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Out with the Old and in with the New—How taking the time to release the past can pay off in the long run.

Out with the Old and in with the New—How taking the time to release the past can pay off in the long run.

As we get closer to the end of 2020, it's a good time to look at personal goals and decide on plans for 2021. If you are someone who went through a divorce this year, you may still be surrounded by constant reminders of your ex and marriage. That life is part of your past now, and it may be time to think about letting go so that you can move forward. Here is how taking time to release the past can pay off in the long run.

Getting Rid of Barriers

Getting out of a marriage that isn’t working can be a relief, but there will most likely be a lot of residual emotions. It will take time to get adjusted to your new surroundings and life without your ex. Once you do, you may want to take stock of your thoughts and emotions and assess whether they are holding you back. Ruminating over the divorce and other painful experiences you had during the relationship can be counterproductive. If you are dwelling on things that can't be changed, you may need to look where your mind is taking you. By working with a therapist or post-divorce support group, you can get the insight you need to process the emotions from the divorce and move forward with your new life.

Changing Your Space

When you got divorced, you may have moved into a new place or kept the one you lived in with your ex. In either case, what you see in your home every day is going to be on your mind. If you kept your wedding photo album and other mementos of your life together because your children may want them one day, find a storage box and put them inside it. That goes for everything else that may be related to the marriage. If there are items you no longer need, donate or sell them. The less you have to remind you of the past, the better. If you still have your old furniture, rearrange it, refinish it, or if it’s in your budget, sell what you have and buy new pieces. You can use the process of going through your home and cleaning out remnants of the past to reorder your new environment. As you find these physical objects, you can think of where they came from and release them from your life.

Changing Your Relationships

After a divorce, your relationships with certain people can change dramatically. Some longtime friends may drop out of the picture due to their allegiance to your ex, while others may step up to be closer to you in your time of need. You may also recognize that some of your friendships only worked when you were in an unhappy marriage. As you begin to make changes and clear out old thinking patterns, emotions, and ways of doing things, some people may not fit into your new life. For example, you and a friend may have had a connection based on being in unhappy relationships. Now that you have divorced, you may no longer have as much in common with one another. As you remove items and negative thoughts and emotions from your life, you may find that some of your connections and friendships may have run their course as well.

Karyn Youso of First Look Family Law is a trained Wisconsin attorney, Collaborative Attorney, and mediator. She has extensive experience assisting clients before, during, and after Wisconsin divorce cases and can help you understand your options and find the right resources. Call us today to set up a consultation so we can take a “first look” at your situation.