Too many times we let our anger get the best of us and we get stuck. We can’t move on in our lives because we feel that what happened was unfair. Or there’s so much resentment built up over so long that you feel like you’re constantly struggling in your day to day life. Or you’re so used to getting approval from your ex that you desperately want that approval in order to move on.
Moving forward in your life requires work. You have to get used to your new life as a single person and re-discover who you are without being part of a couple. You must surrender to the process of grieving the life that you lost and recognize that you still can have a great life. You have to be ready to move – ask yourself, “Do I want to move on in my life?”
Moving on doesn’t just happen without doing the work (I’m not talking about moving on to another relationship…that’s separate from addressing the issues that have you stuck). So what’s the work that needs to be done? The work is assessing what your emotions are and why you’re having them. The work also involves processing those emotions.
How do you process your emotions? The first step is to acknowledge what feelings you have without judging yourself. If you feel anger, shame, sadness or envy, accept that it’s ok to have any and all of the feelings you have. Don’t deny or judge your feelings. Moving on is about overcoming them. Write down all the feelings you’re having and why you’re having them.
The next step is to stay with your feelings no matter how uncomfortable that is. Take deep breaths and say to yourself, “I can tolerate this feeling.” While you’re tolerating the feeling, you can cry, laugh, write, draw, exercise or anything else that allows you to stay with the feeling for a certain amount of time.
The final step is to be curious about why you’re having the feeling. Are some of your needs not being met? Is there a boundary that’s being violated? Is a childhood memory being triggered? Are you falling into old behavior patterns? Is this feeling due to distorted thinking? You may need help with this step by talking to a trusted friend, divorce coach or therapist.
Once you go through this process, you should be able to get unstuck and move forward. Don’t hesitate to get help with this and to give yourself time to go through these steps. Even if the work is difficult, it’s definitely worth it. Because at the end, you’ll feel so much more in control of your emotions and empowered to move forward in your life.
Jill Barnett Kaufman is a Divorce Coach, Therapist, Parent Educator and Divorce Mediator. She is an experienced professional who helps clients discover new ways to resolve a variety of challenges when considering divorce, starting the process of divorce or are already divorced.