2020 was certainly a year for the record books.
What our collective cultural consciousness slogged through last year cannot be understated. A global pandemic, a historically bitter election year, cultural unrest, business restrictions, reduced access to places of worship, employment shifts or losses, school closures and virtual classrooms, and increased “fake news” and partisan social media bubbles. The list could go on and on.
And that’s just what we’ve dealt with collectively!
Personally, there are countless stories of personal and financial loss, hardship, and magnified stress. This type of exacerbated, long-term stress is oftentimes a driving factor in unearthing issues that may have been long dormant in unhealthy relationships. In any other year, maybe you would have been fine to sweep things under the rug, just stick with it, ignore and find a distraction, paste on a smile and find false hope in something, or continue delaying until “someday” happening to fix what is clearly broken.
Given all of this past year’s events, there is a good chance that as the clock counted down towards the New Year, while many people celebrated being “done” with 2020, you may have been thinking of the things 2020 had unearthed or clarified for you, and focusing on the relationships that had failed this year-long stress test. And we know that ignoring these things is not healthy or realistic and won’t magically make them disappear.
Our focus for the first part of 2021 is to help you look for the healing that can come from hardship and to take the churned, fallow ground of your life and help you sow it with something new, something hopeful, something joyful..
As a law firm that is 100% focused on family law, our focus is always on the future, and on helping our clients make the journey towards healing and a joyful “next chapter” in their life.
In that regard, here are 4 ways to prioritize healing for yourself this year.
Making an honest assessment of a potentially unhealthy relationship is a hard thing to do, but it’s also a necessary first step towards healing. While we help walk many clients through divorce, we also know that divorce may not be the right step for everyone. On Episode 8 of The Jennifer Hargrave Show, Jennifer talks with The Marriage Place founder, Kim Bowen, a licensed professional marriage therapist about the issues many people are thinking through as they contemplate ending their marriage.
Being honest with yourself about whether your broken marriage is reconcilable or not can feel daunting, but we urge you to take this step forward this year. Find some time in your week, find the people you trust in your life, and make an honest assessment of where you are, comparing that to where you truly want to be.
MAKE A PLAN
The next step towards healing is to make a plan. If you decide that your marriage is beyond reconciling, there are actually many different paths you can take towards ending a marriage in divorce. We have a long track record of helping our clients navigate through both traditional divorces as well as non-traditional divorces like collaborative divorce, simple divorces, mediated divorce. Divorce is not a one-size-fits-all process.
If divorce is not the right step for you, you still need to determine what steps are necessary to fix what is broken to allow healing. We have a trusted network of trusted professionals to whom we feel comfortable referring our clients.
The important point here is to do your research, talk to us, and let us help you make the plan that is right for you, your family, and your business, and that helps you move forward toward healing.
FIND A TEAM
If you do begin the divorce process, choosing the right people to walk through that journey with you is one of the most important decisions you will make. Divorce is a very personal, intimate process, and you need to feel comfortable with the team working on your behalf.
In addition to your lawyer, you may want assure that you are choosing a firm with a trusted team of experienced paraprofessionals and staff that can compassionately and efficiently work with you towards achieving your goals. A firm using a team approach can help you reduce costs, allow for better communication, and help support you in a myriad of other ways.
A great legal team can also help you build a larger support network of other people such as a licensed family or child psychologist or a financial planner. We work closely with a broad array of professionals that you may want to connect with throughout your divorce process and beyond.
LOOK AT THE BIG PICTURE
Beginning a divorce proceeding may not feel healing at the start. In fact, there is a good chance that it won’t. But it’s important to keep a big picture perspective. Where you do want to be? What is the best choice for your family in the long-term? What is the best thing for you in the long-term? Do you need to factor in your business that you, or you and your partner, own?
While many law firms take a stereotypically adversarial approach to a divorce proceeding, we choose to look for clients that are interested in taking a holistic view of the profound life-change they are making for themselves and their entire family. A scorched-earth policy can leave destruction that can limit your future and cost your family, both emotionally and financially, for years to come. Walking through your divorce in a way that consistent with your values, focused on preserving dignity, and preserving a coparenting relationship that benefits your children, can allow you to begin your next chapter with fewer regrets and greater peace.
If you choose to engage us as your legal team, you can be assured that we will be focused on helping you take steps that create progress towards your goals. Having our team walking the journey with you and advocating for you on your behalf, and doing so in a way that is consistent with your values, will allow you the mental and emotional capacity to be able to keep your eye on the horizon. The healing that will come from taking the next step towards your new chapter in life will help propel you into a hopeful future where joy can reenter your life.