serenity-prayerMany recovering alcoholics claim that the wisdom of The Serenity Prayer saved their life.  I have found in my practice that the wisdom contained in this simple prayer can also serve as an essential guide for helping people through a difficult divorce. The Serenity Prayer, which asks for the serenity to accept the things you cannot change; the power to change the things you can and the wisdom to know the difference, provides an important framework for dealing with almost all difficult situations. Divorce almost always creates unfortunate realities that lie outside our control; the fact that you will not see your children on certain days; the reality that your family income will now be spread through two homes; and many other stubborn truths.  These realities cannot be changed and, in the end, the ability to find acceptance and serenity is a worthy goal. Divorce also requires people to summon courage to address daunting challenges; finding ways to co-parent when you are angry or scared; learning to manage new financial challenges; or trying to communicate effectively in painful situations.  People who find this courage in divorce are much more likely to achieve their goals. Finally, gaining wisdom about which areas need acceptance and which challenges require us to act courageously is often the ultimate challenge in a divorce.  While some of this wisdom may come from divorce sources, some of the wisdom can be gathered by finding people you can trust to help you focus  your time and energy on your most important goals. One thing I like about the Collaborative Divorce Process  is the focus on giving people the tools they need to truly help themselves.  The first step in the process is generally to help clients identify their highest goals.  As the process evolves divorcing couples are counseled to accept the things beyond their control so that they can focus their attention and limited resources on the things that truly matter.  Clients who truly commit themselves to these principles can move from chaos to a new sense of order; sometimes even a deep sense of serenity.  In any case,  I have found that giving people the opportunity to gain wisdom about when to  “let go” and when to work for change is the most important part of a divorce attorney’s job.