Practice Makes Permanent: Reactive Thinking and the Promise of Rewiring our Brains Through Mindfulness During Divorce!
Divorce Hardwiring Can Be Toxic, And It Can Be Overcome!
Jennifer Kresge, M.A., L.M.F.T. and attorney Nina Meierding put on an excellent institute at the 2010 AFCC convention in Denver last week entitled "How the Brain Reacts to Conflict." I wanted to share of few of their pointers as they relate to the importance of mindfulness, because considering them might be helpful in dialing back reactivity for people in relationship transition.
But first a seeming digression.
I am a family law and divorce attorney in Palm Springs, California, and a Masters student of Family Life Education at Loma Linda University. I bumped into Ms. Kellner’s book while investigating resources to support parents involved in custody disputes, in order to help my own clients to make choices that facilitate their childrens’ best interests rather than playing out the natural reactivity of the competing agendas of many divorcing couples.
The Power of Forgiveness in Divorce: How Lawyers Can Become Healers!
The power of forgiveness is of immense importance to working with the feelings and difficulties we share in relationship transitions, but it is frequently ignored. In many cases true wrongs were committed and real injuries were inflicted. Forgiveness doesn't deny that, it just offers a perspective and freedom from the cycle of rage and reactivity.
This article discusses one angle of approach that may be useful for guiding lawyers - and their clients who are in the midst of great relationship hurt - to, as a team, overcome reactivity. It is really written to the client, but the implied sensitivities are for the lawyer.
[Client - Attorney Q and A]
A. This may be your first, second, or even third divorce. I've had my own obligatory divorce, but I've also had 500 (whose counting?) other folks' divorces as well. Patterns repeat since the experience of divorce is essentially the same. I say with confidence that I know what you're feeling, thinking, how you are likely reacting, and where things are probably heading. I have watched lots of needless suffering.
All suffering is mind-induced. Suffering simply doesn't exist in the 'real' world. I understand this may sound like zen-speak or 'mindful platitudes,' but Reality is never what we expect. It is impossible for anyone to give Truth - or hold it back for that matter, and so it doesn't matter if what I say means to you what it means to me: We must all experience what we discover for ourselves in order to know it.
I can give some pointers in hopes they trigger some resonance and interest, so that you might explore beyond what is familiar for you. My purpose includes being a force for positive change, and while I don't know why the universe would choose me to become a mindful divorce lawyer, 'all that is' has an exquisite sense of humor and irony.
Mindfulness is the key to freeing yourself from the tyranny of resentment. The tyranny of mind is what creates and destroys relationship. If you want to survive your divorce or other family/relationship dispute, mindfulness may be useful to you. Divorce, a kind of dying, is an invitation to awaken and surrender.