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7 Things To Let Go Of After Divorce

Everything can always get better, 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.
10/14/2016 03:29pm ET | Updated October 15, 2017
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Divorce can be a complicated legal and emotional battle, but what people don't really talk about is that divorce is an ongoing evolution, especially when you have children with your ex. I have been divorced almost three years, yet I still don't think I'm fully through all the transitional stages. Even on a practical level I still haven't let go of everything physically or emotionally. It is common to repeat certain things that you promised yourself you never would. Whether you are being attracted to people that you shouldn't be with or whether it's not finally calling Good Will and having them remove the entire contents of your garage. Here is a list of things to help in the" letting go" process.

1. Anger

A big thing for a lot of people, we aren't great at letting go of anger, or forgiving, we can often have not such positive thoughts, related to our exes, but you have two choices focus on the past or let it go and focus on a happy future, try to constantly, remind yourself that your future is bright and in part it is a result of your divorce story. This reshifting of focus allows you to let that anger go.

2. Love

In every divorce there is usually at least one broken heart, the one that loved and lost, the one that still secretly hopes for a change of heart or reconnection with an ex spouse. This "love" you think you have for your ex is most likely not going to reignite, so you really need to learn to let this go, my motto in all relationships is why would you wish to be with someone, who doesn't wish you to be with you? You shouldn't because out there, somewhere there are seven billion more people you can meet who want you for you and will reciprocate this unrequited love. So let this love go focus on new people and new things.

3. Rings and things

Until my own divorce I had not really realized how important this is to moving on, when you get divorced you probably have an array of wedding items, attire and gifts from your ex, keeping these items I think takes up both physical and mental space -- you open a drawer you see a ring, jewelry; you go to a closet notice your dress hanging in the back; maybe your china cabinet is still filled with wedding china and gifts? Mentally these items are constant, subconscious reminders of your ex of your failed marriage, of your past when things didn't work out. When you purge these items you make some money but more importantly you free space in your home, mind, heart and soul for new to come into your life. I personally find it very liberating to free your soul from your past, so you can focus on the future.There is also that whole practical thing too that I have never met a man since my divorce who would approve of wearing jewelry gifts from an ex spouse, so it is also just a waste to leave these pricey trinkets in your home.

4. Right and wrong

Another thing we can struggle with, we all on some level feel hard done by, unfairly treated by the court systems, the exes, the laws, the way things played out, maybe we feel 100% that we are right and our ex is wrong, maybe they cheated, maybe they lied, maybe they didn't declare financial statements and now you see them driving around in new car. A million actions by our exes make us want to scream this is wrong, I am right, but ultimately you have to let this go. Shift your thoughts into "it is what it is" and let it go. Focus on changing what you actually can have the power to change within your own life, focus on making today, tomorrow and the here and now all it can be, because sometimes the very best thing you can do is let it be.

5. House

This one is tricky because often finances dictate where or how you live, I think though that new beginnings are better in new surroundings. We often ask to keep our marital house in our divorce but almost as soon as you actually get to stay in it you can regret that choice, much like the wedding items, homes are filled with memories, good bad and otherwise, I remember the internal awkwardness of having my first boyfriend spend the night in my home, there is something liberating of letting your home go, starting fresh in a new home, new place, new beginning a place that only you alone have ever lived in. So if you can financially make a move do it, let your home go too.

6. Expectations

Wow, expectations can be so different of what divorce and dating would be like compared to what it actually is, I always tell people divorce is basically switching one set of issues, with a new set being single. Over the years you come to realize life is much more about enjoying the journey than achieving your goals. I have learnt that you can be happy alone, that you can gain joy from dating people you like and enjoy their company you don't always have to only date the one. I wish someone had told me, that there is no kind of instant happy after divorce, no super cure or band aid for the pain endured, but that like everything in life it takes both time and work to get anywhere. So expect to work, focus on yourself and daily happiness in yourself, love yourself, let go of what you thought it would be like and let it be what it is. This is you new life, that you are in control of your happiness in.

7. Sadness

Sadness after divorce and through your divorce journey can come and go like waves, prickly feelings of failure, grief, uncertainty, this is all normal, cry when you want to, get a massage, go for a run, do something that makes you happy. Surround yourself with people who genuinely care, read a book, go on a trip, but let the sadness leave you. Don't hold it in, just let it go, daily make a choice to be happy and to let sadness go, it can be done. Daily small steps, as a friend of mine once said "actions can change thoughts" really good thing to remember when letting all these things go. Small daily actions can change and alter your thoughts and cause much happiness.

Everything can always get better, 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.