There’s a mobile app for that
Men can suffer a tremendous blow to their emotional equilibrium in divorce, feeling as if their ego has been beaten down, and that their sense of place and value in the world is lost. Yet society oversimplifies its effects. Often men themselves downplay the devastation because they are conditioned to avoid emotionalism. The dramatic impact of divorce upon men deserves more compassion and love, not less.
Many men have told me their divorce was the worst thing that ever happened to them. Yet, they will admit the loss taught them much and prepared them for a more fulfilling future. While the outcome may be desirable, who would welcome the suffering along the way?
What if we treat emotional pain with respect for the teacher that it is? Let’s not try to suppress it, (that means allow tears if they come) and let’s not let it overtake us either (like binge or self-destruct). A balance is required for integrity and dignity. There is a surprising “mobile app” that can help. You already carry it with you at all times.
It’s called your heartbeat; it’s available at any instant to help build emotional resilience. Here’s how to use it:
When uncomfortable emotions arise, your first impulse may be to entertain or distract yourself away from feeling them. Instead, grab your mobile phone or look at your watch to see the time. Then, focus awareness on your heartbeat or breath. Allow a full minute (or two) to go by, with the intention to allow the emotion to pass through you. You may even be able to sense where in the body it begins and then feel it leave.
This is the body’s wisdom processing the emotion for you. It sounds crazy, and it is amazing! All you have to do is be willing to get quiet and still for up to 2 minutes. You will not experience the suffering you would imagine. Suffering comes mostly when you resist the feelings.
This pause without judgment is very powerful. Later you may notice you have gained a new perspective.
You may find you can respond with what really matters, instead of going off half-cocked in reaction.
Scenarios and conversations replaying in your mind? Instead of recycling your pain and disappointment, breathe and listen for your heartbeat.
Between any stimulus and response is your power and freedom. Experiment with this! Let attention to your heart create the pause that lets wisdom bubble up.
Instead of avoiding emotions, you can grow right through them. They are teachers. You deserve more love, not less.