At first, we need to deal with our emotions, logistics, and finances. And after the dust has settled, we may feel like our life’s plans have changed direction.
Our vision of the future may disappear. We feel we don’t know what to do or where to go.
But when we feel like this, we should not panic! There is one thing we must remember: we may feel lost because our internal GPS is no longer working.
Many of us had our entire lives invested in our relationships and our families. They were the lenses through which we viewed the world. Our concept of being a spouse and a partner was our GPS. The decisions we made through our marriage—whether they were personal or professional—were set within the context of, “Well, is it good for the marriage and is it good for the family?”
When our relationships end, that GPS and the final destination are thrown out the window. But that doesn’t mean that we are destined to wander around in the dark.
We feel like we’re surviving and have not yet given ourselves the gift of dreaming again. We deal with a daily roller-coaster of emotions and we forget to do the one thing that we need to do: identifying our vision or our new final destination.
Until we identify that vision and take the steps to get there, it is impossible to move forward. We can go on auto-pilot and go through the daily motions of life, but it will be hard to move on and reclaim the happiness we deserve—unless we figure out our vision.
Need a little help? Here’s an exercise to start on getting rid of your roadblocks. Ask yourself the following questions:
What do I want?
That question doesn’t have to be should not be overwhelming. Some simple answers might be: “I want to be happy in my home” or “I want to feel confident again.”
1. What is stopping me from getting what I want?
The obstacles to our vision are daily things that we face and frustrate us. I want you to list those. Be honest and complete, but don’t spend too much time getting caught up in the obstacles.
For me, those obstacles included the following:
I am staying in the home although he has left, I don’t know how to shake the feeling that he is still “here.” There are pictures of us together, some of his books are here, and I feel like everything is frozen in time.
I didn’t feel great when we were having marital troubles, but now that I’m alone, I feel like my self-esteem is completely gone. I feel like I don’t have any purpose and it’s awful. How do I rebuild?
Once you have listed a few of those obstacles in mind, the fun part begins. You are going to learn how to kick those obstacles out of the way by coming up with an easy plan to get you closer to your destination.
2. Start overcoming those obstacles by writing down what you plan to do.
You don’t need some crazy battle plan. It doesn’t need to be a PhD dissertation. All you need is some simple steps that you can start taking today. If you need some help, look at the quick plans I created for myself when I felt lost after my divorce.
I am not feeling great about myself right now. There are several things I can do to change that. If I am not already seeing a therapist, I will start searching and asking for recommendations to find someone who can help me go through this.
I am also going to do things for myself for a change. I am going to list things that I like to do—hobbies and physical activities—and will put them on a calendar so I remain accountable and committed to doing the things that I love. It’s time to put myself first.
3. The road ahead.
Following this plan means you have done two awesome things for yourself. First, you now have something to stick to—something you can use to help boot out those silly roadblocks that are up in your face.
And second, you now know where you want to be. You have the vision of knowing what you want: you have identified your final destination.
When you know your final destination and the steps to get there, nothing can stop you.
Author: Martha Bodyfelt
Image: Flickr/ Delphine Devos
Editor: Angel Lebailly
Copy Editor: Khara-Jade Warren