Do you want your freedom?

When we talk of freedom, it usually has a positive connotation as if it is something desired and chased after.

But, what does it mean in a divorce?  Or better yet, what does freedom mean to you in your divorce?  Do you want your freedom or does your freedom scare you?  Does it make you feel stressed?

You may experience benefits to your new post-divorce freedom in your day-to-day life.  For example, you now have the opportunity to make friends with whomever you choose without your spouse having a say.   You are now able to keep your home as you like it, without your spouse making it messy or moving your belongings. You also now have the opportunity to find love in a new person that has the potential to create exciting and surprising new memories.

But, let’s face it, you may feel fear in your new freedom. Perhaps you have discovered that you simply like having another person in the house, regardless of who that person is – it’s another “body” in the house.  Maybe you dislike being physically alone.  Or, perhaps you do not like the newfound financial and parental responsibilities.  These are responsibilities that you undertook with a partner – and now, your finances and your parental responsibilities, are yours to experience alone.

So, how can you conquer the fear associated with your new, and perhaps unwanted, freedom?

  • Tailor a plan of action. Find small and regular actions that get you one step closer to where you want to be.  If you are looking to socialize, then join meetings or networking groups near you.  If you are looking to save money, think of practical ways that you can decrease your costs and increase your income, even in small increments.
  • Trust yourself.  Trust that you are doing your best and that your best is good enough.
  • Feel Grateful.  Close your eyes and feel grateful for surviving your divorce (a difficult life event) with grace and courage.  You don’t have to write your gratitude down in a journal, although that may help you to be more consistent.  However, you can simply say to yourself  “Thank You” (in your mind) whenever a moment presents itself.
  • Take deep breaths when you feel stressed. Make sure that your body is receiving the oxygen that it requires to function properly.  Shallow breathing can cause chest pains, as well as the feeling that you are faint or lightheaded.
  • Exercise, Hydrate, and Sleep. Pamper your body with exercise, hydration and rest. Face your fears with a body that is cared for and this will sustain a clear mind that is ready to make difficult decisions and difficult changes.
    • Also, do you know how unexpected and helpful thoughts can come to you while you are in the shower?  Well, the same can happen during exercise and sleep.

Sometimes, things can feel worse than they are. When we are stuck inside of our heads (cyclical thoughts) buried in rumination, it can feel like the world is ending.  But, it’s not ending.  In fact, it’s probably not as bad as you think.  It helps to speak to someone, a close friend or relative, that can remind you of your blessings.

Inside of all of this change, there is opportunity.   So when your fear starts to get the best of you, remember that tomorrow can bring a new job, more money, greater health and even love. Stay positive and acknowledge your accomplishments in each day.

Love begins with you.