Speaking of Feelings
Divorce will mean change, lots of change. Where will you live,? What happens to your children? your pets? What happens to all that we own together?
What will your family and friends say and think of you?
How will the children be touched by this?
How did I get from love to lost?
Anyone who's going through a separation and divorce has moved from loving to not loving. This shift typically includes being swept up in the wonderful feelings of connection to the painful experience of disconnection. The shift from loving to feeling unloved happens to almost everyone who goes through the divorce process. The questions we're asking here are how did I get here and how can I return to feeling good again.
We can all feel loved, connected, appreciated, worthwhile at any moment. All of us are by nature a nurturing experience waiting to happen. When the benefit of our experience with our spouse seems to have disappeared, we are in a position of potential healing. When we blame, hold on to anger and resentment, we add fuel to our sense of separation.
Getting through divorce is a long process. It may take many years before you feel safe enough to forgive. But it is not necessary to wait that long. It is possible to feel acceptance and compassion in this moment now. You may say "That is impossible, I am so angry and hurt I feel I will never recover." But your statement is one based on feelings of hurt and isolation that will soon pass. Before long you will forget the harsh words and hurtful behaviors and your heart and mind will harmonize. It may only be for a moment, until you start practicing hurt again, but the press of love is always there, like a body of water around an island, always touching, always dissolving the sense of separation we are capable of choosing and feeling.
Cleaning our hearts and minds
No divorce, no conflict, no stressful thought ever happened in isolation. Everything that happens is part of a mosaic so vast and complicated we can only touch and understand pieces of it at one time. But we are capable of looking at these pieces and treating them like they are the whole of our existence. So a harsh word or misunderstanding may seem like THE PROBLEM, yet the word or misunderstanding arose from thousands of interacting thoughts, behaviors and circumstances. In dealing with divorce we are really dealing with our whole lives. Getting beyond blaming and helplessness can be encouraged by looking at our lives as much more than the divorce. What has happened in this divorce may seem new and pressing, yet it has been growing in us each time we have had and nurtured thoughts of separation, hurt, helplessness.
Getting clear of old hurt and pain requires a courageous faith based in understanding that all life is connected, and connected by a Love that intends good, growth, happiness, including the healing of old wounds. Without the healing of old wounds we run the risk of believing our old wounds and the pain they cause are the fault of our spouse. Each time we have had an argument our old wounds have stirred from their resting places and come out looking for the love they believe they missed, yet know they need. Feeling rejected and alone is a universal experience, and feels the same when we're four as when we're forty..
Please consider that you are capable of helping the healing of your old wounds and thereby nurturing your own growth and that of those around you.
What is my most pressing wound?
We ask this question to access the wisdom within. Asking this question of our self is choosing to identify where we are caught at this moment. "What is my most pressing wound?" offers our hearts and minds the opportunity to find and transform the deepest hurt we are suffering, a hurt that may have convinced us we are no longer loving and loved.
If you haven't tried this question deeply and honestly, you likely suspect that the pain of your separation or divorce is the wound. But it's not. The separation experience you have with your spouse is something you have known all your life, since long before you ever met your wife or husband. Sit quietly and let your awareness go beyond images of hurt and anger with your spouse to unhealed pain that has become part of your marriage and now your sense of separation.
Our minds and bodies will respond to this generous question "What is my most pressing wound?" with the immediate truth. Stop and ask yourself, and when you do pay close attention, for the answer is part of the map away from feeling alienated, empty, alone.
Whatever your answer, write it down. If you don't have writing tools, get some, and ask again and record it. You might even put the date on it.
Your answer the most pressing wound question will likely bring you to a place in your memory long before your divorce. The only concern here is that you attend to your most pressing wound with no concern for it's time in space. Every answer will be in the past, and every answer requires the same loving attention.
Once you locate this deep place of hurt in you, it is necessary to become quiet with it. Our deepest hurts have remained because they have not had the benefit of loving attention. This time is for that loving attention. The mysterious, powerful mind we use is capable of both wounding and healing, and this exercise requires contemplating our past with love and acceptance.
Many of our deep feelings of abandonment, hurt and loneliness lead us to act like stray dogs.....shy, skittish, hiding, fearful. These feelings require patience and attention, a willingness to sit on the step with these wandering fears to watch and understand and speak gently to them, encouraging trust. While you may not feel trusting of your ability to deal with these feelings, you already are and have what you need.
Your very nature is love, the one energy which creates and because it creates, can heal all life. You are capable of using your mind to intentionally bring your body to quiet while your mind does its gentle healing of those stray, feelings of confusion and separation. This is not an exercise in making your marriage work. It is an exercise in using your mind to quiet your body and feelings, allowing your mind to bring healing to both the physical and emotional. Recovering from divorce is a process of releasing fear and allowing love.
You will need to repeat this exercise over and over until your stray feelings become comfortable and you feel again the confident generosity of love for your life, your self, the one you married, and all those in your world.
Children and Divorce