This year more than ever, I believe our ability to forgive has been put to the test. We are a divided country, separated from our family and friends during a world wide pandemic that has already claimed almost 300,000 lives in the U.S. alone. During these desperate times, many desperate measures have been taken and while some of us have managed to minimize the damages within our own little bubble, many have suffered severe personal setbacks and losses of unimaginable proportions.
The second half of 2020, I have had the opportunity to present on Forgiveness multiple times, and the irony of having a divorce lawyer promote forgiveness is not lost on anyone. Yet, every day for the past two decades I have observed that it is precisely those that find the ability to let go of their anger and disappointment that go on to a better tomorrow, while those that remain stuck with their resentment and playing the role of a victim continue to flounder.
Bad things happen to good people, and I am not suggesting that we should excuse someone’s bad behavior, forget what happened, become vulnerable again or even continue in a toxic relationship. What I am proposing is that we embark in the process of letting go in order to find inner peace. The ability to re-establish your equilibrium is the most precious gift you can give to yourself– and your children.
Work through the 3 Ws- Who hurt you? What was the transgression? Why did this happen? After you have identified the source of your pain and done your best to understand the root cause, weigh your options for the best solution in your particular scenario. If you find you need help navigating the situation, reach out to a mental health professional– one of the silver linings of COVID is that it’s never been easier to connect with a counselor as telehealth calls are now part of the new norm.
As the holidays approach, I am bracing myself for the next surge in divorce consults. In my industry, January is typically referred to as “Divorce Month” for a reason. The added shock this year will be explaining to families the immense backlog we have in our courts. However, those that decide they do not want to stay together another year and are willing to mediate, collaborate or use an Alternate Dispute Resolution to reach a settlement out of court will find the legal process will move much faster and cost significantly less than litigation.
Amicable or cooperative divorces are not only possible, but probable– especially if you align yourself with the right professional help to help you navigate the legal, financial and emotional complexities. Here is a great podcast that explains this process further:
Financially Ever After – Learning how to forgive to achieve a better outcome in your divorce proceedings (google.com)
By Regina A. DeMeo