As a therapist, mediator and attorney, I see many unhappy individuals and couples longing for the “happily ever after” they had planned. The ones in the most pain are not sure if they want to stay or go.
To many of my clients, the possibility of experiencing a truly happy marriage seems as remote and impossible as sighting that “imaginary creature represented as a white horse with a long horn growing from its forehead.”
A happy marriage is not a mythical or magical experience. It’s the end result of many acts of two people who truly CARE about each other.
You can appreciate that despite your best efforts, from time-to-time you’re going to trigger each other. Or hurt each other. Or scare, sadden or disappoint the other.
The difference between reality and mythology is that the happy marriage doesn’t miraculously appear. In the real world, you can create a happy marriage by learning a few Compassionate Communication skills — including empathy and forgiveness — and applying them liberally and often to your relationship.
What I have learned over the years is that the difference between a happy and an unhappy marriage is that in the HAPPY one, each partner truly CARES.
C – Compassion for themselves and their partner. Compassion is not codependency. It’s a healthy perspective on your own needs as well as your partner’s. It’s knowing the 5 steps to receive what you truly want and need and practicing the miracle of empathy.
A – Acceptance of all the idiosyncrasies that make your partner unique. Acceptance is the ability to love someone for who they are, and not who you need them to be. It is also accepting the humanity and divinity of both of you, knowing we are spiritual beings having a human experience. And marriage can trigger all our human parts.
R – Respect for each other’s individuality. Respect is the ability to see the good traits of your partner and honor those. No one is perfect. As Sam Keen said, ” We come to love not by finding a perfect person but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly.”
E – Empathy for your feelings, desires and needs. Empathy means you listen, understand, and truly care what your partner feels, and they learn to do the same for you. You drop the walls you've built to protect yourself and the filters through which you have judged each other and truly relate from your heart.
S – Self love that allows each of you to practice healthy self-care. True self-love is the ability to take exquisite care of yourself, no matter the circumstances. You give yourself the attention, affection, appreciation and acceptance you need. Then you share all that love with your partner.
If you're unclear where your relationship is breaking down in this CARES model, I can help.
Bottom line: Unicorns don’t exist, but happy marriages do. You can have one — if you try.
And if you do your best, and CARE as much as possible and it's still not meeting your needs, you can have a Compassionate Divorce®, which isn't a Unicorn either.
Linda Kroll is a therapist, mediator, attorney, Chopra Certified Master Teacher, and author of the bestselling Compassionate Mediation® for Relationships at a Crossroad: How to Add Passion to Your Marriage or Compassion to Your Divorce.
The reason to take my course is because it offers a skill set that no one else is offering.
To learn more, get my free roadmap at www.LindaKroll.com/Roadmap
Usually when people are doing marriage counseling, there's a part of them that might have thought about leaving, but they don't want to bring it into marriage counseling.
They may be concerned that if they bring it into marriage counseling, some counselors may feel, “You're not here for marriage counseling, you're thinking of divorce, so go get a mediator, go with an attorney. You're outside my realm of expertise.”
I'd like to give you that expertise because when you have the tools that I give you, you are confident in talking with an individual or couple about what an ending would look like.
Your clients would have all the information they need, and then with that information, they can process their feelings in a way that empathy can help them heal.
Then they can create a whole new relationship together.
But they have to have all parts feel welcome. Even the parts that are trying to decide, should I stay or should I go.
Often in marriage counseling, they don't want to have that discussion because they feel guilty that there's a part that wants to leave or has thought about leaving.
But if you welcome that part, you get to what's underneath it. And usually what's underneath it is a lot of sadness, a lot of pain, some anger. And you can process all of that with your clients.
If you're working with a couple where one wants to stay and the other one wants to leave, you now have the skill set to create a neutral forum where they can talk about everything.
So the person that wants to leave can stay present to talk about their feelings and the person who wants to stay can stay present to talk about the possibility of a divorce.
You help them learn to compassionately communicate with empathy.
Once they do that, miracles happen and they can create a whole new relationship together based on who they are now, what they both want and need, and whether they're able and willing to give it to each other.
I've pioneered this process on the shoulders of IFS, higher consciousness energy work, mediation, and law
It's a hybrid that combines emotional and spiritual healing along with legal and financial information and support.
I give all of that to you so that you can give it to your clients.
And that's just some of the ways that it's different than the wonderful IFS that we all know and love.
I'm at the Botanic coming to you live because I wanted to talk about what kind of relationship can you start over with right now
And in our Compassionate Communication Community, we talk a lot about connecting to our highest self, letting go of limiting beliefs and judgments,unburdening, pain from the past and relating from our heart.
But what does that really mean?
Instead, you could take a breath right now, and as I look around at the beautiful scenery, think about a relationship right now that might be strained or might be in conflict.
And see if in just a few moments you can start over.
When my children were younger and teenagers and we might be fighting about something, one or both of them might come in in the middle of an argument crying and say, “Can we start over?” rr
And what that means is it doesn't matter who said what, who did what, who was right, who was wrong, what did you need to do over.
It just means start over.
Just take a breath and see if you can pick up from the last time you felt good about that person and go back there and do it again.
I have some friends and some of them aren't talking to their children, some aren't talking to their siblings, and there's a way to have boundaries without disconnecting.
Even if the other person might not be someone that you want to communicate with right now, you don't have to communicate with them. You can just start over.
Take a deep breath, give yourself permission not to replay the old stories, to change the filter by which you're seeing the other person, and to allow yourself to begin to think that you can start over.
People can change, Situations can change.
And forgiveness is a gift that sets you free.
You can set boundaries. You can decide you do or don't want to be connected to that person.
But if you give yourself permission to start over right now and take off that filter through which you're judging them or yourself, and stop believing the stories you keep telling yourself, and just give yourself a clean slate, then what you can do is change the energy between the two of you.
And as you change the energy, the relationship changes.
Give it a try.
Think about somebody right now with whom you're having a convict or a strain.
Take a few deep breaths, belly breaths where you can really get to your higher self.
Drop down from your head into your heart and compassionately communicate to yourself first.
Let yourself know that you understand you have some hard feelings or hurt feelings or misunderstood feelings. And then see if you could turn that compassion outward because the other person probably does too.
They may have similar hurt feelings and sadness, and you can put yourself in their shoes for just a minute so that you can be compassionate.
And there's a great guided meditation I have on my website. You can get it in your Compassionate Communication Care Kit at www.LindaKroll.com/CCC
You can get a guided meditation to help you get to Self.
And when you're “in Self,” you'll see that our human parts that rub up against another’s don't have to get in the way of a divine soul connection.
We can connect divinely with other people.
So I'm at the Botanic Garden waxing philosophically bringing you to see the glorious view is here and inviting you to start over with somebody right now.
And even if you don't tell them you're starting over, just do.
And you may find that they're going to reach out to you and you can begin a conversation without processing all the feelings of the past, even though that's good to do.
Both of you want to. But the other thing is to see the highest in
each one of you. To let all your human parts that judge just relax while you go to the top of the mountain from your highest and best Self and have compassion for yourself and have compassion for the
Even if you decide not to connect, you'll see there's more peace.
You can start over with a relationship that brings you peace, brings you joy, and gives you a way to get off the hook of whatever you're telling yourself.
We're at the Botanic Gardens I'm about to go to the Rose Garden and we're talking about starting over.
And just like plants need to be replanted, relationships can heal and transform.
A few months ago there were tulips. Now here's roses.
Relationships can take on different flavors.
Compassionate communication sets you free.
Whenever I come here, I just reconnect to myself, to my soul, to the earth.
if you have any questions about how to start over in a
relationship, just ask me. I'm a pro.
I'm a pro at starting over with parents and children, ex-spouses and in-laws and all kinds of people with whom you could have conflict, but you don't need to maintain the conflict, especially when there's so much beauty in the world.
Take time to smell the roses, take time to get outside, and most of all give yourself permission to start over.
And again, a rose by any other name is still divine. And you are divine. Thanks for joining me.
Sending love, light and hopes that wherever you're having an issue in a relationship, just start over. It really works.
As soon as 3 or 4 of you join in, we will make plans for when we meet.
Here is some of what's included.
If you would like, you have the opportunity of assisting me in the next LIVE Compassionate Mediation Program for individuals and couples, where you can find new clients for yourself. As part of the program, each participant will get one session with me and then for future private sessions, they can contract with you for extra coaching.
Unburdening – based on IFS, higher consciousness, HMR, energy work – amalgam of all my trainings and teachings
Parts in Rooms – boardrooms, tearooms, spas
Conversations with managers
Chakra healing mediations and more.
Experiential practice in Level 1 starting SOON! November 15th at 11:30 Central (or another time when next cohort begins) Kim, Mary, Jenny – we can start a separate cohort for Australia!
Supervision for your own clients.
Marketing materials and samples for you to use to copy and revise for your own use.
Using the process in groups
Overview, meditations, framework, format
Workshops and retreats information
Facebook group for connection and Facebook lLves as needed.
Six 90-minutes sessions which will be recorded
Whatever else YOU NEED for your personal and professional growth.
Plus these BONUSES
The Love Summit audios and transcripts
PDF of Compassionate Mediation® for Relationships at a Crossroads: How to Add Passion to Your Marriage or Compassion to Your Divorce
PDF of Kindle book – Compassionate Divorce: Changing the Face of Divorce, One Heart at a Time
What to Know About Divorce – Audio and Ebook
Compassionate Mediation Tools for Your Practice
Price: $3000 in the future – $1500 for you now (or $600 a month for 3 months)
(Don't let price be an issue. We can discuss payment options.)
The first thing I want to do is read you a quote fromThich Nhat Hanh.
He said, “To reconcile conflicting parties, we must have the ability to understand the suffering of both sides. If we take sides, it is impossible to do the work of reconciliation, and humans want to take sides. That is why the situation gets worse and worse.
Are there people who are still available to both sides? They need notdo much.
They need only do one thing, go to one side and tell all about the suffering endured by the other side and go to the other side until all about the suffering endured by this side.
That is our chance for peace. That can change the situation.”
And that is what we do with Compassionate Mediation.
We're trying to do is give each party – or if you're working with an individual, give the individual – a chance to come from their highest self, let go of their limiting beliefs, unburden pain from the past and relate from their hearts.
And then when they relate from their heart, they can talk about their
feelings that they've exiled – the hurt, the sadness, the fear – and their partner can listen to that.
Their partner can't listen to the judgments, the “you” messages. You always do this, you never do that.
And a lot of people are getting into some very bad habits of communicating. Maybe they're fighting more, maybe they're distancing more. Maybe they're doing the dance of fighting and distancing.
But now more than ever, the skill of Compassionate Mediation can be something that you can use with your current clients or future clients to teach them a new way to communicate.
Compassionate Mediation starts with compassionate communication.
And the good part about it is you're trained in therapy or coaching or helping them process their feelings.
You're also going be able to talk about the content.
If you're talking about a property division, how to talk about the property aspect or how to talk about child support or how to talk about maintenance, if there's going to be any.
You will help them through all the feelings that come up’ around these subjects.
And far too often we'll be counseling someone and they'll decide they're thinking of a divorce and they want to go to a mediator.
Or they want to hire an attorney.
I mentioned to anyone thinking of the divorce that mediation is always the best way to go, whether it's Compassionate Mediation or any other mediation because it gives them a chance to speak with each other.
But in compassionate mediation, we're teaching them away to be more self-led to compassionately communicate, to learn how to empathize, and then to talk about all the different options they have.
Another thing we're doing in Compassionate Mediation is we're talking them “off the ledge.”
And if you know what I mean, it's when an individual or couple comes into your office and they think they have to act now, they think they have to jump, they've reached the end of their rope,
They're so tired of the same old, same old that they need to make a decision and they need to make it fast.
Deep breath here.
The important thing is not what they decide, but are they deciding from their highest and best self
Because if they're not, they're just reacting. They're reacting to their own parts, they're reacting to their partner's part.
But when it happens in marriage counseling, many people don't bring it up because they think that if they're in marriage counseling, all they're there for is to make the marriage better.
And unfortunately, one or both of them may have already been considering, “What would it be like to separate, What would it be like to find somebody new? What would it be like to get out of this union?”
But because they're exiling that part of themselves, they're only showing up with a part that's trying to be invested in counseling, but they're not fully invested in counseling because they're not talking about the part that's thought about leaving.
We use Compassionate Mediation to make it safe for all parts to come in and feel welcome: The parts that are scared, the parts that are worried, the parts that are angry, the parts that feel betrayed, and the parts that think I might want to end this, what would that look like.
And that's why in one of the modules in the training, I talk about how you talk to the initiator and how you talk to the non initiator.
The initiator is the party in the couple, the one member of the couple that really would like to separate or divorce, and I tell that person that if they don't process some of the feelings that led to their desire to leave, their partner is not going to be part of this process. Their partner is going to pull out.
So then they'd be left with having to hire an attorney and file for divorce.
Their partner would have to file a response, and a year or two later, thousands of dollars later, maybe they'll get divorced.
So I tell the initiator, take the time to learn how to communicate to process the feelings that got you here.
And I tell the non-initiator, the person that doesn't want to think about a divorce, doesn't want to think about a separation may be totally obsessed with staying together – that if they don't open their minds to consider the possibility of leaving, the partner that wants to separate or divorce isn't going to stay in this process because it's going to feel too much like marriage counseling.
So they have to meet in the middle where the person who wants out talks about feelings. The person that wants to stay talks about what would it look like if I left
And you hold the space for that whole conversation and whatever topic they bring up, if they bring up money and how money is divided between the two of them, that's a subject that could go on for weeks or months.
Because when you talk about money, you have to talk about all the parts that are triggered about that conversation.
You can talk about the legacy burdens that each of them brought nto the relationship about the roles and responsibilities. You can talk about their limiting beliefs or the way they've managed, or the parts they've exiled.
And at the same time you will know enough to give them feedback about how to talk about money.
So if you're talking about property division, you list their assets and then you list their debts.
And that process can take weeks because most of all they don't have that information readily.
Sometimes it could just take a session for one party to feel as educated as the other party is, but you will have this skill set