DIVORCE RECOVERY SERIES
A Series of Articles on Adjusting to Divorce
By Harlan Jacobsen
YOUR HAPPINESS AS A PERSON IS NOT DEPENDENT ON BEING MARRIED OR SINGLE
Your happiness is directly tied to your programming, not in what is happening "out there". In other words, itís not what the world out there is or isnít doing to you now, but how you view what is happening "out there".
Often we canít do much about what is happening "out there" or what your ex or potential single friends are or are not doing. But you do have control of your programming.
Yes, your ex, your parents, your teachers, your church, etc. all had a part in implanting your present programming.
BUT NOW, YOU AS A SINGLE, AUTONOMOUS PERSON, HAVE THE RIGHT TO DECIDE
Is this old programming simply not working for you? Are you unhappy with this programming? Then perhaps you should now decide whether or not you want to keep this old programming that isnít working out. Do you want new programming that will work and that you can be happy with?
FIRST OF ALL, WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT ANIMALS SUCH AS BIRDS ARE BORN WITH PROGRAMMING
They do not have to attend a class on navigation to enable them to fly south for the winter. No educational films are required on "How to Build a Nest". A squirrel doesnít have to be told to store up nuts for the winter. He inherited that programming.
THE ONLY PROGRAMMING YOU INHERITED WAS A FEAR OF FALLING AND OF LOUD NOISES
All other fears, reactions and responses are learned.
What we are saying is - recognize that if all of your programming was learned, then it can also be unlearned.
IF YOUR EX TOLD YOU OFTEN ENOUGH...
that you were no good, undesirable, a reject, that you are frigid or "not a man", then your big computer may have finally accepted that as programming.
IT DOESNíT REALLY MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE IF ANY OF IT IS TRUE OR NOT...
...if your big computer accepted it as programming, then the result is the same as if it was indeed true.
IN THE COMPUTER INDUSTRY, WHEN YOU PUT IN FAULTY PROGRAMMING, THE RESULT IS INEVITABLY FAULTY AS WELL
They have a term, "GIGO", which means "garbage in = garbage out".
If you have garbage programming, you are guaranteed garbage results. What you need to do is take a look now at your programming; if you are getting garbage results, say, hey, I can correct this programming if I want to.
UP UNTIL NOW YOU HAVE BEEN FIGHTING, CURSING, AND BLAMING THE WORLD AND PEOPLE "OUT THERE" FOR YOUR LIFE NOT WORKING
You have been fighting the wrong enemy. It is not circumstances, fate, your ex or all those snobbish, cliquish singles out there. IT IS YOUR PROGRAMMING. You probably are ready to give up the battle anyway of trying to get all those people, your ex, your friends and the whole world out there to "shape up"
SOME PEOPLE NEVER GIVE UP ON THIS
They go through life trying and trying, never giving up, on getting the whole world to straighten up. They are constantly frustrated, discouraged, heart broken, because the world just wonít "shape up" no matter what they do.
YOU ARE PROBABLY CONSTANTLY UPSET IF YOU ARE GOING THROUGH A DIVORCE
Upset that your ex didnít do things the way you wanted. You are constantly failing in your attempts to get them to shape up.
When you change your programming about this, for example, it does not mean you give up on this and let your ex walk all over you.
WHAT YOU CHANGE IS YOUR HAPPINESS CONTROL
Right now, perhaps your ex pulls your strings, controlling your happiness by what he or she does or does not do. In other words, they still control you. With a change in programming you will still prefer that your ex act in a certain way but your overall happiness is in no way dependent on what your ex does or does not do.
WHAT IS THIS HAPPINESS WE ARE REFERRING TO?
The definition I like best is, "pleasant feelings". If you really have pleasant feelings most of the time, then your programming is working. If you rarely do, it is not.
You say, baloney, if you had what is happening to me now happening to you, youíd feel terrible too.
Letís take an example. If your past experience and programming is that you should eat steak most of the time, then hamburger and meat loaf are a comedown and you are now unhappy that because of your finances after your divorce you can only afford hamburger.
Yet another person, who could rarely afford even meat because their ex was an alcoholic and spent every dime on booze, when this same person is free and can now afford even hamburger, that person is delighted with the same hamburger that you are unhappy with.
SO YOU SEE IT IS NOT HAVING TO EAT HAMBURGER THAT MAKES YOU UNHAPPY, IT IS YOUR PROGRAMMING, YOUR DEMANDS AND EXPECTATIONS ABOUT THE HAMBURGER
Our definition of the word programming here is "your on-file, automatic reaction and feelings to what happens to you".
IMMATURITY IS USING CHILDHOOD PROGRAMMING IN ADULT CIRCUMSTANCES
Our classic example is when Mother said "never speak to strangers". Grandmother repeated it, your teachers and other reinforced it.
YOU WERE GIVEN GOOD PROGRAMMING ABOUT NOT SPEAKING TO STRANGERS AS A CHILD
However, when you grew up, no one said "You are now grown up and intelligent enough to decide which people to talk to".
If you still have the old "donít talk to strangers" programming of your childhood, then when you do talk to strangers, you feel awfully uncomfortable. The result is that you hardly ever talk to strangers and if you do, you are uptight.
IF YOU UPDATE YOUR CHILDHOOD PROGRAMMING TO "A STRANGER IS JUST A FRIEND I HAVE NOT MET YET", IT IS NOW ADULT PROGRAMMING
Say, for example, there are two people in a situation where they both have an opportunity to meet a stranger. The one with the childhood programming avoids this opportunity. The person with adult programming looks forward to and actually enjoys an opportunity to meet a new friend.
AGAIN THE SAME HAMBURGER, DIFFERENT PROGRAMMING
And each makes for two entirely different reactions The same situation, stressful for one person, enjoyable for the other.
Recognize that it is not what is happening, it is your programming about what is happening that is either working for or against you. If it is not working for you, change your programming.
NEXT ISSUE: How to reprogram.