Hello, Divorce! I Greet You!

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January is the month when divorces go sky high and I can attest that this is the best time to enjoy your newly single life!

As you probably know, the only continuous thing in life is change...and now you have the opportunity to be anyone you want. It's Resolution Month, which kicks off the busiest statistical season for divorce. Couples usually hold off filing for divorce or initiating proceedings until after the holidays are over. It's not a great time hear "Your Mommy and Daddy are splitting up--can you pass the gravy?"

Many parents also don't want to remember the holiday season as the period when they got divorced, which makes sense for the children's sake. Plus you don't want your family to forever associate these bright sunshiny celebrations with--the end of your marriage. So January arrives and people are propelled to wish for a happy new year and for a new single way of living!

With the divorce filing you technically find yourself a separated person...and must try to navigate your way through the second of life's most difficult challenges (after death): going from a "we" to an "I". I won't lie; it's not easy. But it's doable and you can make it through with flying colors. It's just that it affects different people different ways, mostly two types: those who wanted the divorce and those who didn't.

The fact is, we as humans are great at a lot of things--accepting of much that comes our way--but coping with change is a universal challenge that a lot of people aren't great at. A sometimes dismal journey of transformation takes time and active daily motions that soon become like muscle memory. You need to let go of the person you spent years with and erase your identity as so-and-so's spouse.

Letting go takes many forms. Forgiveness makes the process more about healing yourself than it is about letting your perhaps less-than-stellar spouse off the hook. It's all in the past. Grieving, crying, screaming, running, played Adele at max volume, whatever works, just let the emotions run rampant. I personally ran (a lot) while crying listening to Adele: multitasker that I am! There are some other practical ways to aid in the letting-go process: My personal belief is that just as in many ways we have outgrown our former spouses we also tend to outgrow the homes and things associated with them, so we should also jettison them from our lives whenever possible.

People spend ridiculous amounts of money (most of it on lawyers) fighting over the marital home but if you win it you will always have those shared memories and feelings left over from your moribund marriage. Living in that marital home is a constant reminder of one's ex-spouse, therefore making separation and "moving on" so much harder all around.

I am certain we all have furniture, art, something else that seems hideous to look at every day (like that ugly foosball table!) so I counsel the newly separated to start alone without all those memories staring at you every single day!

The very same philosophy--giving up those past "couple" possessions--means you can make space physically and emotionally for the new. That's why I advocate selling off wedding items--rings or other jewelry, china, sentimental gifts--that really remind you of your marriage. A lady I met described to me the feeling she felt every day opening her underwear drawer and seeing her engagement box filled with wedding jewelry. She was constantly reminded of failure and after a while felt she was just hurting herself. The good news is you can sell anything online now, and there are selling options dedicated strictly to the art of the sale of divorced goods!

Take the money and run. Go somewhere new and make brand new memories. Go to St. Lucia and frolic in the waves; enroll in college to further your life's goals; fund a positive dream you've always had. The simple act of fully letting go can give one such an empowered high. It's how big changes begin and how you make your life inherently positive after the divorce. Daily positive change. That's the way out of any troubling situation.

There's an old saying: "when you struggle you drown but when you relax you float". Divorce is the epitome of this because change will come to you whether you want it or not, so stop fighting and relax. Learn to embrace this January change and make it one great stepping stone toward your sparkling New Year and life. Let the year propel you to transform and look at Divorce as a new beginning instead of a loss. Wow, endless possibilities surround you. The peaceful effect of trusting, and recognizing that your life will never be the same, is a fact. But for smart people like you and me it's the beginning of a much happier and more fulfilling life. It's yours. And one that is as happy and extraordinary as you choose.