A close friend of mine is going through a nasty divorce. He has two beautiful kids, so a lot is at stake. His wife’s lawyer is falsifying dates in order to get his client alimony for the rest of her life. My friend is upset that if the ruling goes against him he will be paying a large chunk of his hard-earned money to his lawyer, his wife’s lawyer, his wife, and a bunch of other people who have no interest in the welfare of his children. I remember an English Professor in graduate school once told me that you never recover psychologically nor financially from a divorce. I hate to believe that this is true, but I’ve never been divorced so I cannot speak from experience. What I have experienced, however, is how gurus treat different disciples differently. Some disciples are treated like first-born children–they never leave the guru’s side; they receive constant nurturing. Other disciples are treated like red-headed step-children–they are expected to clean the latrines, instructed to meditate in caves, or encouraged to go on missions or pilgrimages. The great gurus know exactly what the disciple needs to attain enlightenment. Could it be that divorce is an everyday guru that is giving certain individuals exactly what they need?
Perhaps we could not only recover from divorce, but we could also grow and blossom from this powerful experience, like the beautiful lotus blossoms best in the most putrid water. Certainly, divorce can lead us towards forgiveness and empathy. Divorce can also help us realize that relationships are more important than money. With this in mind, I sent my friend an email that contained the following rules about money and happiness:
Rule #1: Money doesn’t make you happy.
Rule #2: But happiness makes you money.
Rule #3: If you find yourself stressed or worried about money, review the first two rules.
I hope this helps anyone who is facing divorce. We often worry about the other party getting away with murder or getting money that they don’t deserve. Yet if we believe the rules about money and happiness, then it doesn’t matter how much money the other party gets; it still won’t make them happy. Moreover, worrying about the other party getting a lot of your money sabotages your own happiness. The most revolutionary idea is that if we stop worrying about the money and focus on being happy, then the money will come. Isn’t that wonderful? Just be happy and you will make money.
Feel free to share any intense experiences that at first seemed horrible, but ended up being beneficial. Or tell me if I am totally off base in my views about divorce, money, happiness, or gardening.
Thank you for reading, sharing, and/or smiling.