Just like that, with the stroke of a pen, it’s over. No more strategy sessions. No more jockeying. No more discussion. No more “we.” You stand up with a slight hesitation as you hear them say that you’re free to go. “Go where?” you say, almost out loud. You feel like the proverbial deer in headlights as the attorneys head for the door. And so it begins. The first day of the rest of your life. Without your “other half.”
Who knew it would feel so strange? After an eternity of emotional trauma and buckets of tears, you’d think this would be a relief. But somehow you feel more sad than relieved because for better or for worse, it’s over. You got your maiden name back. You are single once again. Not exactly the ending you would ever have dreamed of, but it is what it is… an ending nonetheless. A signal of change, which is as intimidating as it is liberating. Today, your brain tells you, it’s the high road.
You say your good-byes, head for your car, and hold your head high and tell yourself that it’s going to be okay. That YOU are going to be okay. And you find the strength to drive away with your dignity in check. Who needs this anyway? In goes your “Top 10 Songs for Getting Through a Divorce” CD, up goes the volume, and before you know it, you’re belting out “I Will Survive” lyrics at the top of your lungs. You’ve got this!
Then one day out of nowhere, here come the tears. Really? In the peanut butter aisle of a grocery store? But you can’t help yourself. You fight those tears with anger at him. You didn’t want this after all, he did. And you feel pushed into this choice.
How could he have done this to me? How on Earth am I supposed to start over?
As your thoughts start to question your hope of moving on, it feels overwhelming. And the worst of your fears… a table for one now… OMG. The sad reality is that all of this is normal. An ending to anything has the potential to send you right back into grieving while you process all these emotions all over again. That’s called healing.
But what if this ending could be the beginning of something better for you? Would you allow yourself to believe it could actually happen? There’s a song – one of my favorites – that illustrates this beautifully, with the words: “Closing time… every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.”
It means that starting over won’t be as bad as you imagine, because your next chapter will sprout from all the good in this last one, with your roots intact.
You are still you. You’re still here. And you get to choose which pieces of this ending you want to take as you design your new beginning. YOU are all you need right now.
In the meantime, there’s a whole new attitude our there just poised for your embrace. It’s awesome. It’s empowering. It’s called “ME is the new WE.” Try it on. Breathe it in. Embrace it. Own it. Then jot it down as the title for your next chapter… and let’s see where it takes you!