Every divorce begins with an ideal vision of a better life. Underneath it’s usually colored by fear and anger but the gloss on the vision is love. People going through divorce are looking for love. Why else go through such an experience? In order to reach your ideal vision, we have to set the stage for your new life. Here are 5 unavoidable post divorce passages you need to face before you can get that vision filled with love.

Decide to commit to your vision of a better life:

Your ideal vision steps over all the tough parts. You hope that you’ll be okay or that it can’t be all that difficult since so many people go through divorces. But in truth, how you get through yours depends upon one decision. Are you going to have a better life or not?

This means you’re willing to face the healing that is required. To take on your mistakes as well as old beliefs. Look at your history and your behavior yesterday as well as today. Once you take responsibility for where you are, you set up a big commitment for your future vision.

Let the past go:

So much easier said than done! No one wants to forget their favorite lover or their most cherished pain. We hang onto those stories like we held onto our mother’s hands as toddlers. Letting go is powerful work. It’s a moment by moment experience that requires tremendous faith in a future you haven’t yet seen or lived into. But remembering “the past is as over as WWII” is required. We have no idea what our futures bring!

Release the fear and anger:

Fear and anger are the condiments to a delicious meal. We love the pain while in the midst of the fighting, negotiating, and story-telling. Parting with our pain, fear, and anger is akin to starvation when there’s been a steady diet of food. We do not want to let go of our self-righteousness (justified or not). This is an appropriate reaction to what divorce brings out.

I’m not a big believer in just forgiving or forgetting. I don’t proscribe you simply step over the anger toward some holier than thou concept that “all is forgiven”. It’s not. To do so only short-circuits the healing to be done. This is the most difficult passage to attend to. If you don’t get through it though, you’ll get what I call Post-Traumatic-Divorce-Disorder™. This task is not to be taken lightly.

Find yourself the right support and commit to your healing. Your future self will thank you.

Gather yourself up again:

Once you’re able to let go and feel the feels again, you start to claim back your self-esteem and self-confidence. You realize you’re not going to break apart. You’ll begin to become whole again. Fear, tears, anger are simply the cries of a broken heart.

Breathe. Put yourself together in the morning. Go to work with some pep in your step. Choose optimism. Radiate security (even when it’s hard). When you’re no longer responsible for the blame and can let go of the shame, you get to look forward instead of back in time.

Learn to love again:

Learning to love is more complicated than you’ll wish it to be. Let’s be clear, learning to love has nothing to do with having sex. You can have sex all day long without love. Love means being able to let go, forgive yourself, open your heart again, and be willing to trust another human being to see you as you are. This is no small task after a divorce!

In order to have the ideal vision of a better life, each post-divorce passage must be mastered. They will weave in and out. You’ll conquer one step one day, only to find you’ve slid backwards the next. This is normal even unavoidable in setting the stage for your new life. And when you do, you’ll stand with your heart in your hand ready to share it. You’ll be able to have your vision of a better life. One filled with the love you wanted all along.

Laura Bonarrigo is a Certified Life Coach and a Certified Divorce Coach at laurabonarrigo.com. Laura’s a writer, public speaker and the founder of doingDivorce™ School an online coaching program for those ready to shed the pain of divorce. For empowering and practical ways to lose the identity of your past, visit www.doingDivorceSchool.com and laurabonarrigo.com.