The following closing thoughts can be found at the end of:
Episode 31 of ‘Reclaiming Your Self: Women Unedited and Engaged!’ on the topic of ‘Co-Parenting After Divorce‘.
- Be gentle with yourself! It’s a tough place to be and, usually, not one we had ever anticipated. After all, not likely that we chose to get married and/or have children with the intention of having it all end in a cloud of black smoke! Take a moment to pause… and remember who you were when it all started. Take a moment to reclaim an inner truth that propelled you forward, rather than get lost in one that leaves you at the mercy of this moment. It is only when we forget who we are, what we care about and what we stand for that we find ourselves lost and wandering around in the opinions and expectations of others. Take the time to reclaim meaning in your life.
- Talk to your children. Allow them to know that they see what they see, they hear what they hear and they know what they know. Nothing causes more harm to our children than our efforts to protect them and comfort them with a blanket of deception and lies. Children know. They are far more aware and sentient to inner strife than we care to admit. Find ways to validate their experience and reassure them that you’re up for it; that you’ll learn and grow as you move through this experience with them; and that you know how to stay resourceful for yourself and for them. And the truth of it? If you don’t know how to do that, ask for help! You don’t have to do it alone. There are lots and lots of people who can help you, help yourself.
- And finally, be willing to change and grow; to let go; and to know that you’ll be just fine. I know how tough it can be when your own inner turmoil is magnified by the well-intentioned and not-so-useful advice of others. Opinions are like belly-buttons: everybody has one – and the truth is, you don’t really need other than your own. Unsolicited advice and opinions become the static that make it more difficult for you to hear yourself. Trust yourself! Your body knows what your intellect may not even be able to explain. Rare are the occasions when our children are unsafe – physically or emotionally – with the other parent. Our differences can become a platform from which our children discover compassion, empathy and tolerance for world-views other than their own. They are always watching and listening – what are you teaching them about their world and about their ability to move effectively through that world? By being willing to be open, clear, honest and direct, we become the invitation for the ongoing evolution of our children. What do we want them to discover about their parents – and themselves – from this experience?