As a divorce mediator, you might think that gratitude is not the first thing on my mind nor the minds of my clients. It’s certainly not easy to be grateful, or even positive, when one is going through something as difficult as a divorce. However, this is why it’s so much more important to actively practice gratitude by searching out things to be grateful for even in the face of adversity. With that in mind, here are the some of the things that I’m most grateful for:

  1. Parents who Focus on their Children – I am overwhelmingly grateful for, and often in awe of, parents who can see past their hurt and bitterness in order to put their children’s interests ahead of their own during the divorce process. The greatest joy and inspiration I experience in my practice is when I see people under stress rising above their own issues to focus on protecting their children by finding ways to work together as co-parents.
  2. The Shift Away from Litigation towards Mediation – over the last several years more and more people are becoming aware of divorce mediation and the benefits it provides over a nasty court battle (including saving time & money, protecting one’s children, lower stress levels, etc.). Sure, divorce litigation is still a $2 billion industry (the attorneys are still depleting children’s college funds and gobbling up the equity in their clients’ homes), but more people are realizing that they don’t have to let their negative emotions dictate how they handle their divorce which enables them to save more than $100,000, get through their divorce more quickly and keep their children out of the middle.
  3. Children – This is something I’m thankful for both personally and professionally. Professionally, I’m thankful for the simple joy that children bring to their parents that can bolster us adults during difficult times. Additionally, I’m thankful that children are often something that’s so important to parents that they inspire them to get past their individual differences and provide the necessary motivation for them to work together. Personally, I’m thankful for my wonderful twin girls who rejuvenate me every day and enable me to continue this often stressful work.
  4. Therapists – I’m thankful for therapists on so many levels, but mostly I’m thankful for them because they help shepherd and support their clients through this difficult process. Additionally, since therapists are generally interested in their client’s well-being they have become a significant part of the shift towards mediation by educating their clients on how mediation would help them get through their divorce so much better than going to court.

The bottom line is that every one of us has something to be grateful for if we will take the time to search for it and then really dwell on it with a spirit of Thanksgiving.

So, what are you most thankful for and how can you use that to help you get through whatever you’re facing in your life?