By Irving H. Zaroff, JD LMFT and Dana Schutz, MA LMFT

Every day is a new day, and you'll never be able to find happiness if you don't move on.
~Carrie Underwood

Facing divorce and separation in the New Year is an opportunity to define a New You.

What does it look and feel like? Answers may not be clear at first, but the process of defining your life and creating the picture of moving forward is often helpful. Many find divorce creates a need to redefine the picture, or fantasy, of what we thought our life would look like.

Socially, divorce brings about changes that are sometimes expected and often unexpected. It's not uncommon to find yourself relieved having crossed the hurdle of the first restructured holidays or feeling the sadness and loss of what is to come next year. Either way, it's an opportunity to create new rituals for your family.

Emotionally, the thought of doing so can either be painful or uplifting. Much of what you may be feeling has to do with where you find yourself in the grieving process AND how you view the process of change. For most people grieving can bring with it a sense of sadness, anger and loss. As you travel through the process of separation and divorce, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. It is with new insight, new understandings, new ideas, and views that new beginnings form. To move forward you might want to contemplate doing something different for yourself. If you have been one to make the famous "New Year's Resolution," think in terms of new pictures' new dreams' new focus. If the New Year's Resolution is not your style, think about small simple steps you can take to move toward the picture you have in mind for the New Year.

When you have children to consider and will be parenting with someone you have been struggling with, contemplate the thought or idea of forgiveness. Sometimes forgiveness simply means acknowledging the struggle you have inside and looking for small simple ways to take ownership of your part. After all, the only thing we can be in charge of is our own thoughts, feelings and behaviors. It starts with ME.

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