Beginning your divorce may seem like the beginning of the end.  Even after the divorce is complete, many may still have the end of their marriage as a focal point in their life. 

This is the beginning.  

But, really it isn't the end.  It could be, if that's how you want the next part of your life to begin.  You can live in the past, think about every good and bad thing that ever happened and make the next part of your life compare, day-in and day-out, to the past.  Do you see where we're going with this?  

"The End" is over

It doesn't matter what stage of divorce you're currently experiencing.  It's time to stop seeing everything in your life through the lens of the past and the end of your marriage.

In that frame of mind, if your life was great, then you will always feel what happens next isn't great in comparison.  It will seem like it was always better before.  If life was miserable, then you will always have an excuse to fail and stay miserable because that's how it's always been and divorce is just proving your point. 

No.  You can not proceed with what you hope to be the best years of your life if you still consider the beginning, the end of something.  Keep the end of your marriage separate from the beginning of the rest of your life!

So, now, this minute, cut ties with the past.  If it isn't a positive part of your everyday or your future then cut it out or fix it.   Stop letting your life just happen.  Take back control of your life!   Some of you may never have felt they had control of their lives.  So you may not know how to get started.  

Get deliberate with what you do.  Wake up everyday with a plan.  That plan should coincide with your long-term goals.  This means if your current situation is in your way of long-term success, then make changes immediately.  Life is short and time is precious.  Act like it.  Don't let your tired, sad self make the majority of your decisions.  Take action now.

If your in the process of removing or losing something or someone, as in your spouse, a house or money, cut it out and let it go.  Thinking, blaming, worrying won't help.  

Wait.  What?  Let go of money?  Are you crazy?

In choosing divorce, you have already committed to let go of your spouse. While it's not easy, it's the primary purpose of the divorce.  But, most of us can't just walk away from the divorce with less money without feeling a little burned.  But, at some point you will let go of that miserable, "It's not fair, it's completely not fair" feeling.  Why not let it go sooner than later?  How does it help?

The sooner you get through the stage of letting go, the sooner you can get on with your life with your at the helm.

Why let the money go

If the money is part of your settlement, support or lack thereof, let it go.  At some point it's been negotiated and the deal is done.  So being angry and blaming the world (when your ex is unavailable) for what you gave or what you didn't get, doesn't help.  Here's why. 

You'll get what you give

It's gone and it's not coming back.  It won't make you more productive to think about it being gone.  Negative feelings about it won't bring it back.  Despite feelings that you may be inspired by such negativity to produce an equitable asset in it's place, you won't - so just don't. 

Negative feelings about loss typically produce increased loss, higher risk taking and poor decision making.  If you put negative in, you'll get negative back.  Despite any short-lived uplift, the overall result of negative thinking and actions produce the opposite of what you need.  So stop it.  If you can't stop it, then fester for a day, party all night and cut ties permanently in the morning.  But, the key here is that by morning, it's gone. 

No second thoughts, no do-overs.  Your blame-game is over.

Clear view of the future, not exactly

A clear view is not that easy.  Your emotions, past and everyday responsibilities make future planning a little cloudy, even on a clear day.  But, you should have a clear view of the general direction you plan to take.  Your divorce is still a priority only in developing the essentials necessary to complete it with the least emotional damage possible.  This means you must acknowledge the emotions associated with divorce and take actions to manage them.  Knowing the Stages of Divorce will help you do this.

You should be focused on the future, not the past, but your everyday still includes letting go of parts of your life that hold you and your spouse together as a couple.  Envision yourself as an individual.  It seems simple, but it takes time to really discover your individual identity, likes, dislikes and goals.

Stay focused on adding more good than bad.  This means that your priority should be adding positive lifestyle changes while emotionally managing the problems associated with closing the door to your past.  It's not easy to see the boundaries that are easily crossed.  It's common to wake up emotions that drive the bad stuff into your everyday thinking, choices and lifestyle.

Add more good to offset the past

You must remain committed to charging your everyday with positive changes towards your new life and initiate the transition towards letting go of the old bad stuff, keeping the good, all while living in the moment.  Whew!  That's not even an easy sentence to write, it's really not easy to do.  Everyone who has successfully made it through a divorce knows that. 

Most of us have those really bad days where the old stuff takes over and it really brings us down.  But, you need to get through those days and wake up the next day without a single thought about it.  You don't need to forgive yourself or overthink it, just put the bad day behind you and let it go.  Tomorrow is what it's all about anyway.  Right?  Right.

After you let go of the past, let go of "letting go"

You mastered the art of letting go.  You feel empowered by your ability to not allow your emotions to keep you focused on what can't be changed or kept.  But, at some point we must hold onto the right things. 

Sometimes we want so desperately to extinguish our emotional hardship that we try to reinvent the wheel.  Not always necessary.  Some of us have some major directional changes we need to make, but most of us need to focus on improving what is already a good thing, instead of ripping ourselves apart for reinvention.

You are compromised

It's not always obvious that when going through a divorce it is usually with someone with whom we formally had a strong connection, who now suddenly "hates" us.  While hate may be a strong word, the legal dissolution of a marriage, especially a contentious one (and by contentious we mean most divorces, duh!), employs a great deal of spousal dissatisfaction, to say the least. 

If you think you haven't suffered some self-esteem damage you would sadly be foolin' yourself.  You're damaged, even if a little bit.  Even if you were the one who initiated the divorce, at some point of the divorce process you will feel rejected - legal matrimony, dissolved.  Your interest in cutting that feeling off includes cutting off parts of your identity.  Your name in some cases, your address in others, your social media status, all part of who you are, now who you were-

You are not designated for salvage

Some of your assets are split, your time with your children halved, your time with another, equally committed spouse over-  You are affected.  Let go of the past, but don't rush to strip everything out of your life in an effort to gain self-value. 

Instead, improve with actionable means that produce tangible benefits.  This means, add.   Add the good stuff.   Make more money, more friends, more time doing what you love.  Don't reduce too much of your everyday until you have the right emotional money to do so.   Be patient and add more than you subtract.  Letting go of too much can leave a void and be one of the most significant ways divorce can lead to depression. 

When you have completed all the Stages of Divorce, you have a better perspective, feel a sense of relief, have improved confidence and be ready to embrace all that life has to offer.

It's confusing

So, let's simplify this.  Love and law don't really mix.  So, you'll be emotional while you are legally removed from each other's life.  But, we can make a complicated, "love-law-loss" mess, simple.

  1. Know what to let go.  The stuff you can't change or control.  Too much crying, blaming and complaining won't help your future plans more than it hurts.
  2. Know what to keep. Most stuff in your everyday life is okay.  It just feels like life is crazy and awful.  It's like a picture of a great view, on a bad day, don't overthink it.  
  3. Know what to add.  Bad stuff is gonna come up and ruin many days before, during and after your divorce.  Add more good than bad to counteract it's affect. Stay healthy.  "Let go" once in awhile and talk to a counselor, as needed.

See?  Simple.  But wait.  There's more...

The end

Okay, we said this isn't the end, but like a dimming light on a sunny day, you know what you should focus on (tomorrow, if you were wondering) and the future looks bright.  Shades are totally optional...cool


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