Even though it happened nearly ten years ago, I remember the day as if it were yesterday. It was mid-morning on a Saturday in February. I was home alone. My wife had left the house.
There was a knock at the door. I answered and a young man handed me a large envelope. “Good luck,” he said, turning and quickly returning to his car.
I stood there for a moment, puzzled, and watched him drive away. That’s when it hit me. Could this be what I think it is? My wife and I had had some struggles recently. Even though we had been married for 25 years, with four wonderful children, I expected to be married to her for the rest of my life. I loved her. I adored her. I wanted to grow old with her. But I also knew that she had something else going on. Something very secretive.
Here’s the story of my miracle-minded divorce.
I closed the front door and walked into our living room, a beautiful room with cathedral ceilings and an entire two-story wall of windows overlooking beautiful gardens and a magnificent river. Funny, the bald eagle that frequently visited one of our trees was nowhere to be seen today. Something was odd. Something was definitely off.
I sat down on the couch and opened the envelope. Instantly, I felt like I had just been punched in the stomach – or worse. My wife had filed for divorce.
I took a few deep breaths and did my best to read through the document. With repeated effort, I made it through the first paragraph. My mind was racing. Is this really happening? How could this be? What am I supposed to do now?
A short time later, my phone rang. It was a good friend of mine. He was driving out to Breckenridge, Colorado for a week of skiing with his family – and my daughter. We had made this trip together for several years, and my wife was lobbying to go again this year, but the timing wasn’t right. I had to say no, not this year. Except for our daughter. We agreed she could go.
“How are you doing?” he said.
“What do you mean?” I replied, wondering if he could possibly know about the filing before I did.
“I know what’s going on,” he admitted. “She told me before we left.”
Wow! That felt like a second punch to the gut. On the one hand, she was trying to get me to take her on this trip, and at the same time, she was meeting with a lawyer to end our marriage.
I hung up the phone and went into problem-solving mode. As a business consultant for over 20 years, I was trained in getting facts, analyzing data, and coming up with creative solutions to complex problems. Now, I seemed to be facing one of the biggest challenges in my life. “I suppose I need to find an attorney,” I remember thinking. “I don’t know the first thing about divorce.”
I had also just completed my book Beyond Doubt: Four Steps to Inner Peace, a book that went on to win Editor’s Choice – 2010 Best Inspirational Book of the Year, by Allbooks Review, Toronto, Canada. Hmmm. Maybe I should reread my own book! I could really use some inner peace right now.
Miracle-Minded Divorce: The Four Steps to Inner Peace
The four steps to inner peace are Let Be, Let Go, Let See and Let Flow. I call this the “Ring of Peace.” Step one is to be present. Be here. Be now. Be mindful. Be awake. Be aware. Be calm. Be meditative and contemplative. Accept what is and learn from it. Breathe deeply. Don’t jump to conclusions or let your mind regress to the past or project into the future. Just sit and be still. Keep a positive, healthy attitude and energetic vibration.
I knew that we as human beings continuously send a vibrational signal from our hearts, and that common vibrations attract one another. This is the Law of Attraction. We reap what we sow – energetically. So, to avoid the common “misery loves company” attraction, I needed to stay positive and somehow feel good – despite the situation. This meant I had to let go of some things – and some thinking – weighing me down.
Step Two: Let Go
For many people, the Let Go step is difficult. I know it was for me. We can become so attached to things – and people. Spouses, children, jobs, titles, houses, cars, jewelry, clothing, all kinds of things. Yet, when we become attached, we live in subconscious fear of losing whatever it is we are attached to. I had to somehow let go of my wife.
This doesn’t mean I don’t care. It simply means that I am not attaching my joy and happiness to anything external to myself. It means I am tapping into my own internal joy – the sacred love and energy that flows through all of us. My mind raced as I reviewed 25 years of precious memories together. Despite my training, it was difficult to remain present. My conscious mind wanted to be anywhere but present.
I also remember the ego thought system kicking in, also known as human nature. The ego thinks only in terms of us and them, right and wrong, good and bad, attack and defend. It is also fear-based, so it triggers all kinds of negative feelings – energetic frequencies that attract like frequencies – like shame, guilt, apathy, grief, anxiety, jealousy, greed, anger and pride. When we are attached to this dualistic, fearful mindset, we can’t help but think about defending ourselves, appointing blame, and even feeling vengeful.
I sat quietly, observing the ego thought system at work. It was trying to get me angry. It wanted me to fight and defend myself. Get a lawyer, it said. Play the game. I contemplated this for hours. The temptation was strong. It even brought tears. Lots of them. And then I let it go.
Step Three: Let See
Step three is Let See. When we remain present, and we release our attachment to temporary things, we see the world very differently. A Course in Miracles teaches us that we are never upset for the reasons we think we are. We are upset because we see something that is not there. It also teaches us that nothing real (eternal) can be threatened and nothing unreal (temporary) exists. Herein lies the peace of God. Wow! I wasn’t upset because of my wife. I was upset because of what I was thinking about my wife.
I reflected on this all weekend. My love for my wife and my family is not temporary. It never was. And being eternal means it is real. This is a very different definition of love than what the ego defines. To the ego, love is something we can give and take away. We can fall in and out of it. True love is limitless, eternal and unconditional.
It is synonymous with God, Life Force, Source Energy, Chi, Prana, Tao and our True Self (with a capital S). It is where we come from and where we are going. It is continuous, free-flowing, forgiving and forever available to us. All we really need to do is let go to let flow. This is where the real work needs to be done.
Admittedly, I struggled with this. There were so many things I wanted to cling to – memories, ideas, dreams, physical connection. There were also things I worried about, like the divorce process itself. The legal work. Attorneys. Mediators. Judges. I could hardly understand the legal jargon in the one document I was holding. How was I supposed to get through the whole process?
And then I began to see things differently. The more I let go, the more my mind opened to unlimited possibilities. The past was past, whether I was married or not. The future is uncertain. Who knows what it may hold – especially if we approach it with a positive, loving, forgiving mindset? Step three, Let See, revealed hope, promise, compassion, and freedom. It also helped me see options and alternatives that would prove useful throughout the divorce proceedings.
For example, I was suddenly given the inspiration to investigate divorce for men on the internet. After all, I knew nothing about the subject. Without this insight, my first instinct was to find a lawyer and fight my case. Isn’t that what everyone does – an “in the box” ego solution? My research over the weekend then revealed something very different. Maybe there was a more peaceful way to solve this problem.
The Final Step: Let Flow
This led to Let Flow, the fourth step in The Ring of Peace. Flow is how we are meant to live our lives. It is a state of grace. It is the “zone” as some athletes call it. It is effortless manifestation. It is heaven on earth. When we are in flow, we experience peak productivity, limitless creativity, fearlessness, and a sense of timelessness.
It is what we embody when we “get out of our own way” and transcend the ego thought system. The ego has no real sense of flow. To the ego, we need to work hard to get ahead. We need to compete and compare and justify our accomplishments. It’s a dog eat dog world. With flow, we simply direct our attention to what we want. The universe (collective consciousness) takes care of the rest.
I had a choice to make. How was I going to handle this very painful, challenging situation? I could let the ego take charge, or I could tap into a much higher power. I could approach this with fear and doubt and resistance. Or, I could move forward with love, optimism, forgiveness, and inner peace.
Miracle-Minded Divorce: Will You Choose Fear or Faith?
Fear or Faith? It must be one or the other. They cannot coexist in the same mind.
I chose Faith – what I now call miracle-minded management. I handled the process without an attorney, and I even drove my wife to the courthouse to finalize the paperwork. Afterward, I took her to lunch. We settled amicably within the year, and we remain friends to this day.
A miracle-minded divorce is possible. And there is peace on earth. It is the stillness beyond the noise – the kingdom of heaven within.
John J. Murphy is a global business consultant, speaker, spiritual mystic, “Zentrepreneur,” and award-winning author. He is Founder and CEO of Venture Management Consultants, Inc., a firm specializing in creating lean, high-performance work environments. Miracle Minded Manager: A Modern Day Parable about How to Apply a Course in Miracles in Business releases on October 22, 2019 in paperback and e-Book. www.johnjmurphy.org