Marjorie JamesLet’s face it; divorce is dirty. Even in the best of Collaborative divorces, there are parts of it that are unpleasant. The key is what to do with the “dirt” surrounding divorce. I recently read a story on Facebook about a donkey that, believe it or not, addresses the issue. Stay with me on this.

One day a farmer’s old donkey fell down into a well. The farmer tried everything he could think of to get him out. After a lot of thought and effort that led to nothing, he decided to fill up the well, covering up the old donkey.

NOTE: Why didn’t he “put down” the donkey first? I guess that if he had, there wouldn’t be a story!

He invited his neighbors to come over and help him. They all grabbed shovels and began to throw dirt into the well. A few minutes later, the farmer decided to check on the progress. He couldn’t believe what he saw. When each shovel of dirt hit his back, the donkey would shake it off and take a step up. Pretty soon, everyone was amazed as the donkey stepped over the edge of the well and happily trotted off!

What do donkeys have to do with divorce or life in general? I think there is a message here for all of us. Life is going to shovel dirt on us, all kinds of dirt. The key is what we do with it. Each of our troubles can be deep pile of dirt or a steppingstone. We can use the dirt as an opportunity: Shake it off and take a step up.

1. Free your heart – Forgive yourself and others, especially those closest to you, who hurt you.

2. Free your mind from worry – Most of what we worry about never happens or is out of our control. Besides, worrying does not solve anything!

3. Live victoriously and appreciate what you have.

4. Give more – time, energy, a helping hand, a smile – to those who need it even more than you do.

5. Expect less from other people but more from yourself.

We all have a choice – to be covered with our dirt or to step up to the edge of the well and happily trot off!

Copyright 2013. Marjorie E. James. All rights reserved.