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Lions Roar : March 2014
DID NOT get married to get divorced. I did not have chi- dren to subject them to the confusion of split parents. I did not hold them in my arms on their day of birth and say, “I am going to raise you to be resilient.” No. I went into marriage as deliberately as I went into mother- hood. As deliberately as I went into creating the house that has held us for almost fifteen years—a farmhouse in northwestern Montana surrounded by a haven of meadows, ponds, marshes, rocky cliffs, and thick conifer forests. Yet now I find myself in something called mediation. Media- tion is where a professional conflict-sherpa guides two people through—in our case—the dissolution of a marriage. Two people who have been together for their entire adult lives. Who know each other like old shoes. Who together have made every important decision for the past twenty-five years. Mediation. We’re sitting across from one another with legal forms and a middleman at the head of a long table and a box of Kleenex, and we’re talking about things like who gets Christmas morning, who pays for our kids’ soccer cleats, and where our children will lay their heads at night—what pillow in what room in what house. And what about the possibility of them losing their childhood house altogether? To comply with federal law we’re also going through a list of extreme parenting sins, as if we would ever be those sinners. We’re Being Love ILLUSTRATIONS BY KATHERINE STREETER Awash in the pain of betrayal and a failed marriage, LAURA MUNSON practices Pema Chödrön’s teachings on loving-kindness. It’s hard but it helps. SHAMBHALA SUN MARCH 2014 38