5 Steps to Healing After Your Separation

February 3, 2021

Rebuilding your life and starting over is not easy.  Actually, it’s bloody hard and sometimes, it will feel impossible.

When you feel like the bottom has fallen out of your life and the plans you had for yourself and your family have come undone, every small step or action can feel hopeless and uncertain. How do you get from lying curled up under the covers to taking action…to picking yourself up…to healing…to moving towards your best life?

Where do you start?

Let’s start with understanding what that journey looks like and how you can move into healing and transforming your life.

Stage 1: Self-Awareness

The first step in healing is realising that something needs to change and becoming aware of what needs healing or changing. 

For example, it may be that you become aware that you’re not good at creating and maintaining personal boundaries.  You have to firstly have this self-awareness or insight before you can start moving through the other stages of healing.

Stage 2: Responsibility

Now that you are aware of what needs to change, you now need to decide how you’re going to respond.  Are you going to ignore it, blame it on someone else, or are you going to take responsibility for your own healing?

Using the same example, this second stage is where you would take responsibility for not enforcing boundaries and decide that you are the only one who can establish boundaries for yourself.

Stage 3: Exploration

The third stage can be one of the most painful in the journey towards healing and transformation as it is here that you have to dive deep within yourself to understand why and how the emotional trauma has been created.  Why does it exist?

In this space, you’ll need to confront past experiences and relationships as you uncover and gain understanding of the who, what, why, where and when. 

Using the boundary example again, in this stage you’d try to consider why you need boundaries, why you find it hard to set and uphold boundaries, what does life look like without boundaries and who will not like it if you start creating and maintaining boundaries.  You may also need to think about how these boundaries will change your relationships and whether those relationships hold any future value to you, and sometimes, you may need to decide to step away from those relationships.

There is some big thinking going on in this stage. It will be messy, exhausting and frustrating, but if you don’t do the soul-searching you won’t move to the next stage of healing.

Stage 4: Understanding & Forgiveness

As you reach the end of stage 3, you’ll have gained an understanding about your trauma and issues and this will lead you to forgiveness.  Here you will be searching for and working towards forgiving yourself, for your part, and forgiving other people for the part they played.

Going back to the example on boundaries, in this stage you’ll forgive yourself for struggling to create and maintain boundaries and for allowing people to hurt you because of your lack of boundaries.  You will also forgive the other person for the hurt they have caused you. 

This sounds easy, but it’s far from it. 

Healing is not linear. You may move back and forwards between stages, particularly stages 3 and 4.

We are conditioned to believe that when we forgive another person for the hurt they caused us, they will apologise for causing that hurt.  But forgiveness in this stage, is not about confronting the other person and getting them to take responsibility or ownership for causing you emotional hurt or pain.  The journey to healing and self-transformation is all about YOU.

About freeing yourself from the trauma. 

About diving deep into knowing and understanding yourself and your pain.

About you making conscious decisions to change your behaviours, thoughts and pain to heal yourself.

Stage 5: Self-Love

Now that you have gone through the deep dive to understand your trauma and issues and you have forgiven yourself, truly forgiven yourself, then you get to experience the joy of this final stage…SELF-LOVE.

Here you will notice subtle shifts in your self-talk (that inner voice/narrative) – it will be kinder, more positive, loving and supportive.

You will have the awareness and knowledge to redirect your behaviour when you feel yourself falling back into bad habits or ways of thinking.

You will be more energised to nurture your mind, body and soul.

You will prioritise your happiness.

You will have the strength and confidence to face challenges by knowing that you’ve done it once before and you can do it again.


As you get to this final stage of healing, you’ll have transformed yourself and your life in ways you can’t imagine. 

You’ll have rediscovered hope, joy, gratitude, love and opportunities to celebrate your authentic self.

You’ll be open to recognising other emotional trauma or issues that need healing and you’ll have the confidence to go through the process again.  Each time you go through the journey of healing a part of yourself, your trauma and experiences, you’ll get stronger and more confident. 

You’ll also step more and more into your true, authentic self. The version of yourself that serves you in every part of your life.

Be patient and kind to yourself as you make this journey to healing after separation.  By taking the leap, you’ll uncover parts of yourself and be able to reconnect with confidence and strength so you can push through and get to a stage where you’re living your best life!


This article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or any other professional advice.

Feeling unsure where to start?

Let us guide you through what’s involved in untangling your relationship and give you the tools to set yourself up to move forward.

Feeling unsure where to start?

Let us guide you through what’s involved in untangling your relationship and give you the tools to set yourself up to move forward.

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