I attempted mediation a couple of days ago (our second time around). I had been mentally preparing for it for a week by going to a therapy session and by putting out positive energy regarding it. On the way to my attorney’s office that morning, I practiced a 20 minute meditation on the commute (eyes open while driving, of course). I walked into the room with peace and the mentality that everything will resolve by the end of the day.
And therein lied the problem- expectations. It was a huge problem that set me up the for the worst kind of disappointment and anger at the end of that day. I thought I was doing everything right. My ex and I never even saw each other the entire day as we were in separate rooms. Everything was planned out perfectly. I got to my attorney’s office 2 hours early to go over everything…again. My attorneys and I were prepared to a tee. This should have meant that things would go smoothly, right? Again, there was the problem. I never should have walked in there with expectations for ANYTHING. Why should I?? It ended up being an 8 hour mediation session that didn’t resolve a single issue. Not. One. Issue.
I’m not going to go into the details of the he said/she said because you guys would only be getting my side of the story, and although some of the specifics are important, I believe that the biggest reason I came out of the meeting furious is because of my attachment to the idea of a particular outcome. I called my parents immediately afterwards and screamed for about 15 minutes about what had just gone down. I must have looked like a lunatic flailing my arms around and screaming while walking down the street (and in the mall where I parked). I went to bed angry and frustrated.
I spent most of the next day feeling all my feelings- crying, scream texting my friends, making calls to friends who I needed support from, crying to them. By the end of the day, I was drained, but I took a moment to check back in with myself and realized why I was so angry. I told myself that it’s OK and reminded myself that I’m human and we humans lose our shit sometimes. I tried to position myself in place of understanding versus judgement toward my soon-to-be ex-husband. I stopped calling him “the useless fucking asshole” and “piece of shit” in my mind, and instead, tried to use compassion to view where he was coming from. It’s easy to forget to see things as they truly are (versus how we want to see them), especially in times of chaos and stress. It’s important in those times to be gentle with yourself, give yourself a hug, and if you’re lucky enough, talk to someone who can help you turn back to yourself.
I went to bed last night feeling so much better, with peace in my heart and compassion towards my children’s father. I practiced a forgiveness meditation and at the end of it, sent love and compassion his way. Our marriage is over and there is a lot of emotion, pain and fear driving some of our decisions, but it doesn’t do any good to throw hate around. I will keep reminding myself to choose love and compassion over anger and hate as much as I can, over and over again.