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Relocating as Part of Divorce – Part 3

Rachel Alexander April 3, 2020

{3 minutes to read}  As promised, here we are with our third and final installment on relocation in divorce.

The Comfort of Impermanence

Wherever you are right now, you won’t be there forever. Simply because everything is changing all the time. This is great news if you are not overjoyed by your immediate circumstances. Don’t get too attached to them — they are already a-changing! Around 500 BCE, Heraclitus of Ephesus, the pre-Socratic philosopher, said this: “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it is not the same river, and he is not the same man.” (I find Heraclitus strangely comforting during difficult times.)

We humans have a tendency to take a snapshot of something we don’t care for and then project it, exactly as it exists in this moment, frozen and terrible, into the future. And this “future Polaroid” is magically immune from the natural laws imposing, well, change, upon everything else. In truth, whatever version of “now” you might be torturing yourself with has already morphed into something else. So maybe your spouse is in the marital home with his or her fiancé(e), but they might not be there next year for a slew of different reasons. Events in your own life, hitherto unseen and unimagined, may unfold days from now, replacing old desires with enlivening goals and serendipitous happenings.

Maybe you’re moving into a place that isn’t your first choice. There’s no reason you need to be there for any great length of time. It might be that this is a place where you’re going to be pulling together what is next. It’s a space and place for planning something much better.

Don’t interpret a transitional present as indicative of what the future holds.

Don’t interpret a transitional present as indicative of what the future holds. Refrain from assigning meaning to your current circumstances. Two years from now, and certainly 10 years from now, you can well be inhabiting a home and life more reflective of your heart’s desires.

It Takes Time

If enemies exist, impatience is chief among them. At a time of relocation in divorce, impatience with ourselves can be especially punishing. Give yourself some breathing room.

And remember to breathe!

Moving is traumatic and adjusting takes its own time. If Rome wasn’t built in a day, it’s fair to say that communities aren’t built within twenty-four hours and lives aren’t restructured overnight.

Patience, gentleness, and spaciousness with oneself are some of the best ways to approach the oft dramatic task of relocating.

In the words of Lao Tzu (Stephen Mitchell translation), “Compassion towards yourself, you reconcile all beings in the world.” Start reconciling.