Okay, I know what word you were thinking of??? But it’s not that one… (I can see you rolling your eyes!!!)
This word is actually harder to practice than the one you’re thinking of, which right now, probably rolls effortlessly of your tongue in relation to your ex!!! That’s right, the word I’m talking about is forgiveness…
What would happen if you forgave your Ex? If you decided to suspend all punishing thoughts and stopped judging them for your marriage breakup?
Can you begin to contemplate this or are you finding yourself saying, “No way! Why should I let them off the hook? Why should they not suffer? They don’t deserve my compassion, empathy, let alone my forgiveness!”
I know, I get it, I’ve thought that too. When my Ex and I broke up, I wanted to punish him, I wanted him to suffer and feel my pain, I believed if he felt bad then he would “do the right thing”! Whatever that was! .
You see, the thing with divorce is we want to blame someone, we want to make someone wrong and assign guilt, we think if we forgive someone then it minimises our pain, that they won’t understand how much they have hurt us. Traditionally, we’re raised to believe in right and wrong and when you’re wrong, you need to be punished.
On an unconscious level, we believe in some small way that if we punish the other person, through our joint suffering we will create understanding and connection and this connection, may be what brings us back together.
The problem with this thinking is, it exacerbates our own suffering and it keeps us in a place where we continue to judge and punish ourselves.
If you are judging another, you are judging yourself.
If you are withholding forgiveness to another, you are withholding forgiveness to yourself.
Perhaps a better question would be, “What in yourself do you need to forgive?”
With my divorce, I felt guilty my children were going to grow up without their father and a complete family. Because my husband had an affair, I felt I wasn’t “enough”. I must have “put on too much weight, or been nagging” etc. I blamed myself. This was different to me taking responsibility for the situation I was in. It was about me punishing myself for not being able to keep the marriage together, therefore, I was punishing him.
In my coaching, I work with the premise, “Structure has integrity” if you think about your house, it’s stable due to the foundations of the building, the structure, without it, your house would fall down. Forgiveness is a higher structure, it is a vibration of love for yourself and another and it starts with the intention to suspend all judgement and punishment and to honour all aspects of who we are. When we own the completeness of our being we acknowledge we are good/bad, kind/harsh, loving/unloving, judging/accepting. We are perfectly complete in our wholeness.
Choosing to forgive another, starts with forgiving yourself. What do you need to forgive yourself for in your divorce?
If you would like help with this exercise then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or complete our contact me form. I would love to work with you on this process.