This post was written by a male client. I haven’t edited it even though he offered to allow me to do so to improve readability – I love it … its honest, raw and insightful. If you are experiencing or know someone who is experiencing the challenge of a separation or divorce, or know a web portal, magazine or facility that deals with this material for others, please share it. I think this is a great advance in the process of handling the journey and the author would be happy to connect with anyone who would like some more information.
The Post Begins.
On my way through a significant learning experience of an uncoupling with my former partner, I learned how to apply some tools/processes, which helped me keep my head above water. Even at stages when I went under, I applied these techniques to breathe again. The purpose of writing this Blog, is to help others who may be experiencing or about to experience an increase in support and challenge.
Over the past years, I have learned that how reframing events and stories can help you grow through certain experiences. I have been quite careful in the way in which I use words in this post, to demonstrate that by telling a different story, you can roll through rather than continually crashing and burning when stuff happens.
I would like to be honest in that learning was not always smooth. I once read a saying that surrender is sometimes as smooth as driving a long a rocky road in a car without suspension or rubber on the tyres. What these techniques do, do for you are, allow you to navigate engage and observe the way in which people interact and communicate. I had to surrender in order to embrace a new way of thinking. I hope this helps you on your journey.
Some years ago my wife walked out on me for the 3rd time. I was in challenged like never before. I remember typing into Google, something to the effect, “what is Romance and how do you keep someone happy”. I came across a post from a gentleman called Chris Walker. As it turned out, Chris was a relationship expert who helped people through difficult life situations. To cut a long story short, I turned to Chris to help me get my wife and kids back. I would have done anything for this to happen. I signed up on the 30 Day Challenge. If fact, I have done it twice now. I learned some really important lessons during this time. Like most things, you don’t necessarily appreciate what you are learning until a situation comes up where you can apply what you have learned, and they help you to stay open and not shrink into a ball of anger and hate (two things I might can that can actually kill you, perhaps not immediately but definitely eventually).
I want to make it clear that I don’t agree with everything that I was taught through the 30 Day Challenge, though there are some real-life tools that can help in some profound and significant ways. The tools that Chris teaches are processes and practises that have been proved, through Neuroscience research to help the brain to process information and cope with stress. I can safely say that Chris saved me from years of sitting in a cave, meditating and wasting my life away. He revealed who I was on a different level (above the line) and gave me the confidence to own it. My genius… my human makeup… instead of not owning my power to please others. To own this and be true to who I am, my inspired purpose.
Throughout a dirty divorce (Old Way of putting uncoupling) which include some incidence that would have pushed most people off the edge, I tried my best to keep an open heart and not shrink into self-pity. This is a list of obstacles that I faced and the tools I used that Chris teaches, try and stay present, with and open heart. As a note, my heart closed many, many times, though these tools allowed me to open it quickly.
Lies, Manipulation, Injustice – Identifying where I have done these things previously. The Judge, my Lawyer, the other sides lawyers, my ex’s partner. Sometimes it hurt to admit, and sometimes I struggled with context, though if you get disciplined about this, you can roll through challenging relationships instead of getting stuck in anger and resentment.
Managing a business at the same time as running a legal case – Understanding support and challenge and evolution, instead of getting bogged down in status quo and blame. When something was not going right at work, I ask myself, what is this person in incident telling me. What is the feedback. I use this feedback to turn challenge into innovative brilliance.
Managing unethical business people at the same time as dealing with a legal system that just wanted to get my money and spit me out the other side – Instead of getting angry, I understood that I was in the system/process to provide support and challenge to people who I was dealing with. I was as much a part of their education as they were mine. Wow, did I learn a lot. Another blog for another day: about the ins and outs of the family legal system and how to ensure you don’t get ripped off.
Giving my kids the room to be both happy sad, good bad, through a testing period of two years. There are two sides to everything. So when I dropped my kids of and I started to beat myself up about how much I was going to miss them, I just remember how tiring it was to spend a whole week with them by myself, without any help. Instead of the beat-up, I saw both sides and moved through things with more ease and as I practised this, letting go became easier. I just held love in my heart for them which no one could take from me. This process helped me do that so I did not get infatuated and I did not try to make my kids compensate for this.
The court giving most of my money to the other party. What is the benefit. List them out. Focus on them and be grateful. Instead of focusing on her driving around in a BMW, I focused on my two boys riding in a safe car which gets them to school and back reliably and safely.
My lawyer changing firms and having my legal firm lie and rip me off. Support and Challenge. Instead of capitulating I understood the lesson both parties were learning. Prior to using these techniques, I would have just tried to use anger and resentment to move through this experience.
Employees leaving at the same time and running a case. Nature abhors a vacuum. I stood in absolute certainty that a solution would appear and things would be ok. And they were. This is what I believed.
GRATITUDE and Visualisation: Probably the most significant discipline that I now use. Gratitude for what is not going well and what is going well. Gratitude for the day past and the day ahead. Do it. Not negotiable. You may start with this process and find that you are just being grateful for gratitude’s sake, if you practise it enough, you will just become grateful more often than not.
In terms of Visualisation, I still have sheets of paper pinned to my bedroom wall which represent my seven areas of life. I refresh this every couple of months as I now understand the neurologic power of this and how it can help your brain improve and sooth.
Now, you may sink to some level at some point in the future. We are humans. Don’t be hard on yourself… then others can’t do this to you. Practise makes perfect.