One of my mentors often says “How you do anything is how you do everything”.  And I think she’s got a valid point.  Think about it for a minute.  Let that sink in.

Think about other people you know or have come across (it’s always easier to see things in other people than in ourselves – at least at first).  Ever know anyone who was a jerk to the wait staff at restaurants?  I bet they were a jerk to people in other situations too.  Ever know anyone who made promises and always “intended” to do things, but never seemed to follow through?  Ever know anyone whose car was a total mess?  Do you think their house was neat and tidy?

Would you be willing to date a guy who’s been known to have a quick temper and get into fist fights with other guys?  Not me.  Would you be willing to date a woman who turns her nose up at anyone who doesn’t live in the “right” neighborhood or drive the “right” kind of car? 

Another quote I like, from Maya Angelou, is “When people show you who they are, believe them”.  It’s along the same lines.  Basically, if you look at someone’s behavior, even if you only see them do something once, that’s a clue as to what kind of person they are and how they will treat you.

I mention these quotes because unfortunately divorce often brings out the worst in people and I want you to really think about who you are and who you want to be.  Look at who you are being in your divorce.  Is this the REAL you?  Is this the person you want your children to know?  What about your friends?  What about your co-workers?

Don’t think for a minute that your actions and behavior in your divorce aren’t showing up in the rest of your life.  People at work will notice.  Your friends and family will notice.  Because how you do anything is how you do everything.  If you’ve become very negative and angry about what’s happening between you and your ex, your negativity and anger will spill over into every other piece of your life.

Here’s another quote for you: “What you focus on expands” ~Christopher M. Knight.  This means that you get more of whatever you put your energy into (like anger and negativity).  So the more negative you are in your life, the more negative your life will be.  But if you focus on being understanding and compassionate, you will receive more understanding and compassion from those around you.

When you aim a lot of anger and bitterness at your ex, you may think that is the only place it is going, but you are wrong.  “For what you do to others, you do to yourself.” ~Eckhart Tolle  First of all, it affects you deeply as well, and secondly it affects everyone else around you.  It is not as isolated as you may want it to be.  It is part of who you are and it changes how people view and interact with you. 

Other people who are focused on those same emotions will be drawn to you.  So you may find others commiserating with you about your situation or enjoy bashing your former spouses together.  This is because you share these negative feelings.  Conversely, if you begin to focus on forgiveness and collaboration, you will find that there a lot of nice people interested in helping you.  “You create your own reality” ~Jane Roberts

What I invite you to do is look at how you are dealing with your divorce and WHO YOU ARE BEING to deal with it in that way.  Forget what your ex is doing or who they are being – that is irrelevant.  They have their own path and their own work to do.  Focus on yours. 

Decide how you would like to behave if your divorce situation were ideal.  Then ask yourself these questions: 

  • Who would you need to be in order to behave that way? 
  • What do you want to teach your children (or others) about who you are as a person? 
  • What do you want to teach your children (or others) about your character? 
  • What do you want to teach your children about who they can be one day?
  • Do you like yourself as you are now?  If not, what would you like to change about yourself?

These are tough questions and are not in any way intended to make you feel bad about yourself.  Rather, they are to awaken awareness within you about your values and desires, and whether you are currently acting/living in alignment with them.  If you find that you are not, don’t be hard on yourself.  Instead, be grateful for the new awareness and be curious about where you can begin to take small steps toward that alignment.  Remember, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” ~Maria Robinson.