Healing Tips After a Divorce: Pay
Attention to Your Intentions
By Susie and Otto Collins
You might feel pulled in all sorts of directions right now
if you are going through a divorce. There might be very
practical matters such as financial concerns and possible
re-location decisions that need to be addressed.
Emotionally, you may be experiencing
a whole range of feelings including grief, anger, pain, hurt
and perhaps even some degree of relief.
If you have children, you could feel pulled even more
intensely. You might be concerned about helping them deal
with the transitions and uncertainties going on at this
In the midst of it all, giving attention to your own
healing can take a backseat to these other matters.
If you can relate to any of these possible scenarios, we
encourage you to pause-- right here-- and take a deep
It is our belief that the focus of
your energy directly corresponds to the direction your life
take. For this reason, we encourage you to create time to
discover the intentions you have about your life right now.
Your focus and intentions can make a huge impact on the
degree to which you can heal after a divorce and move ahead
with your life.
After 10 years of marriage together, Kay and Jack have
decided to end their marriage. This decision is ultimately
for the best for each of them, but both worry about the
effects this change will have on their 3 young children.
Jack has always been very career-driven. During their
marriage, Kay stayed home with the kids and earned money
from a part-time, online job. They both agree that, given
these circumstances, Kay will have primary custody of the
Kay decides that she needs more support during this
transition so she plans to move with the children back to
her hometown where she'll be close to her parents.
hears about her plans, however, he becomes enraged and calls
his attorney requesting primary custody of the children for
himself. Needless to say, Kay is upset and
angry about Jack's legal attempt.
Even though Jack admits to Kay's sister that he knows the
kids would be better off with Kay and he knows she will win
a custody battle in court-he wants to proceed with the
The situations emerging around Kay and Jack's divorce might
sound familiar to you. As you are
probably already aware, in cases like this everyone
involved-especially the children- usually come away
emotionally (and financially) drained.
It doesn't have to be this way! If Jack and Kay can begin to
pay more attention to their intentions, there is a greater
chance that relief and even ease can occur.
Look at your intentions
As you face the decisions coming up for you and deal with
your emotions, make it a priority to stay clear about what
you want. If at all possible, avoid making any significant
decisions when you are feeling heightened negative emotions.
You might want to write down what
you want at
this time in terms of those practical matters as well as
your emotional hopes and aspirations.
What kind of home would you like to live in-- include your
children in this vision if that is applicable.
What type of
paid work would you enjoy doing? What type of activities do
you want to take part in? How do you want to feel about your
life and future?
Create a picture of the best life you can imagine for
yourself and keep those intentions at the front of your
Acknowledge any doubts and fears that may come up and
breathe through them. Just as ocean waves crest and then
recede, allow your intense feelings to do the same.
Return frequently to your list of intentions and vision for
your future and know that they are possible.
Maintain your focus.
How can Kay and Jack use these suggestions to heal from
Let's say that Kay's vision is, at least in
the near future, to live and work in her childhood hometown
so that she and her children can benefit from the support
and comfort of her parents.
Jack appears to Kay as a serious
obstacle to her vision for the near future. Kay could choose
to meet Jack's fear and anger with her own fear and
anger. How they both are feeling is quite understandable,
On the other hand, she could meet Jack's fear and anger with
a continued focus on what she wants. She's talked with the
kids, and they want to live with her. She feels confident
that this is the best next step for them all.
For his part, Jack might stop the anger-driven path he's
currently on and acknowledge that his request for custody is
not really part of his intended new life.
He certainly wants
to spend time with his children on a regular basis and he
also plans to help provide for them financially.
At the same time, he does not want to be the primary person
responsible for them. When Jack can focus on his intentions
and let go of his fear and pain, he admits that Kay's plan
Jack knows that he will see his children and he
believes they will have better care with a mom who is
supported by extended family.
You can follow these suggestions even if you don't have
children involved in your divorce. Get in touch with how you
are feeling and know that all emotions are ok.
practice healthy ways to release your difficult feelings.
Take steps to become clear about your intentions and vision
for the future. You might even enjoy this process of
creating an image of what you want your life to be like.
Stay focused on those intentions and remain open as they
begin to unfold.