If you have been divorced, you know it hurts - especially if your marriage had lasted many years. Whatever the circumstances of your relationship, and whatever the nature of its ending, there is always grief and regret - perhaps regret over the ending or perhaps regret over not ending the relationship sooner - or perhaps both. How to move past the grief and regret? No matter how painful, divorce, like all endings, opens the door to new beginnings. Let's examine several.

1. Get support: Don't be embarrassed to ask friends for support. Join a divorce support group. Join a more general women's or men's group like ManKind Project and share your story.

2. Reconsider your obligations: In reality, you have NO obligations. There is nothing you ever have to do, because everything you do or don't do is always a choice. Be especially clear that you don't owe anyone an explanation or justification for any of your actions - ever.

3. Simplify your life: There is nothing that you really NEED to have. Material possessions seldom bring joy. Consider eliminating whatever you haven't used in a year, and minimizing new purchases - not based on economy, but on your choice for leading a simple unencumbered life.

4. Try something new: What have you been wanting to do, but couldn't find the time or commitment to begin? Perhaps yoga, stretching, walking, a new spiritual class, a book discussion group, ballroom dancing.

5. Learn and explore: You are never too old for learning and discovery. Open your mind. Study something you always wanted to know about but that didn't seem necessary or practical - other cultures and times, comparative religion, whatever calls you.

6. Volunteer: Nothing works better for relieving self-pity than helping others who are worse off. Fill the time you would have spent feeling sorry for yourself by giving something of yourself to others.

7. Get away: If you can possibly afford it, take a trip with a group of compatible people - perhaps a spiritual journey. Also, ask what is tying you to the community where you currently reside. Now is a time to consider the question of where, and how, you really want to live. Believe in yourself. You have free will. You, and only you, are responsible for your life.

Author's Bio: 

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Jonathan Lockwood Huie is an author of self-awareness books, and has been dubbed "The Philosopher of Happiness" by those closest to him, in recognition of his on-going commitment to seeing Joy in all of life.

** Today is your day to dance lightly with life. It really is. - jonathan lockwood huie **