Friday, September 20, 2013

Are You Available?

This week we got to hang out with one of my fabulous single mom friends and her children...who happen to be in our new school.  It was win-win for all of us.  Though her divorce has been final for more than a year, they remain at high levels of conflict and it is draining to her emotions and bank account.  I'm saddened by how the children are the recipients of chaotic schedules, back and forth messages and have no voice in the matter.  It's so easy to let that happen, especially in high conflict situations.

But what also made me sad, is that my friend is so consumed with the daily interactions of her ex and the tit for tat, record-keeping, control issues that she has been unable to move past the relationship.  Quite honestly, she isn't available for something new in her life because she's so consumed with trying to bring closure to her past. 

At some point, even when it feels like 'losing,' you must begin to let go of the things that bind you to your past, failed relationship.  Let go of being right and of being treated equally and fairly.  If it was possible for your former spouse to give you that respect, you would have stayed married.  So when you must, suck it up and choose to just let go. 

When you remain bound by the past, there isn't room for future expansion.  You remain in a stalled or paralyzed state.  Your friendships will wither, your spirituality grow stale, your plans and dreams fading.  You will not be available for the next thing God has for your life.  It takes time and effort to grieve a marriage that dissolves, it is healthy and good to allow yourself that space.  But to remain there at the gritty, all-consuming point is to cripple to the next healthy steps.

What about you, do you feel caught up in tensions or high conflict with your former spouse?  Have things smoothed out into a new normal of cooperative parenting?  Regardless of your marital status, do you have unresolved issues that bind you emotionally?  What can you do to free that part of yourself in order to be available for the next steps of your life?