Transgenerational and Emotional Reasons for Mindfulness During Divorce!
How Mindfulness May Protect Your Family in Divorce
The emotional benefits of mindfulness in divorce will not only save and protect you, they may resonate far into the future and save and protect everyone with whom you come in contact - including not just your children (the best reason), but everyone else you meet.
Relationships arise and they disintegrate, just like birth and decay. It would be wonderful if no one divorced, but it would be better if we could all be more mindful when we marry in the first place. Or remarry for that matter.
In a way, divorce is a consequence of our earlier ignorance of mindfulness. We are not talking fault or sin, and there is no judging implied. As many Buddhists might tell you, ignorance is simply the pervasive experience of living in the world as we evolve. Ignorance ends when the desire to awaken arises. Suffering is our greatest teacher in this journey. Can you believe it, your divorce offers itself as your friend and teacher! When entranced by the stories of our minds we are not at all present. Oh, we think we are, we would swear we are - hell, we might even get really angry if someone has the nerve to suggest otherwise. But is our view true?
The harder we defend that view, and the more resistant we feel to asking the question, the more likely it is that trance is talking and not conscious free will. Relationship tends to be one of the greatest trance inducers.
There are so many reasons why we begin a relationship destined to fail, or why we maintain it long after it has become toxic, why it short-circuits, and why once we pull the plug we feel so damned angry that we are going hire the meanest dog lawyer to rip the other person's heart out! (That person whom we once thought we loved). How could this be? This trance - which equates to reactivity and the absence of mindfulness - is something we tend, in a society that honors the illusion of individualism as a deity, to think of as a burden we caused and that we are personally responsible for. Like everything in trance, this just isn't true.
Trance is generational. It passes among family members and is bequeathed to each next generation where none has awakened to the freedom of mindfulness. The invitation of divorce for you, maybe now in this moment, is to awaken now and in this moment (or the next, it comes when it comes) and so to end the suffering, not merely for yourself, but as a legacy for those who follow.
How can you satisfy yourself that trance is generational, and so something you might pass on to your heirs and fictive kin unless you do the work to end the dance? A good start is to look at your own family history with unassuming vision. Three generations will likely prove the point to your empirical satisfaction. Your grandparents, your parents, and you and your relationships.
Have there been "cut-offs," that is, family relations that have been severed, in that history? Cut-offs never work, because if one feels the need to cut somebody out of their lives, that need only arises because there has been an unhealthy attempt at closure. These people remain ghosts. Ghosts haunt. That's what they do. If your mother moved from Newark to get away from your father, what a shame that she could not live in Newark if she otherwise wanted to.... What a shame you had to go with her. If you are a parent and want to flee the jurisdiction, how unfortunate that you do not feel you are free to continue to live here! Is this freedom to run any freedom at all?
Were their "triangles" in the history of your family relationships? There are in most. Triangles involve two people siding against a third to reduce tension for all three. These are symptoms of the lack of mindfulness. Be sensitive to them, for recognizing these patterns opens a door to the freedom from repeating the patterns in your own life, and so on.
Divorce is one of the most obvious of cut-offs between people. Triangles are common between ex-spouses and a child, or children. They tend to shift. They are a sign of imbalance. But they can also be a source of information and opportunity. Trance is generational until somebody solves it. It plays and replays, then replays some more.
But trance may evaporate like the illusion, potent perhaps but false, it always was. This happens when one person's desire becomes razor sharp and exquisitely focused. This is our invitation. Consider a mindful divorce! It wants to be your teacher.
Thurman W. Arnold, III, C.FL.S.