Taking Time to Know Yourself After Divorce
Updated: Aug 20
The human body has five senses -- touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste. When was the last time you actually paid attention to your senses? And I am not talking about burning yourself on something hot or a really loud noise such as fireworks where you are expecting it. I am talking about sitting by yourself in a quiet place and observing the five senses. Maybe start with taking the time to just sit outside and take in the smells? For example, I live in Ohio and I love all of our four seasons, spring, summer, fall and winter. Spring smells like fresh flowers, lavender, water flowing in creeks and fresh manure spread in mulch around the area. Fall smells like bonfires. So what about your place? Does it smell clean, like flowers or like a horrible trash or animal waste smell? What sounds do you hear? Birds? Cars? Water rushing over rocks? Children playing? Take time to breathe, reset and experience what you are feeling at the time.
Personally, when I moved into my house after separating, I chose a place where I would be happy. Previously, I was in the country in a small town and that decision was made by my ex-husband and I because that is how we envisioned raising our children. However, when I was choosing a house for myself and my new life, I carefully chose a place where it was near shopping and restaurants and yet still had a private back yard so that I could enjoy the sights and sounds of country living. One of my favorite features of the house is the sunroom because I can sit out there in the morning, listen to the creek flowing, birds chirping and sip my coffee and just think. Then at night I sit out there with wine and a good book and listen to the sounds of summer, smells of fall and wind rustling by. Every now and then, I would see a deer that I named Darla in my backyard. It’s relaxing and my safe haven.
A little later, I proceeded to get chickens and ducks. (This was not planned.) While at a local farm store, my children spotted baby ducks and chickens and with the creek outside of our door about 30 steps, I figured the ducks would live there and the chickens, we would get a small coup. Little did I know that the chickens and ducks came into my life as peaceful reminders of the simple life. Life after a divorce can be overwhelming so just sitting outside for hours watching the chickens and ducks walk around, eat, peck, play, was relaxing to say the least. During this time, I tried not to focus on anything but how they went about their day, how they walked, squawked, bobbed their head, even how they squatted for you to pet them. (Yes, chickens like attention and can be pets.) I focused on how simple life is and how, as humans, we can make it so much more complicated. I actually came to find out that animals can be great therapists.
Allow yourself to feel. Take time off work (if possible) and just embrace your feelings during this time. You might experience doubt and confusion, loneliness, anger, depression, sadness and possibly even happiness. Lay in bed, go for a run, pray, go to dinner with friends, visit your therapist or life coach. Whatever will help you feel your natural emotions and embrace each of the stages of grief. It’s healthy to feel each of the emotions you will experience and the sooner, the better.