“When angry count to four; when very angry, swear.” Mark Twain
10 months after “The Divorce”…suddenly the kids (12 & 13) are at each other’s throats again.
“I don’t know!!”
“Everyone is on my nerves.”
“I love my legos because they’re the only things that don’t get aggravate me right now!!”
Learning experts say that it takes 10,000 hours of practicing something in order to master it. My 10,000 hours has got to be the grieving process…so, I recognize the second stage; after denial comes anger.
After talking through, working through, adjusting through and making it through almost a year of thoughtful grieving I’m left thinking, “Holy crap, have the last 10 months merely been a prolonged and conscious version of denial?! OR is this simply puberty at its worst?” I really considered the possibility that all of the exuberance I was feeling about getting over the hump was a glorified version of avoidance and denial. Suddenly, I was crushed. I wasn’t sure if I had it in me to pick up the gauntlet again and gently walk through it all with myself and my kids. Heck – I was convinced that if I absolutely had to go through it again there’d be nothing patient about it, I mean, GEEZ, let’s get over this already!!
Then, I remembered. The highs and lows of the grieving process surprise us in waves (just like they do in puberty). Honestly, the impetus for this renewed anger is irrelevant; it only matters that we deal with it consciously – just like we did at the onset and just like we would if it were puberty alone.
Grief and puberty aren’t all that different, actually – the cycles of emotion come and go, the change we face everyday (whether we like it or not) is imposed upon us and, really, we have the wonderful opportunity to go within and see what it has to offer. We’ve decided it offers us practice at setting intention everyday (about how we treat one another and how we receive input from each other), we also have ample opportunity to practice grace, compassion and putting each other first. Really, if you think about it, we’re quite fortunate to get so much practice using healthy coping mechanisms at the beginning of our new, post-divorce lives so that when the easier, happier waves come we don’t have bad habits in place to ruin them.
I am a Trauma & Illness Recovery Coach: Life Coach for people who feel no one understands.
And yes…I capitalize words like Love, Self and Happiness because they just feel that important to me.
“Once in awhile there comes a crisis which renders miracles feasible.” Julia Sand
This time of year, around the anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States, the collective consciousness begins to get a little jumpy. Odd things seem to happen with people’s schedules, everyday errands make people a little grumpy…nothing goes quite as expected because our stress pulls us out of alignment with our goals and ideals.
Now is a wonderful time to recall the bonding that happened between community members during that time. The grace everyone had for each other during their shock and even throughout their grieving period was a beautiful, open hearted selflessness during a time when the political scene was wrenching us apart from one another. I remember, quite clearly, how my sense of safety was rattled to the core – but I also remember how quickly I was reminded of what is truly important in my life. I’ve carried that renewed sense of priority with me through the years (most of them difficult) that have followed.
We may not fully understand the miracles that have become feasible as a result of that crisis but I feel that it marked the beginning of a big shift for the world community, a shift so monumental it cracked the foundation of old, the foundation of “I’ve got mine, you get yours” and started planting the seeds of love and compassion in the global mind. Seeds are small, they take time to germinate, take root and grow. But they’re also tough and because their progress is slow and steady they can become vibrant, resilient and prolific in even the harshest of environments.
This week puts more than a decade of initial growth of that seed of love, compassion, forgiveness and care behind us. As I look forward I imagine the seed has turned into a sprout and that sprout will turn into a bright, living, breathing source of sustenance as we embrace the miracle made possible by its planting. We need do nothing more than breathe the new life of Pure Love into our lungs and let it become a part of us so that we may be kind and gentle to ourselves, each other and the world.
Interesting side note: Julia Sand, the author of the quote at the top of this post was a disabled woman who began writing to Vice President Arthur after President Garfield had been shot by Charles Guiteau. She had noticed Arthur floundering under negative influence prior to the shooting and encouraged him to make more selfless choices in light of the nation’s tragedy. He had never met her before yet took solace in her written wisdom. He saved every letter. He met her for the first time, months after becoming president when he surprised her with a visit in a home she shared with her brother.