By Susan Ingram
Divorce & Family Mediator and Attorney; Conflict and Negotiation Coach
Curls of Wisdom: Trusting in the Process
I have naturally curly hair. Of course, in my youth I always wanted long straight locks. The type that when you flirtingly tilted your head, your hair would gracefully cascade to the side. Or that you could sweep into a beautiful chignon with just a few flicks of your wrist. But, alas, that was not to be. Thank goodness, I came to terms with this by my early ‘30s, when I started to really enjoy my natural curls.
Now fast-forward a few decades. About a year ago, I had to change hair stylists. (That’s another story!) We curly-haired types know that “The Cut” is everything. My new hair stylist, Elana, was excellent with The Cut, but she had a different way of drying my hair afterwards so that my curls ended up being what I thought were too tight and “un-natural” looking. So…each time after she cut and dried my hair, I would return home and wash it again immediately. Yes, I know that sounds crazy – and I would never admit it to Elana.
Last month when I went for my routine haircut, things happened a little differently. I had more errands than usual and could not do my repeat-wash that same day. I reluctantly realized I had to put off doing it until the next day. But something strange happened when I got up and looked in the mirror the following morning – my curls looked great. They even looked better than when I washed and dried them myself.
How could this be?!? Then it hit me – I had been so anxious to see the immediate results and so set in my old ways of doing it, that I never even gave the new process an opportunity to unfold. Much like the fears and concerns that arise with my couples in divorce mediation….
My divorcing couples are going through an incredibly difficult time in their lives. They’re justifiably anxious, worried, concerned from the very beginning as to how things will work out. I explain to them that we’ll be using the mediation process to explore all of their concerns and issues. They won’t have all of their answers right away; instead, their choices and decision-making will become clearer as they work through each of our sessions. In other words, they need to slow down and trust both in me (as their mediator) and in the process itself.
Hmmmm . . . sounds like a lesson I’ve recently had to relearn!
Susan Ingram Mediation & Coaching