Navigating Life After Divorce: Does Life Seem Thunderously Scary?

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By Tara Parker, Guest Author - February 09, 2016

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I enjoy quotes. Every week I look for a quote to help establish my focus for the week. I look for something motivational or inspirational. I search for something that will kick-start my momentum for the day. I look for something that I can share with those who need that swift positive kick in the tail. Something that I can use in relation to a storm I may be experiencing. Recently, I found such a quote. Read the quote and then read it again.  Give yourself a moment to let the words sink in and resonate.

"Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.” 
― Brené Brown

If you are not familiar with Brené Brown, you should look her up. Listen to her speak. She just has a way with words. She has a way of making clear the muddy confusing emotions and thoughts we experience as the winds of change pick up and begin to carry us off. 

Navigating through divorce is not easy. Once the ink has dried on those final papers, it is hard to know which way to go and proceed with your life. There is a lot of doubt and unbearable dread that seems to settle in after a divorce. Divorce leaves you questioning if you did the right thing as you decide how to set your sails and use the winds to your benefit. 

It leaves us wondering if we did the right thing because we don’t feel like ourselves. We may not even know how we feel or who we are. We just know a big part of our life has ended as the crosswinds start to pick up.

Remember the first time you lived on your own?

Do you remember the first time you felt independent from your parents?

That first taste of freedom from childhood and adolescence felt incredible! Maybe you were moving on to higher education?

Maybe you were signing on to fight for your country?

Maybe you were just going to work?

No matter the life-altering experience, you were determined to take the first steps to becoming your own person. You were excited because, for the first time, it meant there was no one to answer to. There was no one to tell you when to be home or do your homework. There was no one to tell you to clean your room or do your chores. It was just you, and you were happy. Your sails were set and you just let the winds take you wherever they blew.

As you exit your married life and enter your single life, that feeling of independence doesn’t quite feel the same as it did when you were younger. Those sails don’t look quite as dependable as they did when life seemed full of opportunity. Now  while the unknown surrounds you like rough waters. You may not feel as though you know yourself any more than you did when you first ventured out on your own, but you definitely know more now than you did then and that is what truly panics you.

So, how do you know which way to sail once those winds pick up? How do you know which way to sail once you have become a single lead ship? How do you know which winds to catch?

How do you know which way to sail once you have become a single lead ship? How do you know which winds to catch?

How do you know which winds to catch?

Well, you don’t. You have to try and fail. You have to pick a wind, set your sail, and see what happens. You have to put some blind faith somewhere and trust in yourself. You have to try. You have to try and you will have to fail. You have to muster up your strength, face your fears, and be your most compassionate fan because the storm will pass and the sun will shine.

I know, it is easier said than done -- always. There is no doubt about that, but it can be done. It takes a choice. Your choice! You are the only one who can make that choice. You cannot control the winds any more than you can control the thoughts, words, or actions of others, but you can adjust your sails and use the winds to reach the sunshine on the other side of the storm.

What direction are the winds coming from today?

Which way are they going?

You cannot look to the weather channel to tell you. The winds in your life are from those around you. Those winds are within your environments. How are you going to set your sails? Are you ready to adjust your sails as needed? Are you going to let those winds push you around and capsize you?

Take a deep breath, feel the wind, and set your sails.

You can do it!

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