What’s Right About This?

You know how sometimes things happen in life and you feel like they are happening to you and you are convinced you have absolutely no power to make things change? And when you experience that you feel powerless, hopeless, frustrated and perhaps enraged?

When I get to that place, I like to ask myself one very powerful question ~ WHAT IS RIGHT ABOUT THIS?

I ask that question because when I do, I realize that things are not happening “TO” me but are there as an opportunity for my growth and healing. I may not always know what that is at the time, but I know it is there to provide learning and opportunity for me.

For example, the other day I was preparing for a teleclass on parenting after divorce (this story is somewhat ironic, don’t you think?!) and I received an abrasive, harsh and non-respectful email from my former spouse. For a short while I was in a bit of a tailspin – why does he have to respond to me this way?; life doesn’t have to be this hard. And then I started to ask, What is RIGHT about this? What is the learning in this for me?

At the time I had no idea but I just opened myself to that possibility. Then after the teleclass, there was another interaction that was also harsh and abrasive and this time I quickly asked myself, “What is RIGHT about this?” What is it I need to learn here?

And, what I learned is that when I stand in my power and truth and speak that truth – without judgment, criticism and blame of the other person but with a focus on my experience and my needs – I find the answer.

In this instance, I told my former that I am always happy to discuss things with him but I will not do so unless and until I am spoken to in a way that is respectful for me. I came to the decision that if I receive an email from him that is harsh or aggressive, (I want to be clear, he can express his truth and it doesn’t have to be “nice” but I won’t engage if it is disrespectful – which to me looks like swearing at me, accusing me or blaming me) I will simply send it back with a note that says: “I am happy to discuss this with you when you can do so in a way that is respectful to me.”

So the learning and gift in the pain is that I can continue to stand in my power and truth in a way that is in alignment with my values and is in integrity for me and that gets my needs met. AND, the other really cool thing is that the next day, my former spouse sent me a text and an email in which he apologized for the way he spoke to me on the phone and for the tone of his email, which he himself described as harsh. Providing another lesson: sometimes change happen in the most unlikely places.

I invite you to hold your heart open for the possibility of transformation because the universe might just be saying YES (even when you think it’s saying no)!

As always, please post your comments and thoughts below.

In service and support ~

Cat J. Zavis is an Attorney, Mediator, Child Advocate and Coach for Parents co-parenting their children after divorce. As a divorced mother of 2, she deeply understands the challenges, trauma and opportunities divorce provides. She has been practicing Nonviolent CommunicationSM, Mediation and Collaborative Law for 7 years. She conducts workshops and trainings in Nonviolent CommunicationSM for parents, lawyers, teachers, students, spiritual centers and professionals. In 2009, she was awarded a Peace Builder Award for her business. Her combination of personal experience and professional expertise give Cat a unique perspective and ability to help co parents learn to communicate effectively and powerfully to transform their relationships and interactions with their former after divorce so they and their children can thrive.

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