Sunday, March 4, 2012

Adult Children Of Divorce Accept Change

In yesterdays Wall Street Journal there were two articles that remind us ACODs we are not alone.  The statistics were given that people over 50 years of age are divorcing at an alarming rate.  ( see Divorce Late In Life : The Gray Divorces)  That also means that there are more and will be increasing numbers of Adult Children of Divorce in coming years.
They, like us, will be moving in and out of the stages of grief ( loss, anger, bargaining, depression...) and hopefully they and we will achieve a sense of the stage of Acceptance.

In his book, When God Interrupts,  M.Craig Barnes wrote something that jumped out at me.  "Receive your life and leave behind the illusion" he stated.  Acceptance of what IS and what ISN'T.  I also am drawn to a passage of the Bible from Ecclesiastes.  In chapter 3, verses 1-14 ( NIV) the wise writer tells us that there is a "time for everything". 

 1 There is a time for everything,
   and a season for every activity under the heavens:
 2 a time to be born and a time to die,
   a time to plant and a time to uproot,
 3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
   a time to tear down and a time to build,
 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
   a time to mourn and a time to dance,
 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
   a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
 6 a time to search and a time to give up,
   a time to keep and a time to throw away,
 7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
   a time to be silent and a time to speak,
 8 a time to love and a time to hate,
   a time for war and a time for peace.

 9 What do workers gain from their toil? 10 I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.
There is a time for change but intense change can be a cause for physical as well as psychological problems.  The affects of change are many and there is even a tool to help psychologists determine how likely a person is to become ill from the stress of change.  The Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale gives various life events a "value" or "weight" and if a patient experiences a higher total number, there is a higher chance of becoming sick.   Change happens and you may have heard that the only thing in life you can count on is Change.  It doesn't mean we have to like it, or be satisfied with it, or have no hope for positive future change.  Like the seasons, we may not like Winter, or just be satisfied with Spring, but we have a hope that Summer is coming.  And then we have to get ready for Fall.   Each change is a challenge for us to adapt or accept things the way they are.
What can an ACOD learn to accept? 
I have learned to accept my past.  I have good memories. I have memories that now are clouded and foggy as I realize reality was not as I saw it.  Family pictures or heirlooms that once held fond thoughts, now bring a bittersweet taste.  I have to accept the past for what it was ; the good, the bad and what is and may always be unclear.
I have learned to accept my present. All of the relationships in my family are not the way they were , nor the way I would like them to be.  Holidays and family gatherings are not always something I look forward to as much anymore.  I am always wondering what the next issue will be that I have to deal with concerning the breakdown of my family ties.  I have to accept that there is a new reality for all of us.

I have learned to accept my future.  Times of celebration or grief may not give me the support I need or thought I would have from my family members.  The legacy my family is remembered for may be different than I had thought.  My influence can still count for good and I can hope for positive change between the now and the then of the future.
When I say I have learned it , I truly should say I am still learning it.  Acceptance is a process that takes time as we learn to adjust to each part of change and each season of our lives.    Acceptance helps adult children of divorce to cope, to accept responsibility for our own actions and to move ahead, with healthy boundaries that contribute to our own sense of well-being and self control.   
Next post will touch on the topic of forgiveness.

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JANUARY TOPICS : Help and Hope
Bonds Unravel


MARCH TOPICS: Accepting Change
Forgiving Parents
Time For Serenity
Things/Objects of Meaning

Photo Album

JUNE/JULY : Reflecting and Writing Again

Acods and Listening
Acods and Materialism
Acods and Identity

Serenity Prayer Worksheet
ACODs and Simplicity
A New Look to the Blog!!
Serenity Prayer Extended Version/Worksheet
Why do we Blog???

ACOD Serenity Prayer
ACOD Fathers and Mothers
Things Still Aren't Right This Christmas

Grandchildren of Divorce
ACODs and Affairs
Keep Going
ACOD Forward and Back
Lord' Prayer ACOD version
Ripple Effect
Grief Revisited
Too Many Choices
ACOD Times To Remember
Telling the Truth
Behind the Curtain

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