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A Path To Peace During Divorce

By Karen McMahon


We have all heard that nothing is certain but death and taxes yet another certainty we have all experienced  is adversity.  None of us escape life without trials and tribulations, both large and small.  Certainly divorce falls into the category of a large trial and all that comes with it are the many smaller tribulations.

I want to talk about how we choose to look at these struggles and what I realized about how changing the way I look at mine has changed everything and brought me great personal growth and with it considerable peace.

It makes sense that when we feel challenged, we focus on the cause of our struggles; our spouse or financial difficulties; our children, parents, health or our job or living situation. When our focus is on the struggle it is easy to get caught in the story or the drama...what was said, what we fear, and that which is causing us anger or anxiety.

What if we instead saw each struggle as a mirror, reflecting back to us our own rough edges...those traits that if polished would unveil a more authentic self-image.  Our rough edges may be our lack of patience or faith, our pain or harsh reactions, our limited beliefs or insecurities.

Michael Brown, author of “The Presence Process”, suggests that we ‘release the messenger and get the message’.  The messenger is the person or situation with which we are struggling.  It is the story or the drama that we choose to focus on.  The message is hidden in our emotional reaction...the rough edges of our character.

From this vantage point, every struggle becomes an opportunity to refine ourselves, to mold that which does not honor who we want to be into a new, healthier emotional response.  The difficulty in doing this is that we must release the messenger; choose not to live in the drama of the situation or the judgement of the other person.  This is not easy for any of us.  Even if we feel we have been wronged (and we very well may have been), the gift is in looking at what that hurt or pain reveals about us.

It is so much easier for us to look at the situation or the other person and see all the fault that lies there...it is easy to judge, blame, condemn; to know what they should change or how the circumstances are unfair and should be different.  The problem with this focus is twofold.  First, we only truly have control ourselves so to focus on anyone or anything else is futile.  Second and more importantly, by diverting our attention to the object of our upset we blind ourselves to the treasure hidden in what is being reflected back to us.

Getting the message means figuring out what our emotional charge is in any given situation.  For instance, I am the parent of two teenagers who can be rather self-absorbed, moody, and all-knowing with a strong tendency to push the envelope.  When I am triggered, I have an opportunity to see what is going on with me.  My ‘buttons’ are revealed...my insecurities, issues about being disrespected, uncertainties about the best way to handle articulate, intelligent teenagers who no longer just say, “yes mommy” and do as they are told.  I can choose to focus on their behavior or I can learn about myself and polish the way I choose to respond.

I have found with my teenagers, my ex-husband, my significant other, my boss, my mother and just about everyone else in my life, that while my circumstances may not have changed, everything has changed because of how I have grown in my conscious responses to them.  The result is that I am immensely peaceful amidst the chaos; the chaos subsides quicker and those in my life have begun to respond more gently as I have responded with a more mindful compassionate response.

new way t peace during divorce

I encourage you to see each of your tribulations as a mirror reflecting back to you traits that may benefit from some refining.  Trust that peace and joy are yours for the taking as you keep the focus on yourself and grow in your healthy, conscious response to every trial that comes your way.


Share your challenges, questions and successes with us.  We would love to hear from you.


Chief Visionary: Karen McMahon

Karen McMahon

Our team of coaches at JBD is passionate about helping men and women navigate the emotional difficulties of relationships, breakups and divorce. We work together with you to open the possibility that your current relationship challenges can lead to a rewarding voyage of self-discovery and an immensely more pleasing life experience. Together we create a path to clarity. Find out if Coaching is right for you, and accept my gift of one FREE session.


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