Tuesday, January 19, 2010

on divorce and worry

I've been reading one of those books on the stages of grief as they relate to divorce. There is a lot of stuff in there that is true and helpful. Still, I can't help but find a bit laughable the notion that they can capture "stages" that describe what divorce is like for people.

Take me. At heart, I can be something of a worrier. And so, I find that the emotion most prevalent as I navigate this strange world of divorce is...(drum roll please)...worry.

My mind seems to have an almost endless creativity in finding things to worry about. I worry about whether I'm at fault for what happened. I worry about whether I'm being kind enough to Meg. I worry about whether I'm being kind enough to myself. I worry about how all of this is going to affect the kids. I worry about all manner of choices related to the divorce...from the bank I chose for refinancing the mortgage to my decision to stay in the home rather than move away. I worry about finding love again. I worry about whether my heart will heal enough to be open to it.

The worry itself, of course, really shouldn't surprise anyone. Worriers, when faced with stress...worry. It's as close to a psychological truism as they come.

Part of what I find intriguing about the worry, though, is that logic seems to have little power over it. I know that most of these worries are untrue or exaggerated. But knowing this logically has little power over worry. Indeed, worry seems to respond to this by worrying about why on earth I would have so many illogical worries.

No, worry seems to respond better to a kind of inner gentleness, to acceptance, to kindness. I pray that I might remember to bring that attitude to myself, to Meg, and to our boys in the days to come.