We voted to separate which in most people’s book is a divorce. As with all people who divorce they do it because they think it is the best idea at the time. Obviously, some parties believe it will give them some really positive things, freedom, power, identity etc., but even a small examination of the results of divorce show that this is seldom the case and mostly the outcome is negative especially for the children or any other significant person unfortunate to be too close.
It is possible to have a good divorce and that takes accountability and emotional intelligence. To reach quick and easy agreement you need to have everything on the table – no hidden agenda. But this is seldom the case and often there are a number of issues that are difficult to resolve. In marriages, this often results in legal battles of which there are often no winners except maybe the lawyers. In the case of Brexit, it is about countries but the dynamics are the same, for in any fight it always results in loss and this feeling of loss then results in resentment.
How many times do we hear the refrain from divorced people about how they got screwed and they can’t believe they did that? This becomes a bitterness that is the basis of a lasting resentment. One of my favorite descriptions of resentment is someone drinking poison and hoping someone else dies. This bitterness also poisons the whole environment and drives a destructive blame culture creating a strong polarization of good versus bad. Now everybody loses!
About 25 years ago Susie and I were in this place and it was certainly no fun. We often think back to that time and wonder what could have changed that and the answer is not a complicated psychological obstacle course but a simple moment of giving up being right. An apology even if for the bad temper! Our feeling was that it would have taken so little but we had worked ourselves into such a polarization, such a refusal to look at our situation from a different or even the others perspective; we had certainly forgotten the friendship not to mention our shared humanity.
As time goes on it becomes increasingly obvious that Brexit is a really, really bad idea in which we will certainly lose far more than we could possibly gain. It is true we voted to leave but can’t it just be that we made a mistake? A mistake calls for correction, for us to learn and from our learning grow in wisdom. Which would be easier and happier; resentment or learning? Isn’t it time we understand other people’s mistakes and we forgive ourselves for our own.
Today we hear in the news exactly the same words we hear from friends and family in the throes of a messy divorce, and while personal acrimonious separation brings about lasting damage, we can only imagine the generational suffering resulting from the fraught negotiations of Brexit.
If we can’t do this then we will walk a path of bitterness and resentment which is all of our own making because we could not accept that maybe we are not right about things we think we are right about.
And to take the part of it we might be right about and the others part they might be right about and bring them together into a synthesis is the bedrock of partnership, therefore the exquisite movement into success and happiness.
We are delighted that our fortnightly blogs are proving popular in Europe. So much so, they are now being translated into German, Spanish and French and are available to view and read on our German website.
Please let all your international friends know. We would so love to hear their feedback.