How to Look on the Bright Side of Divorce

3. Life 101

There are a number of seminars and courses available to help you let go of the past and create an exciting new life for yourself. Each one has a different approach or philosophy, so it's up to you to choose the one(s) that's right for you.

When you find a course that interests you, attend an introductory session or arrange an appointment to speak with the enrollment manager. If possible, talk to a respected friend or co-worker who has taken this course, or ask the company for a referral to one of their clients.

The right choice probably won't feel comfortable -- growth and change are never comfortable. Instead, ask yourself whether the promises and goals of a particular course are aligned with your own. Can you see the possibility (even if it's only a faint glimmer right now) of generating a great new future out of participating in this course? If so, your next step will be to deal with the stumbling blocks that will stop you from participating. These obstacles could be anything from "I can't afford the time/money" to "I don't like personal-development seminars."

Again, if you can see an opportunity to heal and/or design a future that will have you jumping out of bed rather than pulling the covers over your head each morning, you'll find a way to handle these blocks.

Sometimes, the things that could prevent us from participating in personal development are the things that stop us in other areas of our lives. Ask a friend or family member for help -- whether that means babysitting your kids during the course, driving you to and from the course location, or even lending you the money to pay for it. The people who love you want you to be happy, and most will welcome the opportunity to help you put your life back together.

Even strangers can be of assistance sometimes. At the end of an introduction session to one course, an unemployed woman stood up and declared that she really wanted to enroll, but she didn't have the money. So she offered to clean the houses of any of the other members of the audience for $40 each; within 10 minutes, she had collected more than 20 prospective "employers." This doesn't mean that you should immediately start cleaning people's houses -- it just illustrates that with creativity and determination, you can overcome whatever obstacles are standing in your way.

Take the first steps to turn those emotional blocks you keep tumbling over into the foundations for a self-sufficient, balanced, happy person. If you need help letting go -- and most people do -- don't be ashamed to ask for it. There are dozens of avenues for you to explore: from books to seminars, traditional therapy to Zen Buddhism. As difficult as it may be to believe right now, you do have the freedom to choose happiness. After all, isn't joy worth the sacrifice of some painful, toxic emotions?

Divorce Magazine provides advice and support for those coping with separation, divorce, and remarriage. For more tips and stories, visit

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