Are we living in a crisis of cruelty? I think so, and it is so disheartening.

“Learning how to listen and value the perspective of others, especially if you are aversive to their views and positions and methods, is an important part of healing divisions that can fester and turn toxic, as we see happening so much in the world.” Jon Kabat-Zinn, Coming to Our Senses.

I have been practicing family law for more than 30 years. I have heard many sad stories. I have witnessed an ocean of suffering. I have seen cruelty and stared in its ugly and disgusting face. It can be frightening. For years, the field on which I played was the litigation arena. There are rules that are to be followed when “playing” this game. Sadly, the rules are not always followed, or enforced, and rarely does a true victor emerge.

Several years ago, I stopped litigating family law cases. I hung up my briefcase! I guide couples to resolve their issues outside of the litigation arena, through Collaborative or Mediated Divorce. I have worked to learn better skills of active listening and being present with my clients, meeting them where they are, and walking them through this painful process.

When someone is in pain, they need to be heard. They want to be seen and express their concerns and fears eventually allowing their hopes and dreams to emerge. A person who is in pain needs KINDNESS!

What I am experiencing in our world right now feels a lot like litigation. One side takes a position as does the other, and there is no space to look at the other’s perspective. There is no room for growth. There is no sharing of ideas. There is no softness. There is no room for listening or hearing. There is only a harsh line of divide. This is painful. This is sad. This makes my heart hurt.

Kindness seems to be a lost art. Where is the love? Where is the thoughtfulness? Where is active listening? Where is there compassion for those with whom we might disagree? I wonder. Where is curiosity? Being curious about another perspective can create a space for conversation and the sharing of ideas. This is respect. Respect engenders trust, creating a space that is safe to share.

The world is not perfect. Relationships are not perfect. The idea of going through a divorce can be so painful and scary. It is never easy. It can be approached in a manner that creates space where difficult issues are dealt with, options are generated and resolutions are created; with dignity and kindness, not cruelty.

When you are ready to be heard, we are ready to listen. Our firm will help you through your transition so that the least amount of pain is endured, and the most beneficial future is sought. Call us to learn more at 216-241-2200.