Happily Ever After…Divorced

An Unlikely Valentine

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The emotion that breaks your heart is the same one that heals it. 

A loving divorce is an oxymoron, like jumbo shrimp. You may not believe this, but yes it is possible. It wasn’t so 17 years ago, when the imbroglio began. The back story does not matter anymore. I believe in leaving the past, where it belongs, behind me. Of course at first, I was shocked, angry, and upset to say the least. I knew enough to go directly to see a therapist. I did not pass GO or collect $200, but I went straight to my mental health directory to look up a person to guide me through the mire. Luckily or by divine intervention, I found a warm and supportive counselor to mentor me through the ordeal. She let me complain, cry and rant for a good while, at my weekly appointments. But one day she changed her tact, much to my chagrin. I went in to my regularly scheduled Saturday morning session expecting to vent, when she took me off guard. After a few sentences, she said, “And now you must forgive.” I thought to myself, “Was she drinking this early in the morning?” I persisted to persuade her that I had good reasons to continue groaning and grieving. She would not let up! She told me again, “YOU MUST FORGIVE!” Radical forgiveness is the highest form of love; it does not hold grievances. This was the defining moment of my “turnaround.” It was right here, where the troops of anger and pain started to retreat. They had been put on notice, as if they were being told, “We have had enough of you!” Probably everyone, not just my therapist, had enough of my story. And to be honest, I did too. It was starting to define me. I no longer wanted to captivate attention and compassion through this drama. It was not only painful, but exhausting as well. If we want to move forward in life, we have to let go of our stories. But how to navigate the loving part of being divorced, that was another story (pun intended).

I will say that forgiveness took a lot of discipline and focus. I used the song “The Heart of the Matter” by Don Henley of the Eagles. I played it a lot. I sometimes had to practice the art of forgiveness 50 times a day, because those nasty thoughts kept invading my peace of mind. When I use the term forgiveness, I don’t mean to impose blame on my spouse. It’s not about “Who” was the bad guy. Many times, I had to practice forgiveness on myself, for the awful emotions and anger that I was feeling. The truth of the matter is, forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. Someone once said, “Anger is like taking poison, and expecting the other person to die.” Who really needs that? I ascribe to a philosophy that preaches, “We are all innocent; created as perfect children of God.” It is only our ego that holds grievances. Our purest part, the soul, remains in perfection. If we focus on this innocence in ourselves and others, we will see and feel differently. And I can tell you from personal experience, it feels a lot better. The best part of that is… you are a much better parent, when you feel loving and happy. Your children will bask in these positive emotions. When they think back on who you were as a parent, they won’t remember every specific thing, but they will recall your overall mood. Make this memory a good one for them and for you as well. After all, happiness is a choice, and being loving is a sure-fire way to be happy. It’s a choice we make over and over, every time the opportunity for anger or sadness arises.

The final test of my philosophy and practice came recently, as the last leg of our legal journey approached. It was the ending of child support. We were headed for Family Court. Ugh! Oy vey! Major Bummer! I was determined to resolve the whole issue at my dining room table days before our court date, and we did. We walked into the court together, told the judge of our plans to solve our own problem, and were out the door in five minutes. Everyone there seemed pleasantly surprised, including us.

As a child of divorce myself, I knew that I did not want to re-create the drama and pain that I had lived through, in my childhood. The main reason why I am writing this article is to impart to my fellow divorcees out there (male & female), life is fast, hopefully not short, but FAST! Why waste the moments? World Peace starts at home, and in your heart. Peace expands out from each individual into their realm of influence. In most divorces, the relationship started out as LOVE, so why not keep that good part going? I believe love is like a boomerang; you have to throw it out first, for it to come back to you. In your mind and heart, cultivate that feeling again and send it over the universal communication system of thought, to your ex-spouse. Do it! Free yourself of the burden of anger. Don’t give up, it takes time. And watch to see, how it can change your relationship for the better. Be sure to acknowledge small improvements, and be grateful for them. Mention to your ex that you see things are getting better between the two of you, and your goal is to get it back to good. Smile too; it will increase your face value:) I am sending y’all some Love through this article. Keep it going!

Happy Valentine’s Day to All Who Have Ever Loved ? <3

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