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Divorce Hurts Individual Responsibility Heals

Only the ill could truly say they like pain. Each of us runs from it. We do all in our power to make it disappear - we drown it in drink and we numb it with drugs.

These aren't the greatest decisions. We might, instead, walk toward the pain and embrace it temporarily. If we did this, we'd begin to heal. It's our efforts to avoid it that keep it in place. Divorce is painful.

You've felt that one. Don't like it; don't want it. Oh no! I'm stuck with it. Well, you could face it like a mature adult and see what kinds of realistic work-a-rounds you can come up with to learn the lesson and stop the pain.

Many negative emotions come up over divorce: shame, blame, guilt, embarrassment, fear. I can assure you that once you go through this trauma, at some point in your life you'll be able to look back as I just did and ask "What kinds of negative emotions were there?" and be able to talk about them unemotionally. How do you get to that point? Time itself will provide enough distancing for you to become less subjective. If you use your ability to reason, you will see that you can distance yourself from the pain and you'll become more objective about it. If you have friends you trust, you'll listen to the lessons they've learned and learn from them yourself. Let's look at how we can face the pain.

First, you have to drop the blame. It took both of you to create this divorce. The other guy might be more guilty than you are, but I know for a fact that it took both of you to create the divorce. Let's look at a tough example. Maybe you really were a great wife and you did everything a wife should do, but your husband just never appreciated you. And you're thinking, how was I responsible for our divorce? My question to you would be, "Whatever flaws your ex had, was there any sign of them before you got married? Or before you had children? Was there anything you consciously or unconsciously ignored or blinded yourself to?" Your responsibility may be nothing more than the fact that you knew he was selfish but you married him anyway.

This is a lesson that applies to everything that makes you unhappy in your life, whether it's your boss, your lover or your children. Don't do what everyone else does, which is to blame the other person or the situation. Instead, the first question should be "What's my role in this? How am I causing this or contributing to this?" Just remember, it's not about fault; it's really about consequences.

When you get this, it's a wonderful tool for your life because it allows you to solve your problems. This isn't about fault; it's about self-discovery. The more you know about yourself and the reasons for your actions and your motivation, the more satisfying and fulfilling your life becomes, because you're no longer operating on automatic pilot. From a place of no blame, simply look at the situation.

Look at it from the perspective of a wise elder. If it's painful, simply sit with the pain. Let it wash over you. Observe how it makes you feel.

I promise you that it will not kill you. Once you feel it, it will begin to disappear. If you refuse to look at it, it will remain forever.

Does it make you uncomfortable? Does it make you want to run? Drink? Eat? You can control whether you will indulge this kind of behavior or not. Just sit with it and it will run it's course. Divorce is painful, but you don't need to allow blame, guilt, or embarrassment to continue forever if you will permit yourself some self-discovery.

Len Stauffenger's parents taught him life's simple wisdom. As a divorced dad, he wanted to share that simple wisdom with his girls. "Getting Over It: Wisdom for Divorced Parents," his book, is the solution. Len is an author, a Success Coach and an Attorney. http://www.wisdomfordivorcedparents.com



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