Lisa talked to me about her overwhelming fears associated with her impending divorce. “I don’t think I can handle all the responsibilities: money, taking care of our daughter, my job, custody disagreements.”
“I completely get it, that this all looks bleak. But it’s not.”
“I don’t see anything but disaster.”
“Of course not,” I said. “You’re trying to make an equation work that just doesn’t add up. In your life, all you’ve had is pain and bad information—lies. But you didn’t realize how much pain you were in, nor did you realize that you had been taught all the wrong principles, including a terrible definition of what love is. So you’ve kept trying to make an equation work: Pain + Lies = Happiness. But it never works. Never will.
“It’s like you keep trying to make 2 + 2 = 2004. That formula never works until you factor in a number you’ve never known: 2000. If you do factor that in, you get 2 + 2 + 2000 = 2004. Now the equation works.”
“I’m not quite getting it,” Lisa said.
“In real life, this missing factor—the “2000"—is love and the truth. So now you have a new equation during your divorce: Past Pain + Old Lies + Real Love + Truth = Happiness. That equation works. The power of love and the truth is enough to produce the happiness you’ve always wanted, even during the stress of everything that goes with divorce. “
If we’re not finding the happiness we want, we’re simply missing the factor that balances the equation. But we can learn to find the love and the truth we need. And then the equation works every time.