Monday, February 25, 2008

Allow your children to love you both

In an ideal divorce situation, both parents would deserve and have equal custody along with decision making capabilities regarding their children. They would treat each other fairly and with respect for their own chosen parenting style. Unfortunately this is too often not the case and at least one parent if not both set out to defame the other parent in their children’s eyes. Turning your children against the other parent will create a life long psychological difficulty for them and gain you nothing. A friend of mine shared with me the anger she still feels at times towards her mother for turning her against her father while she was a child. When she was old enough to begin questioning all she had been told, she discovered that her mother had lied to her and greatly exaggerated her father's failings. She has now forged a relationship with her father and become closer to him than to her mother, and feels cheated of the years she lost to her mother's bitterness. Saying derogatory things about the other parent, withholding money, being disrespectful toward the other parent in front of your children only hurt your children and your long term relationship with them. Your anger at your ex can destroy you all when you choose to involve your children in exacting revenge on your ex. Allow your children to love both of you. Allow them to love the step parents that may be part of their lives. Love is infinite and will only result in more love for you, not less. When you act out of love, by being kind towards others, including your ex, and teach your children to always act out of love, the happiness in your lives will be multiplied over and over again. Hate and anger destroys lives. Don’t let it destroy your children. Spend some time this week writing about your children and whether or not you are being fair to their other parent. Are you acting out of love and kindness? Are you acting in the best interest of your children and not yourself. If not, decide to do so and write about how you can accomplish this. Have a great week.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Happiness is not a cover up

Choosing to be happy does not mean that you won't feel anger, bitterness, sadness or despair at times and certainly, putting on a fake front and ignoring your feelings will not make them go away. However, what will carry you through when you have those feelings is how you deal with them. Acting on your anger may feel good for the moment, but generally results in pain to others or to yourself. Instead, when you feel angry, try and get to the source of the anger. Fear can often be the source of many of the feelings you experience as a result of divorce. Naming those fears and conquering those fears in a concrete manner, will help alieviate the resulting feelings. Happiness relies on your ability to not allow anger, etc. to power your life. Choosing happiness means acting out of love and not fear. Spend some time this week exploring your fears. Write about your fears and think of constructive means to alleviate them from your mind. Have a great week!

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Writing your way to happiness

One of the fundamental elements of working your way to choosing happiness, is to write about your experience. Research shows that when you write about traumatic incidents that occur in your life, you will find a greater sense of healing and understanding by working through the process in this way. In Choosing Happiness after Divorce: A woman's 52 week guide to living a positive life, I emphasize the importance of journal writing. Journaling provides you with an escape valve to release emotion, to establish goals for yourself, to think through problems that arise and to contemplate all you have to feel grateful for in your life. I encourage you this week to go out and purchase a journal and begin to utilize the benefits of putting pen to paper. I know... you hated writing in school, why would you want to do it now? Because at this point in your life, writing is about you and your life, not an assignment that might feel like a punishment. When you begin, you may find difficulty in writing more than a sentence or two if you have never written in a journal before, but taking this time to write about all you are feeling and experiencing will help you in the end. I suggest that you write a little each day, though certainly, any amount is helpful. Whether you write for great lengths or in short bursts, take the time. Feel like writing a mean spirited email to that ex? Instead, write it in your journal and be done with the impulse. I am going to encourage you each week to avoid anger and meaness towards your ex. These only stall your healing and add nothing to your choice to be happy. So take out that pen and paper and get started. An idea for you to begin with this week: write a list of as many things as you can think of that bring you pleasure. Have a great week!