We feel you.
I did a national interview about the topic of divorce and divorce coaching. When people ask me why I immersed myself in a career that brings me back to the darkest days of my life, I answer with something that is not quite what they might expect.
In fact, I was speaking with someone yesterday who posed this question to me and I explained it this way: "There is no doubt that I will be in the court system for the next eight years. My youngest son being ten years old, it is my expectation that I will be standing up for or defending myself until both of my children have left for college."
She paused in disbelief to hear me say something that sounded so incredibly horrific with such calmness and so much clarity.
"Then why," she asked. "[Why] would you keep helping others when you could use some help yourself?'
"Because,” I continued. "If this is going to be my life for the next eight years I may as well take everything I learn and show others how to get from conflict to resolution as quickly as possible. What better use of this knowledge?"
What’s the takeaway here? For some of us, divorce never ends. It’s a hard and brutal truth that we will live with until our youngest child leaves for college. So helping others build their new lives during and after divorce brings me immense joy and satisfaction.
Showing you that it is something we can control regardless among everything else taking place around us gives me renewed hope that we can all claim our new lives right now.
And the most important part? It doesn’t start the day your divorce ends. It starts the day your divorce begins.
This is what I said during that national interview and I stand by it: "No one asked for a divorce, but you do get this opportunity, whether you wanted it or not, to rebuild your life. You do get a clean slate. You get to make a new life and so, if you can, shouldn’t you come out better on the other side than where you started?"
There are three key things you can do today to move on after divorce and build a new life:
1. Embrace your new life as your own.
This is your blank canvas. Pull out the paints and start designing your life the way you want to see it materialize. Throw away what isn’t working, what didn’t work during your marriage, and start making a plan for what you want right now.
2. Get excited about the fact that you get to make your own decisions and stay true to you!
Now is the time where you should sit quietly with yourself and learn to listen to your inner voice. That voice is there to guide you to what you want. If you can’t find it or don’t hear it, consider hiring a coach or a therapist to help.
3. Draw on your inner strength and consider where you are, where you've been, and where you are going.
You've been through a lot. Realize how strong you are for getting to where you are today. Divorce coaching is about focusing forward. If you are looking backward and walking forward at the same time, then you are going to walk into a wall and get hurt. Look forward, see your future, and walk straight towards it.
There is life after divorce. I am here, I am living it, and I am here to tell you all about it.
Is it always easy? No. Do I get it right every day? No. Am I designing it the way I want it, listening to me say what I want out of it, and looking towards my future with the knowledge that it is mine for the taking? Oh yes.
The time is now, your life is yours, and so go get exactly what you want. Why wait for your divorce to end to start living again?
This article was originally published at The Huffington Post. Reprinted with permission from the author.