Spring Lessons about Hope and Growth after Divorce
This winter has been cold, long, and hard. But look out the window, and you’ll notice spring on its way. Mother Nature is transitioning her outdoor world, and soon, we’ll bask in the delights of spring once again.
The changing of the seasons makes for a simple but powerful analogy to the changes you go through in a divorce. The beginning of divorce feels cold, long, and hard. But time passes. Things improve. Here are some seasonally-inspired metaphors to guide you in your new beginning.
Pruning improves your outlook… and your view
Winter storms ravage your trees and shrubbery, cracking branches and creating quite a mess for us to clean up in the spring. You could ignore the damage, but if you do, your yard will languish and lose its curb appeal. You could break out the gardening tools – loppers, pruning saw, and such – and tend to the mess yourself. Or, you could hire someone to help you make your yard gorgeous again. Think of the intensive personal work divorce requires as pruning. Like those damaged branches, you may be feeling slightly (or majorly) broken.
You have three choices:
- Do nothing and continue to suffer.
- Break out your tools and slowly start to fix things (think: meditation, a new hobby, an online support group).
- Hire someone to help you (think: psychotherapy, a new doctor, a life coach.)
Laura Aiello said, “Although it may be on your back burner, self-care is really not optional. Continued stress with no break and no end in sight is a recipe for disaster.”
- Plan and make time for self-care. Schedule that haircut, make that doctor’s appointment, buy that book you’ve been eyeing. For more ideas, check out our worksheet on self-care.
- Engage in activities you love. Roll several fun activities into one, if you can. (Love music and exercise? Dance around the house to your favorite tunes.) Bonus points go to hands-on activities that stimulate any or all of your senses.
- Get your feelings out. Share them with a trusted friend, scribble them in your journal, or express yourself another way—painting, drawing, sculpting, woodwork, cleaning, etc.
- Find a professional to help you start your next chapter. Read two of our favorite articles on the subject: How a Life Coach Can Help You Thrive After Divorce and Divorce Therapy vs. Coaching: How to Choose the Right Option for You.
Winter gives way to spring and grief gives way to hope
Trees and plants go into a dormant phase during winter, and some of them don’t survive. But many of them do. Mother Nature eventually thaws the earth and awakens the surviving plants and trees. Blades of green poke through. Renewed life is on its way.
Accept the grief that accompanies divorce
This feeling is natural – even for the person who initiated the divorce. Why? Because the loss of a marriage is still a loss. You may miss your old life, your old routine, your old comforts. You may miss the idea of being married or the concept of security that accompanies it. Whatever you feel is okay. Your intense grief will change shape over time, and eventually, it will abate.
- Lean on your tribe. Do you belong to a spiritual community or church? Look there for support. Got a bunch of pals you haven’t seen in a while? Call them and make a plan to rehash the good old days, whether it’s an evening out or a group Zoom call.
- Tell your loved ones what you need. Believe it or not, there are people in your life who want to help—they just don’t know what you need or how to offer it. So, tell them. Maybe chatting on the phone a couple of times a week (or a check-in every day) with your best buddy would give you a much-needed chance to vent.
- Ask for help. Are there actionable things friends can do to lighten your load? Maybe a friend could pick up the kids after school. Maybe they could drop off dinner one night.
- Reconnect with yourself. Get back in touch with your soul and what pleases you. Go on a nature hike or a solo vacation. Book tickets to a show. Sign up for an evening college class or exercise class. Whatever inspires you.
Look back on the beauty of winter with appreciation
In the midst of a dark winter, life can feel so bleak and exhausting. In the midst of divorce, life can feel so urgent yet so devoid of pleasure. Meeting deadlines. Dealing with the demands of your spouse. Making sure the kids are okay, scheduling their lives, and adapting to your new co parenting life. It’s exhausting. Once you get some distance from the whirlwind of divorce-related stress, probably when your divorce is complete (because that WILL happen) and you’ve got time to sit quietly with a cup of your favorite hot beverage – take time to reflect on what this tough time has taught you.
Life lessons from some of our past clients
- “I changed the patterns, rituals, and habits that were holding me back or no longer serving me. I love who I have become: the upgraded version of myself.”
- “The moment my mood stopped shifting based on her actions, I won.”
- “I found peace in being human. I stopped worrying so much about what other people thought of me and my decisions.”
- “I am a power couple with myself. I love us. We work hard.”
We know you’ve been through a lot… but you should know that things do get better and your new life is just starting. We hope you will take a few steps toward the changes you want to see today.