Seventh Verse of the Tao Te Ching:
Heaven is eternal – the earth endures.
Why do heaven and earth last forever?
They do not live for themselves only.
This is the secret of their durability.
For this reason the sage puts himself last
and so ends up ahead.
He stays a witness to life,
so he endures.
Serve the needs of others,
and all your own needs will be fulfilled.
Through selfless action, fulfillment is attained.
This verse reminds us of our eternal Divine nature and encourages us to live from that authentic place. We always have the choice to live from the perspective of the ego or from our Authentic Self.
The ego is finite and focuses on power over others and the accumulation of stuff. By allowing your ego to dominate in your divorce, you will almost certainly find yourself in the midst of a seemingly insurmountable dispute.
The ego sees only limitation and scarcity and is motivated by fear. Trying to resolve issues with your spouse from this perspective gets you stuck fighting over every detail of your separation: support; time with the kids; the house; et cetera. This usually lasts at least until the money to pay the attorneys runs out.
Why not choose to approach the challenges of your divorce from the perspective of your Authentic, Eternal Self?
This is accomplished by embracing the paradox that says: in order to receive all you desire and more, you must give without any expectation of return.
A word of warning: the ego likes to masquerade as the Authentic Self, tricking you into giving while secretly being motivated by the potential return.
Sometimes it takes a little practice giving wholeheartedly before the expectation of receiving is no longer driving your actions. To help grease the wheels, I suggest starting with small, random acts of kindness. Something like, giving a sandwich to a homeless person, letting the other guy have the better parking spot… you get the idea.
Eventually, you’ll begin to adopt a Service Consciousness where you see that the real rewards from giving are far greater than what you previously imagined.
Giving in this way seems to crack open the protective barriers we’ve built around our hearts and allows our loving nature to shine through. This joyous loving is what we truly are, it’s where we come from, and it’s where we’re going (it’s actually where we are as well, we just normally choose not to recognize that fact).
It’s the part of us that is infinite and eternal. It is the Tao.
This loving (the Tao) is what supplies us with everything we need, the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food that nourishes us, and the sunlight that warms us.
It will also supply us with our heart’s greatest desires, if we choose to embrace It’s wisdom (notice I said heart’s greatest desires, not our mind’s or ego’s greatest desires).
Take some time to reflect upon how your spouse may be perceiving your divorce and how your kids might be experiencing the challenges of your separation from your spouse. Then, ask yourself how you can better serve them all.
Make a list of things you can do that would enrich their lives and help them to see the opportunities for learning, healing, and growth that are always present in any challenging situation. Then, start taking action!
Of course, because of your individual circumstances, it might not make sense to make large concessions related to your legal case without consulting your attorney, but I’m sure you can see a small, simple way to start adopting the Service Consciousness, particularly as it relates to your divorce.
Maybe it’s a phone call to your former partner thanking them for all the great times you had together, or maybe it’s taking your kids to the park and spending some quality time just focused on loving them unconditionally?
By stepping out of our typical, ego-driven, hectic state-of-mind, we can sit back and be the observer, noticing how our actions affect others, then perhaps choosing to put their needs ahead of our own, without the expectation of a return.
Only through unconditional service to others can we receive true fulfillment ourselves. After all, there’s really only one of us here and whatever we do to “someone else” we’re really just doing to ourselves.
Love & Light Ahead!
Michael C. Cotugno, Esq.
Conscious Divorce Attorney & Coach
M.A. in Spiritual Psychology