Life Lessons from a Knee Operation – Part 2

Life Lessons from a Knee Operation – Part 2

{4 minutes to read}

…Knee bone connected to the thigh bone
Thigh bone connected to the hip bone
Hip bone connected to the back bone
Back bone connected to the shoulder bone
Shoulder bone connected to the neck bone
Neck bone connected to the head bone
Now hear the word of the Lord…
– Partial lyrics from the spiritual Dem Bones

In my prior article on this same subject, I described my experience after having double knee replacement surgery a few months ago. My knees did outstandingly well — and then, a few weeks into my recuperation, I started to develop pain in my shoulders and my hip. I couldn’t help but feel frustrated and discouraged.

Ultimately, this experience catapulted me into developing a new perspective on my body’s healing. It also gave me better insight into how I want to show up in both my personal and my professional life.

These lessons learned don’t only apply to me alone, but also to others. I discuss below how this perspective can also benefit couples who are going through the very painful and challenging experience of divorce.

Everything Is Connected:

Or, put another way, everything is related to everything else. The words above from the spiritual Dem Bones describe the literal connection between the various parts of the body. That “connection” became very real for me during my own healing.

My divorcing couples have to make a number of important decisions in mediation, such as:

  • How they will divide their retirement assets;
  • Whether spousal maintenance will be paid;
  • Who will retain the marital home; or
  • If they sell the home, how will they divide the proceeds.

These decisions are not separately set in stone. Each is dependent upon, and reflects the decisions made in the other areas. Thus, they may have to revisit a decision they’ve made earlier in order to bring it in line with their more recent thinking on the subject.

Focus on the Big Picture:

It’s easy to get wrapped up in all the details, so that you forget about, or can’t see, the Big Picture. That’s what happened to me after my operation. I became so entangled in the smaller details and frustrations, that I couldn’t appreciate all of the progress I had, in fact, made.

When couples repeatedly bicker over small and insignificant points in mediation, it can interfere with their moving forward and addressing the main issues that they need to resolve. When I see couples getting bogged down by this minutiae, I remind them that there is a Bigger Picture here. If they have children, I bring them back to focusing on their commitment to the best interests of their children.

It Takes Time:

Many issues can not be resolved immediately, but will require a period of time to be worked through. After my operation, I needed to slow down my concept of recovery and incorporate the ups and downs that occur in real-life recuperation.

So too, couples can become impatient with the mediation process. Clearly, it’s a very difficult time in their lives and they just want it to be over. Some issues may be settled quickly, but others may require additional sessions to work through the parties’ specific concerns.

Studies have confirmed that divorce is one of the most traumatic events in a person’s life. Couples come to mediation in all sorts of emotional states – angry, sad, anxious, scared, betrayed, distrustful, bitter, resentful — just to name a few. The issues are complicated, and couples are not always on their best behavior.

However, while there will be hiccups along the way, by focusing on the areas I’ve discussed above, progress can be made. Ultimately, the parties will be able to move forward with their separate lives.

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