It’s all his Fault!

It was the middle of the night, and I found myself crouched down next to the stove in my tiny kitchen, sobbing. My heart was aching like somebody was stomping on it with all their might. “He isn’t making me happy!” “I need to get out of this marriage, right now!” Incessant thoughts played on a loop running through my head. “It’s his fault I’m sad, he works too much!” “It’s his fault I’m angry, he doesn’t make enough money!” “It’s his fault our marriage isn’t working; he doesn’t tell me he loves me enough!” “I don’t want to face another minute of this pain he is causing me!” “How could he do this to me?”

“I wonder what would happen if I ran away and never looked back.” Except I was seven months pregnant, and running away wasn’t an option

Fast forward two months.

Wobbling my way into the hospital room, I was excited to finally meet my beautiful baby girl, Sydnee! I hopped up onto the bed (okay, maybe I didn’t hop), the on-call doctor placed the heart monitor on my belly, and with zero compassion, she told me my baby didn’t have a heartbeat. My world stopped. Everything I was so angry about that night faded away. Nothing else mattered.

So there I sat, healing from one of the most devastating experiences of my life and I couldn’t find anybody to blame. I was in uncharted territory. I couldn’t blame myself, I was a first time mom who had no idea what to expect before giving birth. I couldn’t blame Eric, what could he have possibly done to cause the umbilical cord to accidentally restrict Sydnee’s breathing. I couldn’t blame my doctor, I was in his office weekly and everything checked out when I was there. I couldn’t even blame God because, at that point in my life, I didn’t believe in God. For the first time in my life I was forced to consider that placing the blaming on others was just a series of stories I told myself to justify my bad behavior.

With nobody to blame, I had no other option but to look in the mirror. For instance, when I thought about how Eric didn’t make me happy, it finally dawned on me that maybe my mother was right when she told me that nobody had the power to make me happy or unhappy; that was my job. When I blamed him for not making enough money, and I looked in the mirror, I realized that we didn’t have enough money because I wasn’t working and I was over spending. When I blamed him for working too much, I realized he was doing so because I put so much pressure on him to make money. When I blamed him for not telling me he loves me enough, it became clear that it was me who wasn’t loving me enough; I was not taking very good care of myself.

As I started to turn all of these thoughts around, I began to see how everything I put on Eric was just him lovingly holding up a mirror for my benefit so I could see all of the things that were getting in the way of living my life to the fullest. Instead of berating Eric, I should have been thanking him, because the truth is, Eric was a loving, caring man, who only wanted to make me happy. And yet, I made it impossible for him to do the very thing I demanded from him. I didn’t love myself, and as a result, it was impossible for me to recognize love coming from him.

Once I made it my job to love myself, I no longer felt the need to blame Eric. Taking responsibility for my own shtick, rather than blaming, is the very thing that brings me peace. I know that every single thing that comes into my life is for my benefit to help me grow, not something that happens to me. It is within each of these experiences, that the universe is actually conspiring to help me grow to my fullest potential, whether I like it or not.

Tragedy isn’t the only road to peace, however, one does need to be willing to look in the mirror to get to the truth in order to find peace. Ironically, for me it wasn’t until after I lost my daughter, a heartbreaking experience, that I could see that I was responsible for everything in my life. Losing Sydnee brought me to my knees, and then to peace – one of the many gifts she left behind.

These days when I find myself starting to blame somebody else, I take a few deep breaths, look in the mirror and think to myself “Why is this situation/person in my life?” “What are they here to teach me?” Once I turn it around in my mind, I no longer feel the need to blame, and I place my attention on learning and growing. I can’t say it’s always easy, but with each experience the next one becomes easier.

k soulspring pic

Johnny Mathis #9

The greatest gifts in my life have come in the form of breast cancer, foreclosure, my drug and sex addicted father, who passed away when I was ten years old, my ex-husband, my children, Jake and Jonah, and their sister, Sydnee, who died two days shy of her due date.

One might smallest just breathe logoask how losing a father at a young age, getting divorced, losing a child or having cancer could possibly be considered gifts. There is no doubt that these were very challenging times in my life, but once the dust settled, and maybe even during some of the later experiences, I was able to see the gift in each and every experience in my life.

Within each of our not-so-normal lives, we are faced with challenges along the way, nobody is exempt. These challenges show up for us to help us grow. Each and every one of those experiences leaves us with a “gift”. The catch is, we don’t actually get the gift until we are aware it’s there for us. Imagine a beautifully wrapped present hiding way up high in the closet, but you don’t know it exists. It only becomes exciting when you know it’s there and you have the chance to tear it open. The good news is it’s never too late to find them, we just need to open our minds to another way of seeing things.

My hope is that through this series of dysfunctional, crazy, funny, challenging and sometimes embarrassing glances into my life, you will learn to spot the silver linings in your life, unveiling these precious gems that have the power to bring you freedom and peace of mind.

I’m going to tell you some very personal details about my life and you will likely have thoughts of judgment, maybe anger at some point, but don’t stress out, just breathe. I forgive you. Xo

Johnny Mathis

Sixteen years old, big crush, butterflies and all – Johnny Mathis, not the singer, stole my heart. He was a happy sixteen-year-old boy with the wise eyes of an old soul. I can see his face so clearly as if I just saw him yesterday. We had a ton of fun together and felt like soul mates, at least that’s how I saw it. All of my memories of him involve snow, the kind of snow that flowed from the sky in a beautiful mist steadily coming down, including that fateful night – the last time I saw Johnny.

I went with Johnny to meet his family one winter night. I had never met them before because he lived with his aunt who owned and lived in a small hotel on 8 Mile (yes, like the movie) that they rented by the hour, day or week. We drove back to his place after a fun night of finally getting to know where Johnny came from, and as we stood by my car in that misty snow. It was such a beautiful night. Johnny asked me if I wanted to “come in and talk”. I’ll never forget his words, even in that moment it caused me to pause. Looking back, I probably should have known something was up because boys don’t ask girls to “come in and talk” at sixteen. I was leaving for Florida the next morning though and had to rush home to pack so I declined and headed home.

While I was in Florida, I received a call telling me that Johnny committed suicide. He hung himself. To say that I was shocked was an understatement. He was a really happy kid. I didn’t see any indication that anything was wrong with him. He didn’t have the perfect upbringing but most of the kids we hung out with didn’t.

This was one of the saddest times in my life. I couldn’t wrap my head around why he would do such a thing, especially since we had such strong feelings for each other – at least that’s how the movie played in my head. I cried and cried while I listed to the Commodores, a band we often listed to together, and eventually life went on. To this day, I still can’t wrap my head around it.

I will never know why he did what he did or how he truly felt about me, but I can clearly see the blessings in having overcome a tragedy such as this. I learned that just because a person has a smile on their face, it doesn’t mean they are happy inside. We have to learn to trust our intuition when relating to others. Our bodies tell us the truth whereas often our minds are driven by what is best for us. I hesitated that night because my intuition told me to stay, but I didn’t listen. I learned to trust my intuition in that moment and I learned to trust what I felt from a person not just the words coming out of their mouth.

For most of my life, I felt responsible for Johnny committing suicide. I could have stopped him if only I went in and talked with him that night, I thought. But the truth is, if somebody wishes to end their life, and their time has come, there is nothing anybody can do or say to stop those events, at least not permanently.

Through this experience, I learned that when somebody asks me to talk, unless I have some emergency, I sit and listen to what they have to say. I look into their eyes and just listen. We all need each other to be there, and it really takes very little effort to sit still and listen. In fact, it’s far more work to think of something to say then it is to listen. In truth, most people don’t really want advice, they know deep down what is best for them, and they just want to be heard.

Johnny taught me about love, fast cars, not to stay at motels on 8 Mile, and mostly compassion for others. He was one of my great teachers considering the short amount of time he was here with me. Definitely, no regrets.

The Age of Aquarius #1

The greatest gifts in my life have come in the form of breast cancer, foreclosure, my drug and sex addicted father, who passed away when I was ten years old, my ex-husband, my children, Jake and Jonah, and their sister, Sydnee, who died two days shy of her due date.

One might smallest just breathe logoask how losing a father at a young age, getting divorced, losing a child or having cancer could possibly be considered gifts. There is no doubt that these were very challenging times in my life, but once the dust settled, and maybe even during some of the later experiences, I was able to see the gift in each and every experience in my life.

Within each of our not-so-normal lives, we are faced with challenges along the way, nobody is exempt. These challenges show up for us to help us grow. Each and every one of those experiences leaves us with a “gift”. The catch is, we don’t actually get the gift until we are aware it’s there for us. Imagine a beautifully wrapped present hiding way up high in the closet, but you don’t know it exists. It only becomes exciting when you know it’s there and you have the chance to tear it open. The good news is it’s never too late to find them, we just need to open our minds to another way of seeing things.

My hope is that through this series of dysfunctional, crazy, funny, challenging and sometimes embarrassing glances into my life, you will learn to spot the silver linings in your life, unveiling these precious gems that have the power to bring you freedom and peace of mind.

I’m going to tell you some very personal details about my life and you will likely have thoughts of judgment, maybe anger at some point, but don’t stress out, just breathe. I forgive you. Xo

 

The Age of Aquarius

Born in the 60’s to two beautiful, free-thinking hippies, life was anything but “normal”. Our jet-setting parents, who resembled movie stars, had big parties, big hair, took us on fancy vacations and exposed us to a fast-paced way of life. Not your typical hippies, I suppose.

We regularly attended public school – except that one time which you will learn about later. Oy veh.  We performed dance routines on the lawn for our parents with the neighbor kids, we rode our bikes all day until dusk, and we spent our days doing what most typical kids did back in the 60’s and 70’s. Looking back, it’s pretty clear that our lives were “different” than most of the kids on our block.

Believe me when I tell you I had plenty to be potentially embarrassed about growing up. I could have walked around in shame because my family looked and acted differently, but over time I was able to see the blessings that came with being raised by hippies. I learned to see my life through eyes of appreciation, freeing myself of shame – a very harmful substance to store in one’s body.

This “peace/love” world taught me to be open-minded and accepting of all types of people and circumstances without much effort. “Live and let live” was the mantra of their generation and in our house. Imagine a world where everybody accepted everybody else for who they are and with love for their neighbor. The world would be a very different place today. I’m proud of this gift I was given at a young age, and to this day strangers regularly approach me and tell me their stories effortlessly as if they have known me forever. I feel truly blessed that people feel safe to share their lives with me.

Having been raised by two parents who were “otherwise focused” taught me to be low maintenance and independent, too. I see how hard people work to keep up appearances and how they rely so heavily on others, and I am grateful to have learned to take care of myself without needing material objects to make me happy. This made things much easier when I lost my job later in life and had to downsize my life considerably.

Our parents teach us in many ways, and some of their best lessons are in the form of what not to do. I learned that a life of partying and drugs was not the life for me by watching others using drugs in excess. I may have had a completely different experience in another family, but I cherish my past and all of its dysfunction…I have no regrets.

Ain’t Nobody got Time for That! #6

The greatest gifts in my life have come in the form of breast cancer, foreclosure, my drug and sex addicted father, who passed away when I was ten years old, my ex-husband, my children, Jake and Jonah, and their sister, Sydnee, who died two days shy of her due date.

One might smallest just breathe logoask how losing a father at a young age, getting divorced, losing a child or having cancer could possibly be considered gifts. There is no doubt that these were very challenging times in my life, but once the dust settled, and maybe even during some of the later experiences, I was able to see the gift in each and every experience in my life.

Within each of our not-so-normal lives, we are faced with challenges along the way, nobody is exempt. These challenges show up for us to help us grow. Each and every one of those experiences leaves us with a “gift”. The catch is, we don’t actually get the gift until we are aware it’s there for us. Imagine a beautifully wrapped present hiding way up high in the closet, but you don’t know it exists. It only becomes exciting when you know it’s there and you have the chance to tear it open. The good news is it’s never too late to find them, we just need to open our minds to another way of seeing things.

My hope is that through this series of dysfunctional, crazy, funny, challenging and sometimes embarrassing glances into my life, you will learn to spot the silver linings in your life, unveiling these precious gems that have the power to bring you freedom and peace of mind.

I’m going to tell you some very personal details about my life and you will likely have thoughts of judgment, maybe anger at some point, but don’t stress out, just breathe. I forgive you. Xo

Ain’t Nobody got Time for that!

College, 1985, I met a boy – a high profile sort of guy. He showed an interest in me and I was impressed with myself that such a guy would be interested in little old me. So when he called and asked me to come and spend time with him, I jumped at the chance. After only a half hour or so he told me to leave. It felt cold and embarrassing, but I ignored the feelings. A few days later the same thing happened. He called, invited me over and then told me to leave fairly quickly, like he was ordering me around. I felt very used and hurt, and yet I showed up for round three.

Something in me was certain from the very beginning that this was not a situation that would allow me to maintain my self-respect while participating in this “relationship”. It was loud and clear, the feeling in my gut, one I would eventually come to realize again and again, was my intuition, and yet I didn’t listen. I started hearing my thoughts tell me that I wasn’t worthy, a familiar meme. I bought it, for a while.

But then one day I realized I didn’t have to participate in this exchange. This boy may have initiated the game but I allowed him to and I agreed to play. The thing is, nobody can treat us poorly without our permission. There is no question he was not a nice guy, but I allowed him into my life and I allowed him to disrespect me because I kept going back for more. All I had to do was to avoid the situation and say “no, thank you,” but I didn’t.

This experience, like all experiences, had nothing to do with him. This was my opportunity to stand up for myself and find my self-worth, a lesson I have learned over and over throughout my life, and frankly still struggle to overcome.

Shortly after my third visit, I recall thinking, “I’ve had enough and nobody will ever treat me like this again,” and nobody ever has. I had to dig deep to find the strength inside to learn self-respect in that moment. I had to be the one who decided that I deserved better in order for me to grow that day and receive the gift of self love.

In this scenario, I learned to trust my intuition which has served me very well since, even though if I’m really honest, I don’t always listen. If I start to get that same nagging feeling in my gut now, it’s my wake up call telling me that I need to pay closer attention to the people and the circumstances I am allowing into my life. It keeps me on track, allowing me to walk in my integrity.

Blame, Shame and Guilt…a Big Fat Waste of Time and Energy

I have several friends who live in a lot of unnecessary pain because they still have serious resentment, anger, rage or even hate towards their ex-spouse.  Some of them still blame their ex for things that happened during their divorce, and things that continue to affect them and their kids today as a result of the divorce.  Some feel guilty because of their actions, i.e. leaving the marriage because they weren’t happy, rather than toughing it out and staying for the sake of the children.  Some of us feel guilty because we think about how much we need a break from our kids because being single parent can be tough, but a thought like that can bring on the guilt, for women in particular.  Some of them even feel shame for their behavior such as cheating or not being emotionally available for their spouse and kids when they had the opportunity.  In any case, all of these emotions suck the life out of them on a daily basis.

For these folks that I’m referring to and in most cases, it’s best to forgive.  You may ask “How can I forgive such a horrible…?”  Forgiveness is not about letting the other person off the hook.  Their deeds are their business to deal with when they see fit.  Nobody gets to escape their own karma.  We have absolutely no control over their actions, but we do have control over ours.  So lets stay in our business for a moment.  You can hate them again in a minute.  In the meantime, consider this…forgiveness is for you and your well-being, NOT theirs.

Close your eyes and go inside to the feeling that you are having towards the other person.  Is it pain, anger, tightness in the chest, queasiness in the stomach?  Do you think that they can feel that feeling?  NO they can’t, only you can.

You are burning a hole in your stomach over a feeling you have for another person.  Nobody is worth sacrificing our health over.  If you forgive, you get the benefit of removing that gunk from your system, and as a result you stand a chance to be a healthier person as well..  With that junk inside of you, you get ulcers and other dis-eases.  I’m no doctor, but I know from personal experience that I feel far better when I forgive others than I do when I stay angry at them.  It’s common sense.  So do it for you!

Forgive them as they are human just like you.  Human’s make mistakes, just like you.  They did the best they could with the information that they had at the time, just like you.  That’s all we can ever do is our best.  We learn all the time and have the opportunity to better the next time, but for now we know what we know and not a drop more.

Sometimes we are dealing with a truly nasty person, I realize that.  Being nasty is all they know.  They don’t know how to be a nicer, happier, consciences person today, but maybe they will tomorrow, and maybe not – their business.  They are doing THEIR best, not yours.  We always want people to live up to our standards, and we let our ego get in the way by thinking things like “I would never do something like that.”  The reality is, they would and that is their business, stay in yours.

What’s the big deal about GUILT?

Guilt is simply a wasted emotion that drains your energy.  If you feel guilty about something, what does that accomplish? NOTHING!  You feel bad inside and nobody else even knows, typically, and what if they do, there’s still no point?  Nobody wins when somebody feels guilty.  I can’t think of one good reason to feel guilty, it doesn’t change a thing.

There is a second part to this equation.  When somebody does something wrong they deposit negative energy into the universe.  At this point, it is in everybody, including the universes, best interest to move forward and find a way to make things right.  This is the optimal use of your energy.  The worst thing you can do is to feel guilty, creating even more negativity for our universe.  You are creating double the negative energy, and let’s face it folks, we need all the positive energy we can get right now!

So just to be clear, if you do something wrong, use your energy to fix it, not to drown in pain and sorrow feeling guilty.

What about shame?

Shame is the same idea.  If you do something that you consider to be wrong or negative, feeling shame will not help you, it will only drag you down.  Once you get that huge rock of shame on top of you, theoretically, it is much harder to find the energy to make things right.  You are weighed down by that heavy energy that you needlessly placed there all by yourself.  At this point, you will likely blame somebody else for the way you feel, but it’s always all about us, we create it all, so don’t even go there.

Shame too is a double negative.  If we do something we aren’t proud of we can either use our energy to make things better for the people that we hurt, or we can go down the long dark road creating more negativity.  It’s your choice.

Blame is the number one sin, against ourselves!
Somebody does us wrong and we are fighting mad.  We blame them for the way things are based on their actions.  I get it, they did something wrong, of course we blame them.  It’s their fault, right?  Maybe, and maybe not.  Does it matter?  Once it’s done, it’s done so what is the point of blame.  Blame is an excuse for holding onto anger towards another person.  As long as I’m blaming you I get to stay justified for being mad at you, even if you did it 2 years ago.

I know what you’re saying “But it is their fault that they cheated, that we lost our house, that the kids don’t speak to me anymore, that we had to get divorced and things are hard now.”  I know, it’s their fault.  So what?  What the heck does that even accomplish to know, nothing!  So now what are you going to do with that information?  We have 2 choices, either forgive them and let it go knowing that it is their business and their karma, or we can hold onto it and let it fester inside of us for 50 years.  Hmmmm….fester or freedom, good health or disease-hard decision.

The other side of this coin is that when we blame others it’s a great way to avoid looking at ourselves and our own contribution.  There is a saying “if you spot it, you got it.”  This means that if I am angry at you because you are greedy or thoughtless for example, then I need to look inside at my actions to see where I can find greed or thoughtlessness within myself.  It may sound crazy, but it is there 100% of the time.  Try it!  Sometimes it is in an area unrelated to the current issue but it’s there somewhere in your life, and you haven’t taken the time to seek it out to make it better, so it still bugs you when you see it in others.  That person has come to show you what you still have to work on.  They are your mirror.  What a great gift!  If we want to improve ourselves and we are sincere about it, all we have to do is look at the behavior of others that drives us crazy.  Once we spot it, we get to look inside and get real with ourselves.  It’s there, I promise!  Don’t give up or take the easy way out.  Keep looking.  You’ll notice once you find it, you no longer feel the blame towards that person or the stress associated with it.

It’s your choice.  You can either live with huge weights on your shoulders which we will call guilt, shame and blame or you can be free by forgiving and some old fashioned soul searching.  Do it for you, you deserve it!

My Cinderella Story Gone Wrong

Cinderella is one of the leading causes of divorce. If you don’t believe me, read on…

Most women grow up with Disney’s version of a storybook romance fueling their desire to fall in love, get married, have children and live happily ever after. Once we are a little older we continue on our path with movies like Sleepless in Seattle, Pretty Woman and The Holiday keeping our fantasies alive. We almost have no chance; we are pumped with romance not only in movies, but in novels, magazines and of course societal pressure to get married before we become old maids. What’s a girl to do? 

We finally meet a guy that seems worthy of our love and we get married. We plan a big wedding and get lost in the excitement of it all. Unfortunately, nobody really tells you that marriage takes a lot of work and dedication, they simply congratulate you.

I was no different. I bought into the whole handsome prince taking me away on his white horse nonsense and I liked it. It’s exciting to think about actually. I met my prince and he was a good guy. I had a ball planning my wedding. I got so busy planning my wedding that I forgot to pay attention to my relationship.

Several years and a few kids into my marriage I decided I wasn’t happy because my ex wasn’t the prince I thought he was going to be. In other words, he didn’t sweep me off my feet each day, tell me how beautiful I was and how much he loved me, buy me lots of big expensive gifts, fly me all over the world showing me all that life had to offer and oh yea, he didn’t help me with all of the extensive details required in running a household and raising little kids. Most of all, he didn’t “make me happy” like the prince is supposed to do.  Or so I thought…Looking back he was a great prince and he did buy me nice things, take me away on nice vacations and buy me a very  nice home to raise out kids in.  I didn’t see it though because I was so buried in my story that I couldn’t see my reality.

I saw those princesses dancing around and singing when they thought about the man they loved and I wasn’t singing or dancing. In fact, I was kind of depressed. I built up years of resentment that made matters even worse.

What I didn’t realize until a year or two after I got divorced was that I was the one who was supposed to “make me happy.” Go figure. All those years I blamed him for not making me happy and it wasn’t even his job. This is a common misconception in relationships on both sides, actually. We so often look outside of ourselves for happiness and in reality; the only person who can make us happy is ourselves. Unfortunately, it is often after the divorce that many people learn this lesson, if ever.

The man in cases like these is often shocked and surprised by the fact that his wife is going to leave him. He thought everything was going along fine. The house was clean, dinner was on the table and he had the house, the wife, the dog and 2.3 kids. He had no idea he was even playing the role of the prince, let alone what the job requirements were. How was he supposed to do the right thing when he didn’t know what that meant? He went off to work each day, working hard to provide for his family like every young man is taught to do. He is told by the men in his life that if he worked hard to get ahead and provide for his family everything would be great.

While I was married I lost my identity and my individuality. I got so busy trying to be the perfect wife and mother that I forgot to take care of me. I forgot what I stood for and what made me who I was. I spent the last 5 years figuring out what makes me happy and becoming the responsible party for making me happy. I urge you to take time after your divorce to “find yourself.” Figure out what makes you happy. Many women lose themselves in relationships and forget what is important to them. Do some exploring and figure out what you really want in a relationship before you get into another one? There is no point in getting into another relationship and making the same mistakes you made in the first one. What’s the hurry? Take some time for yourself and get to know yourself again. I’m willing to bet that you will like the person you find. The time it takes will be worth it because it will shape your future-don’t repeat the past.

Ten Strategies for Keeping your Cool During Divorce

1. Eat Healthy: This a stressful time and it is easy to reach for unhealthy, comfort foods. I’m living proof that this isn’t a good idea. This is a time that you need to maximize your good days. If you are eating large amounts of sugar and fried foods or drinking a lot of caffeine, there is a good chance your moods will swing like a chandelier. This will guarantee less good days. One day you’ll want to date again, and you will want to look your best when that day comes!

2. Exercise Regularly: You will likely have more free time to yourself as a result of your separation. Use this time to get into an exercise program. Exercise promotes endorphins which tend to lift our spirits naturally. I prefer yoga. It works my entire body and calms my mind. No matter how stressed I may feel going in, I always leave feeling relaxed.

3. Meditate: You have a lot to consider right now and your mind may feel like it’s racing even more than normal. Meditation is a great way to quiet your mind and, as a result, you’ll make better decisions and feel more relaxed. If you are unsure how to meditate there are websites such as www.tm.org that can direct you. Anybody can do it and it’s well worth your time.

4. Avoid Excessive Alcohol: I have no idea how much alcohol is excessive for you, but you do if you are honest with yourself. If you are drinking more than you know you should then stop it! Alcohol is a natural depressant. The last thing you need at a time like this is to feel more down than you do. And by all means, DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE WITH YOUR KIDS IN THE CAR! I know this sounds ridiculous to bring this up, but I know of many people who do this on a regular basis.

5. Avoid Excessive Drugs: You know what you are taking and whether it is good for you or not, it’s not my job to tell you what to take. Just keep this in mind: drugs cause mood fluctuations which result in irrational decisions that you will have to live with for the rest of your life. And don’t forget, your kids know everything you’re doing-really!

6. Breathe: Before you make any decisions or answer any questions posed by either your lawyer or your ex, TAKE 10 LONG, SLOW DEEP BREATHS IN AND OUT. Think about what the best thing is for all involved and if there is a compromise you might suggest if you don’t agree with something.

7. Take the High Road: Nothing is EVER gained by revenge! You never win with vengeance as your motive. Keep in mind that we are all human beings that continually make mistakes and learn from them; nobody gets to skip being human, not even you. Don’t forget, forgiving isn’t about the other person, it’s about you and getting the negativity out of you.

8. Volunteer Your Time: When we are helping somebody else, we get out of our heads where our problems live. You automatically feel better once you start helping others. It’s a win-win.

9. Interview Several Lawyers: Find a lawyer that shares your values. If you hire someone who wants to “bury your ex” and you want a quick, amicable divorce, this could be a very long road for you. It’s best to be on the same page as your attorney. Keep in mind, anybody that thinks “burying your ex” is a good idea probably has your bank account as their motivator.

10. Respect yourself, your kids and your ex-spouse: Don’t play games! Get in and get out quickly. Be amicable and fair and don’t be afraid to compromise. Nobody wins when you and your spouse spend time in court fighting, except for your lawyers and they are typically quite happy. Replace any anger you get from your ex with love. You’d be surprised how quickly people can turn around when you aren’t fighting back. Mama always said “you catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”