Archives for posts with tag: divorce

Sunrise baby beach1.1

Life circumstances can sometimes cloud our emotional state. It take effort and the ability to rise above the past and be present in the moment.  When you do you can see the simple pleasure and joy of just being.  Life is such a gift.   Don’t give up, rather look around and see the beauty that surrounds you!

 

Image provided by Maui Photo Tours and Workshops

 

Advertisements

Ending a relationship is not like going to the dentist where you typically get a shot to cover the pain, and an hour later walk out smiling. Its not like doing the end of year tax returns where you night be inclined to drink a shot to cover the pain. It is the dark night that precedes the dawn.  All humor aside what I want to share is that it is better to accept that what you had is over than it is to live an unhappy life.

I have heard several reasons why people stay in relationships that are not working; because they Know what to expect, the devil they know is better than the one they don’t, they are afraid of being alone, and they don’t feel comfortable entering the dating scene.  Seems to me these people are surviving not really living.   To be alive is to feel vital, to be a part of something, to have passion, to feel wanted, and to welcome the coming of another day.

So how to deal with ending a relationship.  This is what I did.  I accepted it.  I accepted responsibility for my part, forgave myself for the mistakes I made, the things I did wrong, and the things I did not do.  I also forgave my partner for any and all pain caused. I realized that the past is over, and all that really matters is now.  So I decided to clean out my heart.  Turns out it is a lot like cleaning a closet.  There were some things I had to get rid of as well as others I needed to brush off and put back on the shelf. In the end all the things that were no longer useful to my life were removed. As it happened this created space to let light, love, peace, and tranquility enter and I am much better for it.

My advice for others having turmoil in their relationship is to face it, deal with it, pass through it, and rediscover your vitality and enthusiasm for life. Who knows you might save the relationship in the process.  If not, your certainly saving yourself from a life of just going through the motions.  Either way your better off.

When a long term relationship ends people always say they are sorry. While it seems to be an appropriate response, one might also say congratulations. The reason being what you had is over and now the healing can take place.  This is a process that includes forgiving your partner as well as yourself and learning to manage your ego.

Contrary to public opinion it does not have to take a long time to be able to forgive. However, as long as people cling to their pain they are anchored in the past and are not be able to live in the present. Being present is the key to love and peace.  We have all heard that the past is over, the future has not happened yet, and now is all we have. That is why the present is a gift.  Well those words are true.  The way one gets from having pain and living in the past to erasing the pain and living in the present is through forgiveness.

What is required to heal, is a change of attitude in your heart, mind, and soul.   As soon as that happens, just like a switch being turned on you will see the light. True forgiveness gets rid of all the pain.  It allows for love and peace to enter. Where there was once negative energy now positive energy can enter. This will change your entire mindset.

Speaking of mindset, the way to stay in a peaceful and happy state  is to manage your ego. To do this you need to become aware when your ego starts stirring up emotions inside.  During these moments it is common to feel something going on in the body.  It may feel subtle like butterflies in your tummy or or it could pronounced like the onset of acid reflux, but what it is, is your ego waking up and starting to take control.  The best way to keep that from happening is to be present enough that at the moment you realize their is an emotional feeling stirring you recognize it.  Just the knowing that the ego wants to unleash itself, is enough that you actually remove its power. Think of the feeling as an alarm clock or light switch and turn it off.

So now you have gone from dwelling in the past, to living in the present and can live the life you deserve. A life of love and peace.

Remember that having pent up anger, frustration, and other emotions hidden in the confines of your heart serves no purpose and is like carrying  around old emotional baggage. As long as it is in your heart it will recreate itself as often as possible and affect your behavior, and happiness.  When you recognize what you felt (past) and are able to let it go, surrender to what is real (now), and  not give in to what exists in your mind of what if’s….. (Future),  you will be in control of your life and emotions.

Rather than live in a shallow pool of negativity, dive deep into the ocean of hope and possibility. When your heart is full of love and peace it attracts the same thing.  When you love yourself, it shows and serves to attract love. So rather then feel down that your relationship as ended.  Celebrate it for the good times, and move on.  Know that when your ready, someone new will come into your life.

 

I am in process of divorce, and was married for over 18 years.  I really thought I knew my wife but it turns out I did not know who she really was until now.  Over the last few years we had problems communicating, in that we did not really talk about us, or the problems that existed under the surface.  I will not bash my spouse by saying bad things, but I will say this.  I never knew who she really was until we separated. The things she has done have shocked me to the core. It has made me realize the truth in the old saying that hell have no fury like that of a woman scorned.  I feel as if my heart as been in a blender and shredded.

My sister and I are very close and she said to me recently you never really know a person until you get divorced and for a woman who has never married, she sure got that right.  That said I wish she was wrong.  Seeing the side of my wife that was foreign to me did not bring any peace or happiness to either of us, just anxiety and turmoil.  I do not mean to infer I was blameless in our marriage.  I take responsibility for the fact I was not perfect, did not listen well enough, tolerated the lack of communication, and settled instead of trying to improve the situation.  I admit I had fears of being alone and did not want to raise our kids in a divorced family.  Now I know better.  I am dealing with being on my own, and it does not scare me.  I will always love my kids, and do all I can to spend time with them, and support them.  While growing up in a broken home will be hard, I will make sure they know they are loved.  I will not talk stink about their mother, and even though we have our issues, I will show my support for her as much as possible.  Even though we are almost divorced I wish her every success.

My advice for people having problems in their marriage is this.  Learn to surrender and forgive as it erases old buried pain and anger that has been growing beneath the surface.  Let it go as much as you can and concentrate on the life in front of you and not what has already transpired.  The past is over. To live in the past is to live in pain. If you have kids.  Leave them out of it.  Both parents should avoid saying bad things about the other to the kids, even if they are true, as it will have long term affects on the kids and your relationships with them.  Leave out guilt, Don’t try to get  even. Rise above the hate and anger, and concentrate on making the now better, to ensure a good future.

What is it that makes someone hate another? Is it the result of rejection, frustration, and fear?  Does it come as a result of social pressure,  our upbringing, religion, personal beliefs, prejudice, or could it be that we inherit it from our parents, the media, or living environment?  What is it about hate that some people are unable to get over the past, forgive others, or themselves?

Could it be that our ego feed the hate and gives it power over our actions, emotions, and behavior? Does this in turn generate a feeling of strength, and self importance?  Why does hate have the ability to keep people from learning and practicing forgiveness, or prohibit people from listening to another? And why can hate so effectively cloud ones judgement, and capacity to know right from wrong?  What is it about hate that when attempts are made for conflict resolution they are sen as personal attacks?  How can one overcome hate and learn to live with love and peace?

Some people say that seeing a therapist  is the best way to overcome hate.  While this is indeed effective it requires time and money. Others say turning to religion is the best way to concur hate.  Turning to god works for many people and should not be discounted as a valid technique it does not work for everyone.

I am not a priest, rabbi, monk, nor am I a trained therapist. I am just an ordinary man that has hated, and experienced hate. What worked for me was making the decision to study spirituality,  living in the now,  and a myriad of other self improvement books. I took from them what made sense, and then devoted time time looking within myself. I made the decision that I would get off the hate train as it led to nowhere I wanted go.

I believe with all my heart that if a person makes a decision to quit hating and start loving, they can do it. All that is required is conviction, faith, belief, hope, and learning how to control their emotions and most important their ego. Letting go of the past, learning forgiveness, practicing surrender, loving oneself, are key elements of the process.  Forgiveness has two elements.  First is forgiving yourself, and second forgiving those that you feel caused you pain, anxiety, frustration, and feelings of rejection.  The truth is when true forgiveness is given hate disappears.  In its place you will find, peace, love, and happiness.  Is that not what we all want in our lives?

Like a river that flows through calm water and challenging rapids, people go through easy and hard times.  That is life.  But like in a river that has turbulent water, eventually the current changes, and calm waters are found.  If people can let the past go and learn forgiveness, and stay present in the moment they will lie a life of love and peace…..

Two people meet and start to date. During this period there is a sense of excitement.  Both people have the best of intentions and and often act the way they think will best impress the other. Men put the toilet seat down and women don’t complain when the man forgets.  After a while sex enters the picture and becomes a focal point in the relationship.  With this intimacy comes a sense of bliss.

But after a while, like a new car loses its magical smell, relationships between men and women begin to become too familiar and as a result some of the before mentioned bliss dissipates. About this time each persons inner values, mannerisms, & emotions start to surface. If couples are able to accept these aspects of their partners persona and maintain good communication their relationship has a good chance to flourish.  If not problems will start to arise This could lead to one or both to experience feelings that include a feeling of disharmony, lack of respect, or being miss understood. If these feelings are not dealt with stronger feelings like resentment, frustration, anxiety, fear, and anger are sure to follow.  These negative emotions are the doom of relationships.

The key to sustaining a relationship is good communication.  Couples should talk about their core values and beliefs to ensure they are compatible.  Relationships that thrive are based on both people being happy and feeling supported, loved, respected, understood, and fulfilled.

Those couples that discover they have different mindsets and values will be better off apart than together.  In this way they can each be happy and live a life of love and peace.

 

Aloha

I know you have many wonderful qualities. Some include that you honest, have integrity, are charitable, considerate of other people, caring, are a loving mother, and great at photoshop.

Through the course of our marriage we shared many wonderful adventures and I will always cherish the memories.  Diving together in Yap, Palau and  in Papua New Guinea will always be highlights of my life.  Not to mention that we created two wonderful children, raised great dogs, and built a successful business.

We also made mistakes. Neither one of us is perfect and making mistakes is a part of being human.  The thing is we are not our mistakes. We are in fact much more than that.  In fact it is through our mistakes that we had the opportunity to learn and grow.  Of course there are things I would like for us both to have a do over but that it is not possible as mistakes were made and are in the past.

Over the last 9 months I have had time to think about our marriage and my life.  I know you have not had the luxury of time nevertheless I am sharing with you now my recent revelation.

Until a few weeks ago I had thought I understood the meaning of forgiveness. During our marriage when issues and situations came up and we forgave each other I think the forgiveness while was given with good intent was shallow.  I mean we said we forgave each other but deep inside there were left over negative emotions. As an example when we said I forgive you to each other inside our hearts and minds its likely we said to ourselves I forgive but I do not forget.

Perhaps this is due to the ego that exists in all of us that likes to feed on drama, negative emotion, grudges, and discontent. This created remorse, regret, and rejection. These emotions kept us living in the past reliving the pain and negative emotions over and over again.  When new problems arose these left over just increased the intensity of the feelings. I am not saying this to blame you just to share the insight I have gained.  I hope it makes sense.

Recently though I have learned that forgiveness is more than saying sorry.  It is done without expectation or reservation.  True forgiveness is letting go and getting rid of the pain in its entirety.  As an example it is like when a teacher takes a eraser to the black board and all the mistakes are gone – forever.    They no longer exist and are unable give feelings of remorse, regret, anxiety, anguish, and anger.  The issue or cause of the problem has disappeared.  So true forgiveness removes old wounds rather than covering them up.

I know now that true happiness comes from living in the present moment.  The now.   The past is not included. Pain from the past only keeps the ego stirring things up inside. The past keeps us from living to our potential and from aspiring to live up our highest level of goodness.

Taking it a step further true forgiveness comes when we are able to see and emotionally accept that mistakes were made, but there was never really was anything to forgive. Harboring bad feelings for each other serves no purpose and only brings us down. While our past behavior and actions did create emotional turmoil in each of us, the inner truth is most of the pain we felt inside we created for ourselves. We assumed things.  We did not communicate well. We let our imaginations run a muck.  We doubted ourselves.
These feelings and emotions are attached to our past and have no place in the present. So I let them go

I choose to compeltly forgive you and myself. My intention now is to stay in the present moment, go through the process of divorce, do all I can to enable our children to grow up being loved by both of us, and to live a happy life.  My hope is that one day you too can forgive me and yourself – fully, forget the past, concentrate on the present, and live your life with love and peace.

With respect and aloha,

Today I had the pleasure of spending a few minutes with a small child.  She must have been around two years old, she had long black hair, dark eyes, dimples, and an incredible smile.  While it made me think of my girls and how much I love them, it also made me think about the innocence of youth.

Children are born innocent and depend on their parents for food, and love. They do not know about the world and trust instinctively trust adults will take care of them, guide them, and protect them.  As they grow they learn not just how to talk, walk, run, play, and interact with their family, they also learn how to act and how not to act.  They receive positive and negative reinforcement based on their actions and little by little learn right from wrong.

Children are also exposed to their parents and siblings behavior, and emotions including anger, resentment, frustration, feeling separate, fear, as well as love, joy, charity, faith, compassion, integrity, peace, empathy.  These impressions make their mark and are stored within their minds and hearts.

Soon enough, kids start preschool and have interaction with other kids and learn how to play, and are introduced to an extent to social rules and dagmas. When one kid wants a toy that the other has, or is mean to another child feelings of separation, jealousy, frustration are learned just as much as joy, fun, cooperation, and belonging. These are natural emotions and it’s good for children to start feeling them.

Sometimes the feelings kids have are strong and they come home from school and act out what they have experienced, as well as tell their parents what happened.  Things like Johnny took my toy and would not give it back, all the kids were teasing me and calling me names, or I hate Susie because she never listens to me….

As parents we need to listen and let the children know that these feelings are ok. These feelings are very real, and its important the children begin to see that emotions are signals as to what’s going on inside their bodies and minds.  This way they can begin to process the feelings and then let them go.

Many parents in this day and age have marital problems and the percentage that gets divorced is all too high. When kids see their parents fight they experience pain.  I am not suggesting that parents should fight in private but be aware that their actions can and do affect children. Parents fight about all kinds of things ranging from money, not sharing household responsibilities, drinking, sex, pressure, in-laws, promises not kept, and the list goes on.  Young children might not understand why their parents are fighting and assume the fight is about them.  Worse they could internalize values like lack, fear, anger, frustration and these feelings will be locked away in their minds only to resurface later when they are teenagers and adults. Thus it is important parents to be aware that their behavior is observed by their children.

When children hear their parents argue, it is not uncommon for them to have bad dreams. When this happens it’s a signal for parents to evaluate their behavior and take positive action. First they might look within themselves to identify the emotional baggage they carry from their past, acknowledge it  then forgive themselves and all involved. Next, they might want to consider couples counseling to work out their problems. Third they should communicate with their children and let them know the arguments were not about them and that they are loved.   This is an opportunity to teach the children about life.  The worst thing that can happen is that children grow up with negative feelings in their hearts as this pain will resurface later in their relationships. The best thing that can happen is children learn how to deal with their emotions and live with love and peace.

I have been away from my kids for over 9 months and wanted them to know what is in my heart, so I sent them this letter today.  They are 4 and 9 years old.  I love them so.

Dear Hana and Aya,

I wanted to let you know some things about love and life

Love – For me this means the way I feel about the two of you.  It’s the feeling in my heart and soul that says you are the most important things in my life.  It is you and Aya that give my life meaning, joy, happiness, peace, fun, commitment, respect, understanding, compassion, trust, forgiveness,  and so much more.  It is if you are the beautiful light that lives within a rainbow or, like you are the stars that light up the night sky. When I look at your photographs or simply think about you girls, I feel such pride, and joy that it could fill the ocean.

Like – I like ice cream, Mexican food, daddy nachos, walking in nature, looking at beautiful sunsets, pretty landscapes, cold drinks on a hot day, fresh garden salads, and watching good movies.

There is a difference between like and love. I cannot live without love but I can live without like.  Of course I do not want to live without the things I like, but the truth is I can’t enjoy life without you two girls. The feeling of love for you both is so strong and big that it makes wonderful things like ice cream and Mexican food not as important. I hope this makes sense to you. Your mom feels the same way as she loves you girls so very much.  That is what parents do.  They love their children.

Sometimes however the love parents have for each other changes.  Sometimes they fall out of love.  Other times the love changes and becomes something new.  This is what has happened between your mom and me.  Our love has changed.  Your mother wants to change our relationship to be true to her inner feelings.

I respect your mom and truly want her to make her life all that she desires, even if it means we are no longer man and wife. I will always love your mom and am proud of her.  I believe with all my heart we will be friends, and as such will work together to raise you girls will love. Just because the love your mom and I have changes, does not mean the love each of has for you will change.  It will not.  We will both continue to love you girls will all our hearts.  That I can promise.

This time that I have been away has been hard for you.  It has been hard on your mom and myself. But this period will end and soon I will be home.  I cant wait.  I am so excited to see you girls.  There are so many things I want to do with you guys but most of all I just want to be with you. I am very proud of you.

I have changed a lot since I have been gone.  Just like you have grown so have I. Your minds have developed and you have gotten taller.  I on the other hand have grown on the inside in my heart. I think of what I have been through as a great change and rebirth just like a caterpillar turns into a butterfly.  A caterpillar starts as an insect that crawls.  Then nature tells it that it’s time to go into a cacoon and it changes completely. After a time the butterfly comes out of the shell and flaps its wings and takes flight.  It is more beautiful than it was before.

While I am not an insect, I have gone through great changes inside, and once free of this place I will flap my new wings and come home a new and better daddy.  Some of things that you did not like about me are gone.  I am no longer a person that gets angry easily.  I have learned patience, forgiveness, understanding, and the true meaning of love.   I have thought about you girls, a well as your mom, and my family.  I am at peace and living with love in my heart.  The problems that were once here have gone.

I cant wait to show you the new me.  But you will have to look carefully because unlike the butterfly I did not change how I look on the outside, just how I think and feel on the inside.

All my love daddy

Right now I accept that certain circumstances in my life are not what I would like.  I do not wish avoid these issues but rather look forward to dealing with them. I will do it with love, peace and compassion.  Hiding from them or burying them inside my heart will only bring negativity to my life.  I did that before and it did not serve me well. So while the issues I face are difficult and painful, I choose to stay positive and accept what is.  I cannot change the problems, but I can overcome them.

We all have problems and situations that arise in in life.  My hope is all people rise to their personal challenges and solve them using understanding, patience, forgiveness.  Fear, anger, frustration, hate, anguish serve no purpose and only feed the fire of discord.

Life is beautiful.  Be happy.  Thrive.