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Just Divorced

A series of articles on adjusting to divorce
by Harlan L. Jacobsen

We have discussed setting goals as a major step in adjusting to divorce and moving into a happy single life.  As a newly divorced person you should take inventory and see what you are now and then project what you are capable of becoming.
Learn to live for yourself  and do the things you want to do.  One of the reasons is they have been doing what other people want.  Do your own thing, concentrating on your strength, your strong points - not your weaknesses.
Here is a visualization of what happens:

        / To be better accepted you go this way
---->  Path of what you want to do!
       \ Detour - do what is expected of you
         \ Detour - not enough courage to say no

No man is free who is not master of himself.  The May '74 Reader's Digest has an article of interest on goals and you should read it at this point.
It is "A strategy of daily living," page 146.  We will use some quotes from it here but recommend that you read the article in its entirety.  The article states that the establishment of a goal is the key to successful living.  To set a goal the author suggests setting aside 30 minutes each day for a month, listing the ideas you come up with for goals each day.  The idea is to pick the best one at the end of 30 days, put it on a card and refer to it often.  You should then think about this objective several times a day, forming mental images of it already having been accomplished.

We are going to take a little different tack since it has been long apparent that getting enough discipline to force yourself to set down and figure out the right goals for yourself is a major problem.  We will discuss it a bit here and then follow with a questionnaire that may help get it crystallized and down on paper.  Goals are simply check-up points on the way to the dream of purpose.  The journey is far more exciting than arriving and you can start that journey right now, achieving success the minute you organize all of your forces to achieve the goal.  Your subconscious is the quarterback in your game of single life.  It calls the plays but we must coach it properly so it knows what plays to call.  You are a goal seeking mechanism and if you give your quarterback the right positive instructions, you will succeed in having a happy single life if that is your goal.

If you learn to quit giving yourself confusing negative instructions along the way your quarterback will call the play ingeniously, so much so that it will amaze even you the things you do.  When you coach your subconscious with opposing negative and positive instructions it gets all tied up in knots.  How your quarterback calls the shots is dependent upon your mental attitude.  When you give worry, anxiety, fear, self doubt, etc. to your quarterback you paralyze his abilities to win the game of a happy single life.  When you are calm and self confident and giving your quarterback (your subconscious) positive instructions, goals (the name of the game) then it functions at full peak capacity, calling all the right plays at the right time.

Your quarterback is constantly acting, feeding upon what you have consciously given it.  (Remember, it has no judgment and does not sort what you give it - it accepts).  We mentioned learning to hold a spoon in the last chapter.  Your conscious mind made a note and held mental images of the right things you do and keep from dropping a spoon and your subconscious now has that.  You automatically do the right thing to keep from dropping your spoon.  Your subconscious mind has been giving your subconscious information that you are divorced and are unhappy.  Instead of spoon holding images, you have been giving it spoon dropping images so you keep dropping the spoon.
You are concentrating on spoon dropping input and not spoon holding.  You
must learn how to give your subconscious the right input.

Your subconscious mind accepts the frustrations that you are unhappy and you are supposed to be unhappy.  Your subconscious mind has now gotten you in a self-defeating trap.  It gets the instructions you are unhappy and it makes you make decisions and do things that will make sure you stay unhappy.  When you are down you give your subconscious "down" information.  It accepts these as instructions.  Your programming is "down," so your subconscious makes decisions for you unknowingly (not conscious and aware to you) that will keep you down.  Example: I am not ready as yet to go out.  questions: Why aren't you ready to go out?  I don't know, I just don't feel I am ready to go out as yet.  In other words, you haven't broken the misery breeds more misery cycle and you haven't gotten new "be happy" programming through to your subconscious.  This is one of the reasons you have such up and down swings in life in general.  When you are blue you continue to give yourself blue input - so you stay blue.  When you have something going you are giving yourself cheery input so you have a tendency to stay up - way out there!
Big cycles with wide swings.  When we learn to control our input or programming or what instructions our subconscious is to act upon then we can quickly bottom out the blues and get our subconscious to make decisions and take actions that get us out of the blues.  If your subconscious has then instructions or a program to follow it will set about putting you in the right places at the right times to get you out of the doldrum state and on to a happy, fulfilled life, if that is what you want.

Time means nothing to your subconscious, it requires deadlines.  Your subconscious does not remain idle.  It is running all the time like breathing, heart beat, etc. even when you are asleep.  If you do not feed your desires (goals) into your subconscious it will feed on the thoughts and images that reach it accidentally through your neglect.  Impulses are constantly reaching your subconscious without your knowledge.  Some are negative, some are positive.  You are now to try to cut off as much as possible the negative impulses and to add positive impulses and visualizations of desire with concrete goals.

A human being can create nothing until he or she can first conceive it in the form of an impulse of thought.  Thought impulses a visualization of what you want to bring about begin immediately to transform themselves into their physical equivalent.  Whether these thoughts are voluntary or involuntary, if you visualize what you fear or worry about you help bring it into being.
Your subconscious mind doesn't care whether you visualize something accidentally or on purpose, voluntarily or involuntarily.  Keep fear out of your mind by concentrating upon a mental picture, a definite visualization on the motion picture screen of your mind of your goal, your greatest desire.

If you picture yourself as always being alone, miserable or whatever, your subconscious will see to it that you do things to keep you that way or that you will refuse to do things that will get you out of that mood.  If you constantly visualize yourself as having fun, being with friends and having superb relationships, then your subconscious will soon see to it that you do the right things to put you in that position.  Do not worry about the details of how you are going to develop a happy, fulfilled single life if that is your goal.  Merely keep visualizing that and going over that with yourself several times each day.  The details of accomplishing your goals will be taken care of by your subconscious mind.  You will gain the knowledge and information you need and your subconscious will see to it that you make the right decisions if you will play your hunches and follow your sixth sense.  Just keep that goal there constantly and you are well on your
way - just as surely as night follows day.

This may all seem a little silly and maybe you will have to wait until you get really miserable or sick and tired of being miserable before you gain enough motivation to get yourself going on a new goal.  Setting your goals is one of the toughest things you will have to do, to actually make yourself sit down and think it through and get your goals down on paper.

Do it now and save months, or even years, of being unhappy.  There is absolutely no need to be miserable for a period of one or two years - which is common when a divorce occurs.  It is one of the great tragedies that people suffer needlessly, simply because they do not know or refuse to do what is necessary to get themselves out of it and on to the mainline of a happy, new life of freedom.  Freedom to cast your own fate, your own lot in life.

Concentrate upon doing, keep on doing and don't feel sorry for yourself.
Keep yourself so busy achieving your goal you won't have time to worry.
Waste no time being arrogant.  Don't wish - WILL - will what you want to do and do it now!  The only person you will have to fight is yourself.  You now believe in yourself.  Fear is an enemy that must be forgotten so that confidence can take its place by your side.  Confidence is courage!  By daring to believe in yourself.

Worry is interest paid in advance on borrowed trouble, a mental picture of something you do not want.  Worry cannot exist when you think positively.
Concentrate on visualizing what you do want.  Hold in your mind a picture of yourself arrived at your goal and confident.

Your image: picture yourself as you want to be.  What you picture yourself as you end up becoming.  Carry an image worth living up to.  Be practical.  You no longer see yourself as a teenager.

Somewhere within you is a line dividing what you are from what you can be.  Your mind is like an image of you - a piece of clay that can be molded.
Live by this image of you as a confident and competent person.  When you have doubts, master them.  Dare to believe!  Project an image and become that image.  Are you now ready to start?
   1. Know yourself.  Everybody has a tendency to delay and put things off.
   2. Be stubborn.  Stay on the track.
   3. Know where you are going.
   4. Take pride in yourself.  You are a unique individual.
   5. Make a friend with everyone you meet.  Renew it every time you see them.
   6. Be restless.  get out and meet people.

Be confident that people will respect you.  Organize so that time is your servant, not your master.

You have now arrived at happy discontent.  There are two kinds: The kind that works and the kind that wrings its hands.  The first gets what it wants, the second loses what it had.  You are not satisfied with yourself.
You are impatient with things as they are but at the same time you are happy in the realization that you have within you the power to change yourself.
You are now programming to do something larger that you now know you were made and meant to do.

You have had until now the erroneous opinion that you were intended to be as you are and there was nothing to be done about it.  To get you on the road to happiness and self fulfillment you need to realize you are discontent in your present position  and you are not going to stay there.
We are developing a happy discontent, a "I can do anything I want to with my life."  With happiness and enthusiasm I can accomplish anything I want and I am going to start right now.  Your goals of the past will become the realities of the future from a resolution to maintain enthusiasm and action.
Consider your goal as a group of component parts.  You will re-appraise pointless activities and routines that take up your time that no longer have any relevance to your current goals.  Re-label your activities in light of your new single life and your new single goals.

Try to keep your goals telescoped into a shorter term, where they can be appraised and changed to add to your happiness.  Set up to enjoy yourself along the way to your goals.

Only you can choose to make things better for yourself!  We have arrived at the Crossroads...


Change your life from what it is to what you want it to be.

The best part of my life now that I look forward to continuing in my new life is:
2. ___________________________________________________________
3. ___________________________________________________________
4. ___________________________________________________________

The only present commitment or obligation I have now that I absolutely have to drag along into my new single life is:

Dream of a new life - the best life you could possibly be 10 years from now - if everything great happened to you.  What can you visualize?


Same thing one year from now -

If you could be in a position in life you always had dreamed of becoming, where do you eventually see yourself in this dream?

Do not concern yourself with present kids, obligations and etc.  If you have no restrictions, a complete freedom, what do you dream of if you could start over completely free of everything?

One restriction: you cannot dream of making someone over, or bend to your will.

Including the best parts of my present life (if any), I see myself at the very best possible next year - moving my future camera in closer to see myself:

Including things I really enjoy I also see myself:

Picture yourself actually doing these things.
From these visualizations (after several days of doing this) I get a good idea that in regard to careers I might like to do:

From these visualizations of the best possible future I see myself at:

I have an idea that I would prefer to live (location):

What would really give me great pleasure would be:

I might modify my dream to include:

Which would really make my life happy.
For one week retreat to your dream world whenever you get the chance.
Nothing is more important to you than what you are doing here -
Live it, refine it, modify it and develop it.  Really zoom into these scenes now for close up of what you'd most enjoy for fun!
The material things I want and see in my new life are:


The work I will be doing five years from now will be:

How do you see yourself spending your time?

What are you spending your money on in your dream world?

What type of person or who are you seen with?

I have crossed off all of the visualizations of what I am doing now that I don't want to be doing them.  The only things I see then that I am doing now are:

How much money do I need to make my new life come true?

How much time at the shortest would I need to make my new life come true?

How much money would it take to go where I want to go?

How much time will I need to do the things I see myself doing?

What kind of growth will I have?  How much education?

How much education will I have to get to earn the money I will need?

My present assets are:

My present liabilities are:

My net worth is:

This is money that could be used to finance your dream activities that you have previously denied yourself.

Part of your dream life may involve a period of time necessary to establish a new career or a new relationship.  In the meantime you may need a temporary career or relationship.  Do not let temporaries become permanent ruts.

Can you keep your present job and meet your visualizations?

Are they compatible?  Do I need to add to my income capabilities?


Now make sub goals.  Break your long-term, five-year goal, for example, into one-year goals.  Next issue we will have a method for you to change your life in two to three weeks.  You will need to have thought through this questionnaire several times by then in order to incorporate it.

You are not going to be irresponsible in setting your goals.  You will be practical to a degree.

Until you get permanent goals picked outsiders might require a decision that is not yet resolved.  Do not give up your dream because everything has not yet been resolved.  Tell them you are in a state of indecision (your subconscious will give you details on how you later get there) that you are in a position of re-examining your entire life and you are not yet sure what answers you will find.

Pick the best of your goals or visualizations and condense here.  You might add the line, "My goal is to find a happy, fulfilled life and..."

What are your capacities and qualifications to achieve these goals?

Do my capabilities and qualifications plus those to be acquired make sense with the rest?

In the last chapter we suggested eliminating the words "I'm afraid" from your vocabulary (do not even say "I'm afraid" it is going to rain).  Also eliminate "I'm scared."  These program your subconscious negatively.  The negative words to work on eliminating today are "at least" and "if only." These are "excuse" words that you should no longer allow yourself to use.

Your life belongs wholly to you.  Make it whatever you think it should be.  Get as much outside information as possible but trust your own final
judgment.  For you, your views are far more important than mine.

Any fool can learn from his own mistakes; but a wise person learns from the mistakes of others.  There have been plenty of us make a great number of mistakes in adjusting to single life and we try to help you get past these difficult periods by writing for you some of the ideas I have picked up along the way.  Some are from other local singles, from personal experiences and by reading everything I can find on the subject.

Part of the meaning of life seems to be one of growth.  We hope to help you grow a little each day.  The general philosophy and principles we are mentioning here are being used to reorganize my life.  Like many teachers, I am perhaps only two pages ahead of you in learning and am putting some of this into use in my own life.  It has helped putting some of this into use in my own life.  It has helped me understand other singles, to find valuable friendships, to understand what I crave in romantic relationships and to keep myself relatively free of hangups without having to make a conscious effort to do so.

The method of changing the course of your life to be covered in the next chapter is something that to the author's knowledge has never run in any publication before but it has been used successfully in the past by the author and it is a simplified, easy, modern, practical method of accomplishing what philosophers and sages have been advocating for centuries.  It is very simple and will require about 30 minutes of your time daily for two or three weeks.  Our preliminary tests indicate it can get you from misery to mastery of single life in a very short time.

Related Article: Long Article On "Goals"

Related Article: Outside link, Ten Commandments of Goal Setting

Tell Your Divorced Or Widowed Friends About This Article And Site, Send Them This Page Or If They Do Not Have A PC, Print Out The Article For Them
Regaining Self Confidence After Divorce Requires Some Unprogramming effort

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