions in you. And if your divorce is new or still fresh, it may really sting. Once life settles down post-divorce, there are a lot of feelings that need to be unpacked.
There are SO, SO many feelings going on within you all at once, and sometimes you don’t even know who you are anymore. Am I right?
“Healing after divorce is possible. You just can’t see it yet. The truth is that life is still going on. You are out there running around, going to work, and making it through the daily grind. (And you should get an award for that. Really you should.)”
But then it happens.
Someone asks you how you are. And for what seems like an eternity in that split second, you have this conversation with yourself.
Should I tell the truth about how I feel or just say “I’m fine?”
Do they really want to hear HOW I am? Do they really want to know the hard stuff? It’s so much easier to just say “fine” and wrap up this conversation with a sweet little bow on top.
Have you had that talk with yourself? You are not alone.
Who is this new version of you? How has this happened? Who is this stranger in your new life?
Being the Stranger in Your Own Life
The stranger in your new life experience is real. There are so many changes that occur in your new life post-divorce. You can’t help but ask yourself sometimes
Who am I? and What am I doing here?
There are so many changes happening, and sometimes people will say they have this out-of-body-ish experience. And it’s because your brain can’t keep up with everything that is happening to you. It’s protecting you, and we are naturally programmed to heal from wounds.
But your brain is working so hard processing all these changes and emotions, that it leaves you feeling like a stranger in your own body.
“One of the most painful things I see is that women don’t feel like themselves, but they have this deep need to be understood and to heal. Yet they’re not even sure who they are or where they are and they’re drowning in all of the unknowns they now suddenly have.”
And not only are you dealing with the notion of not knowing who you are anymore, but there’s also another weird phenomenon that occurs, and that’s realizing you don’t recognize your ex either.
Thinking About Your Ex
“When you think about your ex, you’ll think about how you used to share a bed with this person and have sex with this person and now they’re doing those things with someone else. And you’ll wonder how you feel about this, and you’ll think: “I used to love you and planned a life with you and now I don’t even know you.” Talk about mind games.”
So how do we heal from divorce and help our brains deal with all the changes?
Time is not going to be the only thing that is going to solve this for you, my friend.
While it takes time to move through all those new firsts, it also takes hard work to heal after a divorce and have that internal transformation.
3 Things to Start the Transformational Healing From Divorce
#1 First Traditions & First Year
Ah, the firsts… It takes time to move through all the firsts. The first holiday, first birthday without him, the first vacation on your own, first, first, first. You will probably find your mind thinking,
Last year I was doing this, and now at this moment I am here and I am doing this completely different thing alone.
And while you want to move on and be over him, sometimes you are not.
People are often quick to tell us that we need to move on or we should be over it by now. But let me tell you: That’s not really helpful advice, so please do not pay attention to it.
“Each anniversary, each experience, and each milestone is for you to grow more fully, to heal, and explore where you want to go.”
If you skip this part of the process, the pain will just hang out longer. This is the time when you can explore your new life and how you want your new life to be. It’s time to build new traditions and new firsts for you.
Going through the first year and setting up new traditions after a divorce are all part of the letting go process, and don’t let people rush you through it.
So now that you have taken the time to explore your new life goals and desires, it’s time to focus on yourself.
Your mission right now is to rebirth yourself and begin the process of transformation even amongst the chaos. It’s time to speak the truth for you, the most important person in this scenario.
Rebirth and reclaiming your life after divorce is an inside-out job. This is the space where you grieve, acknowledge your losses, and then make decisions for your new life. By taking this step and doing this hard work, you are saying goodbye to victimhood and circumstance. You have to say
“I am no longer going to be a victim of circumstance. Instead, I am going to take charge of this new life.”
And let’s be really clear. You can’t shortcut the process of healing after divorce here. There is no shortcut to healing.
It’s time for you to reclaim your life and livelihood and build your new strong foundation of stone so you can decide how you want your life to be now and moving forward. And that takes time. So take it slow and get clear on your new traditions and goals. No one else gets to do that for you. You get to make those decisions.
This is the beginning of the path to no longer being a stranger in your own life.
And each time you make a decision or decide how you now want something to be after your divorce, those are powerful moments and the beginning of the rebirthing and rise of the new version of you.
#3 Internal Transformation
When we are trying to transform our lives after a divorce, we often try to change the people around us, or change the circumstances around us and make everything feel pretty and good.
But the truth is until we find peace and serenity inside ourselves, we will struggle to heal.
“Finding peace within is where you will find a more familiar you and start to heal from your divorce and feeling like a stranger in your own life.”
I like to use the Serenity Prayer:
God, grant me the serenity to accept