This is the third Change Model I'm presenting in order to give you as many ways to move through your divorce as possible. Options are empowering and engage the brain.
The third model was developed by William Bridges, Ph.D. and involves three processes:
- Saying Goodbye
- Shifting Into Neutral
- Moving Forward
He also offers several steps, in bold, to help transition through a change with my comments, in italics (click here for the full article):
- Learn to succinctly describe the change - this allows the brain to "normalize" what is happening and better manage it. It's especially important to identify/label emotions as you experience them.
- Create a plan - having a plan creates a level of certainty for the brain which helps to minimize the emotional drama (or limbic system response) and reengage your thinking/rational brain. Feel free to use or adjust my Seven Step process as your plan.
- Identify what and who you have to let go of - the loss of your spouse represents many losses all at once; identifying all of these losses, while painful, also helps the brain to get a handle on exactly what it is trying to process and makes the process more manageable.
- Take steps to respectfully let go of the past - you may need to create some rituals to help you disconnect or let go of certain people and activities that represent your "old" life. You can't move forward if you're looking backward.
- Work through the "neutral zone" with information and connections - inherent in letting go of something/someone old is creating a "relationship" with something/someone new. Find ways to reconnect with your passions and identify new things to do and new (or "forgotten") people to do them with.
- Create temporary solutions to the temporary problems - it's all about baby steps. When you're in the fog, you can't see that far ahead so take actions that are in-line with your limited vision. You'll gain speed as you work your way out of the fog.
- Get help moving forward with your new beginning - tap into resources to help you move through your change/transition. It will be harder and longer if you go it alone. Don't add to your misery. Get some neutral help.