We have become an adversary society. Our adversarial relationship with one another can be seen in all segments of society, from the halls of the capital to the living rooms of the typical "ego based marriage".
Our adversary ´mindset´ has become a way of life. We think of "us" verses "them" within our relationships between countries, between Republicans and Democrats, and between other competing segments of society. We celebrate these differences and revere debate as a method of communication and entertainment. We pride ourselves on our ability to argue endlessly the most senseless and insignificant points, and we legitimize the entire process by our reliance on a court system that promotes argument and litigation.
Our adversary society has become an increasingly violent society. Violence is glorified in our media, in video games, toys, books, newscasts, T.V. programs, and even in our playground games. Our citizens are the most heavily armed in the world and our crime rate is one of the highest in the world with extremely violent crimes being committed by younger and younger children. We have the highest rate of prison population per capita in the world and are one of the few remaining western nations still executing criminals..
It is apparent that we desperately need to find a better way of relating to one another, and that the broken aspects of the world´s relationships between countries are reflected within our own individual relationships. When Mother Teresa was receiving her Noble Peace prize she was asked by a member of the audience, "What can I do to promote world peace?" She responded: "Go home and love your family."
The good news is that within the last few years there has been an explosion of new approaches to the resolution of conflict within the family. The adversary system is now regarded by most far sighted individuals as an outdated and ineffective method for resolving conflicts in the context of divorce. Most of the time the adversary system makes the problem worse, as the members of the family are forced to talk trash about the other member to "win" their case and obtain custody of the children or a better financial settlement. One new method of dispute resolution is collaborative law.
The collaborative law participation agreement provides that the attorneys´ responsibility is to engage in full disclosure and seek a fair and equitable settlement of the issues. The traditional role of advocating for a client to the detriment of the other party is eliminated. The most important benefit of collaborative law is how uplifted you will feel by comparison to the traditional alternative. Collaborative law is based upon principles which come from love and respect, while the adversary system is all about fear and the emotions that fear produces.
Fear based emotions dominate to an even greater degree the lives of individuals who are experiencing the emotional trauma of primary relationships being dissolved or modified. The adversary system is not designed to deal effectively with emotional issues and when former intimate partners are forced into court to fight over money or children the attitude is often fostered that one is wrong and the other right.
The need to win creates fear based emotions and perpetuates the suffering of the client. In collaborative law the need to win has been eliminated. The pursuit is to find common agreements that are fair and equitable to both parties, and in doing so, the qualities of love that once existed in abundance within the former intimate relationship are recognized and honored.
Destructive, fear based behavior is the result of the emotional poison of the individual engaged in the behavior. This poison is diluted when it is washed with the energy of spirit as expressed through love based emotions, but when destructive behavior is responded to with anger, jealousy, bitterness, hate, or any other fear based emotion, we add our own emotional poison to that which we are responding to and we simply make it worse. We increase the emotional poison within both individuals.
Collaborative law gives the individual the opportunity to fix his own problem. It does not take this it drain, then apply medicine to kill the bacteria causing the infection, then cover it and give it time to heal. With an emotional injury, like a physical wound, the injury must first be cleaned. We use the truth as a scalpel to cut open the wound. An acknowledgement of the truth by the emotionally injured person, no matter how painful that truth may be, opens the wound and allows the negative feelings to dissipate through expression in a safe environment.
The emotional body must be healthy enough to allow the spiritual essence of an individual to become stronger, which in turn allows an individual to grow in spirit, to evolve spiritually, to become one with God. This is the foundation of all religions in their infancy stages, before ego contamination, and all spiritual quests.
Lawyers and service providers within family law may be compassionate individuals, but the nature of the adversary system requires blame and judgment. Just remember this: what you condemn, you attract into your life. Fear, blame and judgment cannot responsibility from him. Collaborative law promotes each individual´s responsibility to heal their own emotional body. The adversary system does not promote responsibility. It is inherently judgmental.
Emotional wounds are healed in the same manner as physical wounds. When we have a cut that has become infected we must first cut open the wound and let be reduced by condemning it. Fear can only create more fear. Only love can heal the emotional body, and in the final analysis it is only self love, the love that comes from within, that can heal that person´s emotional body. Collaborative law can more effectively provide a safe, non-judgmental, loving environment and promote the healing process.