A year ago, my husband and I decided to break up but try living in the same house for the love of our eight year old daughter. It worked for a while—until it didn’t work anymore. Yesterday, we filed for divorce with our mediation lawyer, and as so often happens during the divorce process, I watched two people who care about each other start volleying for position as we talked about who would get what and how we would divide up the business of me. My Small Self had an inner tantrum. The running dialogue in my head during divorce mediation went something like this (with some of the four letter words removed for the love of my ex):
God dammit. We signed a prenuptial agreement nine years ago so we could avoid fighting over who got what, and now here he is, trying to violate the spirit of our agreement so he can take my money. But it’s mine. ALL MINE. My liquidated retirement account that funded this business. My talent that fuels this business. My painstakingly written books. My teleclasses and speaking gigs and hard earned money. And now he wants a piece of my business for the rest of his life? Mine. Mine. MINE. He’s threatening me. I’m scared of losing everything I’ve worked so hard to earn and having to work even harder than I already am. I have to protect myself—NOW.
Then I heard myself saying things I didn’t really mean because my Small Self felt hurt, betrayed, violated, judgmental, righteous, and frightened. I noticed myself slipping into full on self-protection mode without considering what was best for this man I’ve loved for twelve years. I knew I needed help from the Big Guns, so I called my friend and spiritual advisor Tosha Silver, author of Outrageous Openness. I told her I was trying to surrender the entire divorce to Divine Will but I was having a hard time. I know I don’t want to carry the burden of this divorce. I only want whatever is in the highest good to have room to come into being in a way that is equitable, kind, and respectful to us both.
Here’s what Tosha brilliantly advised.
Surrender During Divorce
“I am totally calling in Divine Order on this for you both. Here’s what works with folks who are divorcing. Just say, “100% of the money belongs to God, and God has the perfect solution.” Ask to be shown the perfect settlement, as the steward of but NOT the owner of the money. It makes a world of difference. Ask God to select it all. Once it’s offered 100% to the Divine, the right actions become clear. Your inner self will know. Surrender has nothing to do with being passive. You will simply be shown what to do with the assets that belong to God alone and always have. Often the act of offering leans you towards generosity and a win/win situation, but you don’t have to figure it out. You will be guided! And even if the Divine guides you to give more than the Small Self initially wants, don’t forget that the Divine could replace that money to you 1000 times over if that’s what’s aligned.
This is really hard stuff to do, but if you can offer over the money to God totally, you will be guided towards the perfect divorce settlement, and you will have passed the ultimate PhD exam on Offering. (You can learn more about Offering with Tosha’s online program about how to surrender to the Divine here.)
Once you’ve offered this over, then it’s not “my” money but “the Divine’s” money, and you know you are a waterfall of abundance who can allow anything to be replenished—that is meant to—through Divine Will. Thinking the money and assets belong to you is the ultimate illusion. You wouldn’t have sh*t if it wasn’t for God’s largess. I remind myself every day that any abundance belongs to God, not me. You’ll feel like you dropped 100 pounds. Then abundance will come from places you never dreamed possible once the “my” is dropped away. That’s the key. Do this and everything will change. Stop thinking about “my” books or “my” money or “my” house. Just use the word “the” (meaning “God’s”—“the” books or “the money” or “the” house. You’re pretending it’s “yours” but that’s your Small Self grasping. It doesn’t belong to you. Let God take over. Give the whole divorce to God. This is your holy moment. You are ready, Lissa. Seriously. You’ll be such an inspiration to so many people if you can surrender it to God and really walk the talk when times get tough. This is the graduate school of surrender. You’re ready. You can do this.”
I started crying and wrote this back to Tosha:
Yes, I’m ready. I’m ready. I’m really really really ready. But how do I do this? I don’t know if I’m strong enough to do this. I TOTALLY think of all these things as “MINE” and then I get so f*cking RIGHTEOUS. My Small Self feels like it has to defend itself against yet another man who’s trying to take my hard-earned money. But I don’t want to live that way anymore. It’s exhausting and so not fulfilling, and it’s not good for the heart. It closes me, when all I want is to live with an open, compassionate heart that feels safe enough to stay open. It’s amazing how this divorce process feeds the righteousness of the Small Self. And the JUDGMENT that comes out. I’ve been Ms. Judgey-Judgerson with him. I’m thinking the most horrible things about this man I’ve loved for years.
But then, in the middle of the divorce mediation, when my heart is pounding and my palms are sweating and my blood is boiling, I can stand outside of my Small Self as the consciousness witnessing this badly behaving Small Self, thinking “What the hell are you doing over there, Small Self? Why are you being so guarded, stingy, and judgmental? Where’s your compassion for this hurting man who feels abandoned and betrayed? Get back in your car seat and let the Inner Pilot Light take charge!”
“Don’t beat up the Small Self for its tantrum. That’s what all our Small Selves do, me included! Just give that scared little kid a hug. She’s just scared and feels threatened. You will be able to do it if you ask God to do it through you. Stop “trying” to surrender though the Small Self. It won’t know how. Let God do it.”
I accepted the invitation and said a “Change me” prayer. “Change me into someone who can surrender this to Divine Will.” The minute I said it, I felt this jolt of electricity zip up my spine and explode out of my head. My whole body got goosebumps, and my heart felt full of peace.
Surrender Is Not Sissy, It’s Strength
I know what some of you who care about me and my well-being are thinking. “Don’t get screwed, girl. Fight for what’s rightfully yours. Make sure you get a kick ass attorney to defend yourself. Don’t let anyone take what belongs to you. Protect yourself or you’ll resent this guy. Don’t let anyone bully you into giving up what’s yours, and don’t let someone prey upon your sensitivity and compassion to further their own personal gain. Surrender is for sissies. For God’s sake, make sure you don’t surrender anything you don’t have to surrender.”
If that’s what you’re thinking, I hear you and you’re welcome to share your thoughts with me, but with all due respect, I won’t be heeding your advice. I’ll be honoring Tosha’s. The world is full of people who get their dukes up and act nasty when they feel like something that is “mine” is threatened. But those people don’t trust This Thing That I Trust.
I know God has my back. In fact, I have so much more trust that God can figure this out better than my Small Self that I really do feel ready to let this go. I’ve been collecting so much evidence that I can trust This Thing That I Trust that I just wrote a whole book about my story (it’s called The Anatomy Of A Calling and it comes out in 2016.) This is not easy for me. The chatter in my head still tells me it’s not safe to surrender, that I might get screwed, that I can’t trust the process, that I need to control it and steer it towards my own interests instead. But that’s how tenacious the Small Self is. When it senses that you’re on the brink of really letting your Inner Pilot Light take the lead, it will pull out all the tricks to convince you how much you need it to be in charge.
The Tibetan Book of Living & Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche says, “Ego plays brilliantly on our fundamental fear of losing control and of the unknown. We might say to ourselves, “I should really let go of ego. I’m in such pain; but if I do, what’s going to happen to me?” Ego will chime in sweetly, “I know I’m sometimes a nuisance, and believe me, I quite understand if you want me to leave. But is that what you really want? Think: If I do go, what’s going to happen to you? Who will look after you? Who will care for you and protect you like I’ve done for all these years?” And even if we were to see through ego’s lies, we are just too scared to abandon it.
I feel that way. I’m scared. I feel like I’m jumping into the vast abyss and I’m afraid I won’t get what I want if I let go. But I don’t want to let my Small Self run the show of Lissa anymore . . . Tosha’s right. I’m ready.
Here goes. Geronimo . . . Divine Beloved, I’m all yours.
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