February 2004, Message of the Month

Open Heart - Artwork by Kelly Winter

There have been many people going through divorce issues where one partner has decided to contribute less. This could be time, money or emotional support. Often the other person is left with anger over the inequality. What to do with the anger is the big issue that needs to be addressed.

The pervasive thought is that the other parent is getting away with something. Let’s look again at this thought and examine the feelings it provokes. First, what is that partner really “getting away with”? Their lesser involvement is most likely self-imposed due to anger at their partner (which is really an outward show of how that person feels about him/herself). Out of anger they have chosen to participate less with their children. This will impact the relationship they have with their children. It is true that every parent has the right to know, and spend time with their children just as the kids do with their parents. The parents are responsible for what they create with their children. It could be a loving and close relationship with trust as the foundation. Or it can be less than that. It is always a choice. It takes commitment and effort to have a healthy relationship. If our partners are choosing to spend less time, effort, money with their children they are really not getting away with anything. They are choosing to have less in their lives because that is how they see themselves, as deserving less.

Our children bring wondrous gifts. They live in the moment, they love unconditionally, they forgive immediately and they accept what is. What is the other parent “getting away with” by not receiving the gifts of their children? The lack of one parent need not by pointed out to the children by the other out of unchecked anger. Children know intuitively what is happening, but they do not need the details of our adult lives. That is always too much for them. They do know without a word who is there to feed them, hold them when they are scared and who they can depend on. That is the gift we give ourselves as well as our children by participating fully in their lives. This is choosing consciously who you are and who you want to be in your family. Stop concentrating on your partner and put that powerful energy back into yourself. Of course there are challenging issues of money and the need for help, ask for the help you need and start creating a support basis for yourself and your children. Try to see your partner with compassion and understand they have cut themselves off because they don’t know another way to behave or create their lives. You must in turn choose for yourself, irrespective of your partner, who you will be and create a vision for yourself. The freedom you afford yourself by not embracing anger for a life partner is enormous.

Who will you be and what will you choose to create with your children? Make it a grand vision! As you choose beauty for yourself, you give your partner and your children permission to do the same. You will lead the way.