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Relocating as Part of Divorce — Part 2

Rachel Alexander March 17, 2020

{5 minutes to read}  What Brings You Comfort in New Place? Relocation tips for the newly single,  continued from our last article.

Decrease Suffering

Focus on what brings comfort.

  • What brings you comfort?

  • What do you do to self-soothe? 

  • When you return home, what is your first “go to?” 

It is probably the same things you do semi-consciously and have done for years; a continuous thread, regardless of where you have called home: from your dorm room to a special spot in the home where you grew up, to the specific accommodations you make in a hotel room to help you relax. 

Some examples: If you need good lighting in order to read before bed, that is important when establishing your new home. If you need WiFi and a working computer to relax, ensure you have both immediately upon occupancy. 

Now is not the time to be a martyr. (If there is a good time for martyrdom, I promise to let you know in a future blog.)

Even if you can rationalize or argue against yourself that something is not necessary, if you rely on it for comfort, it is a priority now.

If cable TV has been your norm, this isn’t the time to challenge yourself to be somebody who meditates for two hours a day and doesn’t watch TV. That’s a nice goal to have and might be something to tackle down the road, but right now get cable TV — even in the bedroom — and bathroom, too! — if it helps you unwind. 

If you like to have certain food in the refrigerator, even if it does not comprise the ultimate diet of your future triathlete-self, that’s fine. For right now, get the kinds of food that you enjoyed last week and for the last 20 years. First let’s tackle stability, then change. 

Focus on What is Wanted.

Start with a baseline of comfort and stability in your new place. Comfort will help regulate your system before more can occur. 

From a calm, foundational place, we can better turn to what is wanted.

From a calm, foundational place, we can better turn to what is wanted. In times of change, our whole system may want to cling to what was — however lousy it may have been. Losing something tends to elevate it to a throne of romantic glory — making whatever there was appear more desirable than what there is or can be. We are all likely wired this way.

Knowing this, perhaps it’s more possible to keep company both with attachments to the past, as well as a sense that they may be somewhat idealized at the moment. This may invite a bit of tenderness with oneself and humanity in general.

Rather than trying to “go back to” or “rebuild” what was, I like to invite approaching it thusly:

Indulge in unfettered dreaming and imagining. Unbridle yourself from inhibitions. 

What kind of space do you want to live in? What tickles your fancy? Your funny bone? What would you, your home, your life look like if you were irrepressibly impressed with yourself? Your own hero? What physical environment would help you mirror the you of the future? 

Maybe, for example, you want a large lucite writing desk. Perhaps that aesthetic inspires your sense of order and creativity, discourages clutter, and motivates you to sit down to keep up with bills and filing. Maybe you want minimalism; freedom from your old collection of one hundred hideous mugs emblazoned with insignia from every state you visited in the last 15 years.

Now is the time to bask in your own attention! Turn towards yourself, your whimsy, humor, and inspiration.

Not by abandoning necessity, reality, reason, of course, but here on earth you likely get a healthy dose of that everywhere else in life. Simply also make room for what might delight you and be obtainable with some ease and simplicity. Perhaps you wanted and now can create a reading nook or gift wrapping station. You can put a bean bag chair in the living room, or hang a yoga swing so you can, at long last, suspend from the ceiling like a vampire. Possibilities. Endless.

Often for the newly separated or divorced, who may have buried, neglected or abandoned themselves in order to maintain a withering couplehood, here is an opportunity to rediscover delight. Not only to occupy a space freshly but to inhabit yourself more freely and fully.

Finally, there is a place where your inner voice, expression, and amusement can come out for some sun and fresh air.

Stay tuned, dear ones, for our final installment on relocating and reestablishing a home.