It was the moment that dropped me to my knees and the rug was pulled out from under me. The moment my ex-husband came home from work to tell me he wasn’t in love with me anymore. Life as I knew it would never be the same. Within months, my life was unrecognizable. I had lost my marriage and my best friend.
We sold our condo and I moved into an apartment. Even my car gave up on me! The only consistent part of my life was my job. I proceeded to throw myself into work. It kept me going, putting one foot in front of the other. I got up every day, ate breakfast, got dressed, and headed off to work, but I was only going through the motions. I was numb to life.
So when did I first learn to breathe again after my divorce?
It was when I went to the movies to see "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon." The theater was packed and I was by myself. As the lights dimmed and the scenes started to wash over me, I lost myself in the story of the young woman who embodied strength, courage and confidence. Watching the main protagonist defying her set path in order to pursue her soul's desire inspired me to find meaning in my life again. I started to feel hope again in the midst of the pain. My inner courage was awakened, and I started to breathe again…
Our breath is the source of life, without which we would not survive. Learning to breathe again post-divorce is not just accepting that your marriage is over, it's about the courage to let go of what was and embrace what will be. Replace the hopeless desires of the past with a desire to feel alive again.
You must build your courage to consciously choose to be lively and create a new life rather than wasting your time feeling sorry for yourself. So how do you learn to breathe again post-divorce? Here are some ideas to get you started:
Tip #1: Rediscover YOU!
Rediscover the parts of you that got lost along the way. When we get in touch with the core of our being, we come alive again. For me, it was about rediscovering movies and losing myself in the story. I’m not talking about the big blockbuster kind, I had seen plenty of those with my ex! I reconnected with who I was in high school when I loved foreign films.
Think about things that bring you the most joy and happiness. Those that remind you of who you are and who you were before you became part of a couple. Reconnect with your identity. What parts of you do you miss the most? What are the activities, hobbies, interests that you let go of during your relationship? What is one step you can take over the next week to rediscover a piece of you that was lost during your marriage?
Tip #2: Release the "should's" and expectations
What are some of the opinions or judgments you have about yourself, your life and your future now that you are divorced? What does that mean to you? What does that say to you about who you are?
For me, it meant that no one would ever love me again or even want to date me because I was divorced. Once I started to date again I realized how my negative thoughts influenced me. I also learned that I could once again actually develop feelings for someone else. When we can let go of these limiting beliefs, whether they are imposed on us by our family, friends, society, religion, etc., we free ourselves from the burden of unmet expectations. When we remove that weight from our shoulders, our beings are lighter. Our souls breathe again. We can start to imagine a new future filled with amazing possibilities.
What limiting beliefs are holding you back from reclaiming and embracing your life? How true are those beliefs? How can you let those beliefs go? What can you commit to doing in the next month to put that into action?
Tip #3: Start envisioning what you want your new life to look like.
What are your passions and dreams? Where do you want to live? With whom are you spending your time? What are your hobbies/interests? What kind of work are you doing? What are your top values? The best part about dreaming is that the sky’s the limit! Does that mean that all of them will come true? Maybe, maybe not. But that’s not the point right now, the point is to open yourself up to the all the possibilities that life has in store for you.
I had always dreamed of going to London, for as long as I could remember. Traveling to Europe wasn’t big on my ex’s bucket list, so we never went. Years after we divorced, that dream was still alive within mel. I knew it was up to me to make it happen, so I did. I look back on those memories with fondness and happiness all the time. Oh, by the way, I figured I’d tack Paris onto the itinerary for good measure. Ooh la la!
Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and spend some time in the next few days to create a vision for your new life. Don’t hem or haw about doing it. It doesn’t have to be perfect or even reasonable! It just has to be about you and what you want for your future. I know you’ve got it in you. Let go and have fun!
From my inner courage to yours,
Visit my website and download your free copy of my “8 Steps to Finding Courage and Happiness after Divorce: Learn to Love Your Life Again!”
I am an expert at helping women find their inner courage to rebuild a life they love after divorce. As Founder of “Unleash Your Inner Courage”, I use a supportive and compassionate approach to partner with women to help them find the strength to move from pain to possibilities and start living a life they truly love after experiencing the life-altering event of divorce. Through my powerful 7-Step Inner Courage Journey, I share my own expertise and experience, plus the same powerful tools and strategies I used to recover from the pain of my own divorce, find happiness again and build a life I truly love filled with endless possibilities! I am a Certified Professional Life Coach and Facilitator of the life-changing Inner Courage process.
More divorce advice from YourTango Experts:
- Will Men Date Divorced Women?
- 9 Love Lessons I Learned From My Divorce
- How Do I Know I'm Ready To Start Dating After A Divorce?