You Selfish Resolver!

I’ve seen it in many cases throughout the years that once a couple separates; they become parent of the year, a fitness guru, or a financial planning genius.   It is often perceived by the other person to be all for show or even for spite.  I hear frequently that a parent is only attending the child’s sporting events, or volunteering at the school to make every one think they are this really great parent.  I also have clients tell me that the other person only hit the gym to make them jealous, or exclaim disgust because the spending habits that were a huge problem in the marriage are under control now that the marriage is over.  My clients feel it to be a direct jab at them for the other person to be finally doing what they had wanted for so long.  Let’s be honest- Sometimes it absolutely is.

I must ask however, why does that matter?  I realize its irritating. I understand why it’s irritating.  I’m pointing out that it’s not bad.  If a person betters them-self, whether for a moment or a lifetime, it’s not bad.  There is good available there.

When I drove by the courthouse last week there was a lot of snow on the sidewalk and the man with the hot dog stand was shoveling the walk.  Obviously he wants to keep access to his hot dog stand available.  So is he selfish?  His motive may be, or maybe not.  Maybe even if he didn’t have a hot dog stand he would have been out there shoveling the sidewalk in front of the courthouse, but I doubt it.  Many people benefited from his act of selfish kindness.   We also see it when there’s a national tragedy.  I sure hugged my kids tighter in the days before Christmas this year, and I know most every parent did.  Did we love our children less on December 13, 2012 than we did in the days after? I doubt it.  But I am certain that many families loved stronger the remaining days in 2012 and that was a positive reaction.

What I am trying to remind us all of is that positive outcomes can be derived from quite selfish motives.  If we begin acting like a more loving parent, a healthy eater, and a better financial planner- some of it will accidentally stick. While your likely to wish this desirable behavior was occurring already; not much is gained by being angry that is exists now.  What’s worse, your spending energy in the opposite direction of moving on.

Its okay to be unimpressed.   You don’t need to give bonus points for someone finally doing what they should have been doing all ready, or for helping others with a self serving motive.  But let them do it.  You don’t benefit enough from disliking the positive behavior to make it worth your time.

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Isn’t Mediation Really Just Giving In?

After all, if you could come to an agreement, you would have, right? So now it’s time to let a judge tell the other side that you’ve been right all along.

Think again.  Not only does the judge not have the opportunity to know the details that got you to the decisions you’re making; common sense isn’t always allowed.  Unless there’s a trail of police records **and you’re not part of them**….You may not want an authoritative stranger making life decisions for you.

Remember that in a court setting each party has the opportunity to tell their side of the story- and each story is given equal weight in  importance.

“Fair and Equitable” isn’t up to you.  It’s up to you to convince a stranger what “fair” in your life should look like.  Hey, maybe that’s what you want.  Maybe you want someone to tell you what you’re allowed to do; and what the consequence will be if you violate that Order.

But on the off chance that you want to make enforceable life decisions for yourself- Choose Mediation.

Here you can bring your WHOLE STORY and have more than 10 minutes to tell it.  Better yet, bring your attorney and let them help you say it right.  But in the end- YOU DECIDED.

The best part? You can change your mind…..What??? Life may change in ways you didn’t expect???  That’s right.  Change your mind as your needs change and have a say in what you’re obligations should be based on just that.

I’m not a Judge, Commissioner, or Attorney.  I’m just one of you.  What do I know? Only how it feels to really be there, and have to live with the decisions that were made.  When you need an authoritative stranger to let the other side know what’s best- its also being decided for YOU, and you’re just as put in your place as they are. So is Mediation really just giving in? Sure.  Giving in to the fact that you are capable of making your own decisions.  Maybe that’s not for you.

TrueNorthEmpire – I’m here to help.

I am not an attorney licensed to practice law in any state.  Nothing I have said or ever will say is ever legal advice. Ever.

Silly Fear

I am in awe at how much fear can hold us back.  We know this of course, and are continuously exposed to cute and encouraging posters, quotes, and other media driven reminders that we need to face our fears.  Somehow, even with all this apparent support, we can find ourselves stuck in the very behavior we just posted a sarcastic encouragement of avoiding.  

Help me out here if I’m mistaken, but it can happen to anyone.  Even the most loved of celebrities have “crash” moments (or years) of not being able to see enough strength in themselves to overcome something.  Clearly the cause of being frozen in fear doesn’t have to be the same for everyone, but I think the universal setback experienced is that we are with held from doing something we are perfectly capable (and maybe even overqualified) to do by literally being our own road block.  

So let’s knock it off! Easier said than done that’s for sure; but I resolve to find something every day for the next week here that I am the only thing stopping myself from doing.  The examples leading me to this range from recalling moments years ago in parenting where eye contact and communication were far more effective than allowing frustration to interfere with communication- to just today when trying to draft a legal document I had myself so worried about the phrases and how to word them that I totally forgot how easily it comes to me once I get the basic facts typed out.  Both are simple examples of things I already knew.

What got in the way? Silly Fear.  That’s all.  Fear that I wouldn’t get out the door on time if my child was in charge (there’s a newsflash) and fear that I would’t be able to complete a legal document. When I break it down and look at that sentence it seems so simple it’s silly.  

So maybe once in a while we need more than a cute poster, or quick witted sarcasm to remind us to overcome our fears, and maybe sometimes our fears are less obvious, more debilitating, and more our own fault than we’d like to admit. 

On that note; here I go.  Legal document typed.  Roadblock placed by my own silliness safely removed.  

I am ready to move on.

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