Often in my own midlife divorce recovery process, I often felt powerless and I sometimes did not demonstrate poise. I demonstrated things like: wildly out of control, undignified, ugly, loud, infuriated.  Divorce is sort of the antithesis of poise. Webster defines poise with words like these: “balance, stability, ease, dignity of manner.”  For me, dignity of manner showed up occasionally. The same with stability, ease, and balance.  In fact those three words stability, ease and balance could be opposites listed in the definition of divorce emotions.  Maxwell Maltz, author, creator of Psycho-Cybernetics has this to say: “Man maintains his balance, poise, and sense of security only as he is moving forward.”  I believe that’s true, so by taking even baby steps forward on your divorce journey, it’s easier to stay balanced and even poised in the middle of the mess.

I found a little book in my parent’s basement entitled How to Win Over Worry, first printed in 1959. The price on the cover was 60¢. This book was one in the fourteenth printing. The book obviously addressed a problem that lots of people had back in 1959 and still have today: Worry. This author, John Edmond Haggai suggests that poise is one of the antidotes for worry along with praise, prayer and peace. Most of his book deals with the poise part. However, Haggai’s supposition is that once we know the compelling, impelling motivation of our life, we can be the embodiment of poise, no matter what is happening around us. No matter what crazy things other people are saying and doing. No matter how much our external life seems to be spinning out of control. His premise is that if we have our big picture in focus, we can be poised period.

His main theme is that for spiritual people, the idea that “God is near.” is the compelling motivation that will allow us to show poise in every situation. Even when it doesn’t feel like it in the middle of divorce, if we can realize that God is, indeed, near, things smooth out. If we know that God is near, we can have a poise that startles everyone. Let’s startle them with our poise and not startle them, say, with a useless barrage of angry words, or even worse, a flying object. Easier said than done, I know; but let’s try concentrating on the fact that “God is near.” Then we can demonstrate the power and poise that is a result of the realization of that truth.

“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down.”   Philippians 4:6-7a (The Message)