Reclaiming Life is something that is hard to imagine, but it is an absolutely necessary step if your divorce was tragic and had a profound impact on you. I'd imagine that this is true for most people, but it is worth noting that I am speaking only from my personal experience.
Reclaiming is from the verb to reclaim:
- 1.retrieve or recover (something previously lost, given, or paid); obtain the return of.
"he returned three years later to reclaim his title as director of advertising"
- 2.bring (waste land or land formerly under water) under cultivation.
"little money is available to reclaim and cultivate the desert"
And so, it is not just the first definition, but also the second definition that makes sense here. Life truly has to be recovered after divorce. Indeed I'd argue that without this step, you cannot proceed in any effective way, emotionally, spiritually, financially or physically. It is essential.
Recovering in this sense to me simply means that you are back to living. Living involves making choices, taking risks, having a good time, and being present in the current experiences and emotions of your existence. In short, being active rather than passive. Recovery in this sense isn't easy and there are a number of things available to you.
1. Friends, Family, existing support systems can help you recover your life. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have those things however, so for them, I'd focus on other options below.
2. Church/Synagogue/Temple etc where you can meet with fellow believers of your faith and perhaps deepen your connection with a higher power. For me, Church was where I feel I recovered the most. It slowed me down. It got me thinking about others besides myself which helped me really notice where I was. And most of all it gave me some structure and ability to get comfortable with who I am again.
3. Therapist and/or Support groups. These like anything can be complex and expensive or simple and cheap. Don't short change yourself on professional help, but at the same time be smart about your choices.
After recovery, you can begin the second aspect which is to bring your life to cultivation which is what the idea of goals really means. What do you want to accomplish with your life. I find that these are difficult in a way that I wouldn't have expected. It can be so consuming and difficult to recover from a trauma, that you forget to make plans for the future.
My advice about this second aspect of cultivation of goals, restating goals is:
- Start with restating them and writing it down.
- Do not worry about when/how these will get met or if at all. Just practice writing and having goals.
- Don't wait too long to start.
- Once you are comfortable with the idea of having goals, get serious and pick one or two small goals to set and work toward. This is a great way to start this habit.