“Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.” ~Anne Sexton
In the process of divorce you’ll hear many voices. These may be the opinions of your spouse, children, friends, family, lawyer, accountant, mediator, therapist, court clerk, and possibly, a judge. The traumatized and conditioned mind will convey messages of fear, loathing, doubt, guilt, insecurity, anger, shame, and unworthiness. The cacophony will compete for your attention and drown out the inner voice that is a lifeline from your True Self.
The inner voice developed over millions of years, and has enabled humanity to survive. People call it different things like, inner wisdom or intuition, which stems from a Latin root that means to look inside. Martin Rossi, M.D., author of The Worry Solution, describes intuition as “the art of knowing without the use of reason or logic.” Dr. Judith Orloff, author of Second Sight and Emotional Freedom characterizes it as “…a feeling of ‘rightness’ in the gut, an unemotional delivery of information, and a compassionate, affirming tone. ” Dr. Jonas Salk, who discovered the polio vaccine, said, “Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next.”
Jack Kornfield, PhD, Buddhist psychologist, describes the wellspring of our inner wisdom as “The One Who Knows.” In A Lamp in the Darkness: Illuminating the Path through Difficult Times, Jack writes,
There is a natural awareness that is always conscious; this is our spirit that is not limited by our changing circumstances in life. This consciousness can reflect on our experiences and is present to life but not lost in our circumstances or story. The One Who Knows also carries consciousness for us. Deep in our heart we know what is right, what is wrong, what it means to be loving and respectful of ourselves and others.”
“The One Who Knows” or your True Self knows what is right and wrong for you and what you must do to be loving and respectful of yourself during divorce. It is your greatest ally. It will reduce the risk of regret and improve the odds that the choices you make and the action you take reflect who you are and what you truly value.
How to Connect with your True Self during divorce.
It can be a challenge to decipher the voice that emanates from the True Self, especially when we’re scared or in pain, and thus, when we need it the most. But if we realize that it’s always there, not something we must conjure, and we learn how to turn down the noise and heighten receptivity, we can receive messages from a trustworthy source.
The true self exposes you to another kind of life, and as meditation practice deepens, the grip of your other selves begins to lessen. The mind has its source in pure consciousness, and once you are settled in pure consciousness, the self you automatically identify with is the true self.” ~Deepak Chopra M.D.
If you already have a routine or grounding practice that amplifies the inner voice of your True Self, use it everyday during divorce. Tune-in and ask:
- “What would you have me do?”
- “Where would you have me go?”
- “How do you suggest I do what I must do?
Listen to your body, another conduit of your True Self. It may tell you, “I’m afraid.” “I’m anxious.” “This scares me.” It also may say, “I’m content.” “I’m excited.” “This is the choice and step that aligns with who I am and what I value.”
If you don’t have a practice that grounds your body and opens the channel to your True Self, I invite you to explore these teachers and practices that have helped me navigate divorce and life as a divorce lawyer for 30 years. They’ve enabled me to hear my true inner voice and use it as a guide when I make life-altering legal decisions for myself and my clients.
JKZ Meditations by Jon Kabat Zinn PhD who is the founding executive director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society and Professor of Medicine Emeritus at the UMass Amherst. Over the last 30 years Jon has conducted empirical research that proves meditation can enhance our health and transform our lives. The JKZ Meditations are designed to use daily as a rigorous healing practice, and Jon encourages us to meditate as if our lives depend on it, for in many ways he says, “it surely does.” Jon’s soothing voice and sage guidance provide solace and a sense of security that make it easier to connect with the True Self.
Guided meditations by Jack Kornfield PhD. Jack trained as a Buddhist monk in Thailand, Burma, and India, and holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Princeton University. He is a psychotherapist and founding teacher of the Insight Meditation Society and Spirit Rock Insight Meditation Center. Jack’s guided meditations teach the foundations of mindfulness and dimensions of an awakened heart, and how to work with our thoughts, detach from our stories, break free of self-destructive patterns, and connect with our True Self or “The One Who Knows.”
Guided Meditations by Tara Brach PhD. Tara is a clinical psychologist, meditation teacher, founder of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington (IMCW), and author of Radical Acceptance, True Refuge, Radical Compassion, and Trusting the Gold: Uncovering Your Natural Goodness. Tara blends Western psychology and Eastern spirituality and compassionately helps us recognize our humanity and uncover and trust our innate goodness. Tara’s kind and gentle teachings and sense of humor lead us toward an “inner refuge of clarity, peace, wisdom and open heartedness.”
“Though the gold of your true nature can get buried beneath fear, judgment, and confusion, the more you trust this loving presence as the truth of who we are, the more you will call it forth in yourself and in all those you touch.” ~Tara Brach
Photo: Mural art by Fin DAC on the SolTerra building in Portland, Oregon