Things I Wish I'd Known Regarding Letting Go
Divorce turns your spouse into your adversary. Think about how that switch can work against you as you try to reach a reasonable agreement AND how you will manage a relationship with them after the lawyers are all gone. I know firsthand how hard it is to not be angry and not want to battle over every little personal belonging. But, as the saying goes, the goal is to win the war and not every single battle. But what if you did not consider it a war at all. What if you approached the process from a place of clarity and understanding. What if you could just focus on what really matters so that you can get on with your life with the least amount of stress? This brings me to this weeks “Things I wish I knew…” Like the girl on the beach who just let go of her balloon bouquet, there will be sadness of course, but by releasing the negative, you create space for new things. Like her, you are now free to have and hold something bigger, better, and more stable than before. When I asked my divorced friends what things they wish they knew, one responded with "I wish I knew that I should have no expectations of my ex." When you get divorced, you are turning the page to a new chapter of your life. Think of one of those old choose your own adventure books - this is now your life. Deesign it how you want - the choices that lie ahead are yours to make. Sure, you may be letting go of having someone to support your decisions, but you are also free of the negative input a significant other may impart. The expectations you have for yourself are yours and yours alone, and the empowerment of being able to make choices independently, and choose the things that create happiness and fulfillment is life altering. I was talking to another friend who is in the midst of a divorce, and while dividing assets and things, her stbx said he was taking a particular piece of furniture. She wanted to fight for it, not because she loved the piece so much (which she genuinely did) but more because he simply claimed it. Her wants, her needs were not considered, which was a consistent thread throughout the marriage and she was committed to having her voice heard rather than having her life dictated to her. We discussed letting it go - in the grand scheme of things it's just a thing, and agreeing to this demand was just getting her one step closer to resolution. By letting it go she was free to shop, pick something else that is hers - by her design. She would find that piece she loved just as much and likely more - if she just let. it. go. I recently read a great article in the Huffington Post entitled, "7 Things to Let Go Of After Divorce," which concisely outlines key things to release upon divorce that will free you of negativity, of baggage so you can start anew. While some are emotional (like expectations) and some are more tangible (rings, houses etc.) in summary, "everyone can be happy and happier after their divorce, but if you carry all the baggage with you after divorce, you won't get there very fast." You've been through the pain of a bad marriage... you've been through or are in the midst of a divorce... you are holding on to the emotions tied to it, and the things you feel you need or feel you deserve. But by holding on to the past, you are slowing down your progress toward the future. Take the time to consider all that you are holding on to that may be preventing you from moving forward. Think about how if you can let the "things" go - how much freer you are to welcome the new and positive into your life. By looking forward, you can create a future that is yours - you can create your own adventure and I promise- you will be a happier, stronger person for it in the end.