The Ecology Of Divorce And How To Help Your Children

Are you feeling like your divorce is preventing you or your children from growing? Does it feel like you have so much pressure on you that you’re worried about your children being able to set roots in their own life? Well I have too. Hi my name is Garnet Mierau and for the last 20+ years I worked as a professional forester in British Columbia, Canada, and I understand a lot about ecology and life cycles. Now that I am involved in my own divorce with young children (8 and 10 years old), I am drawing on what I understand in forest ecology as a metaphor for my own situation…kinda like the ecology of divorce if you will, and here’s an example of what I am getting at.

Lodgepole pine is a pyral climax tree species…say what? Okay, in layman’s terms this simply means that it is a tree species that perpetuates itself and requires a wildfire to burn through the mature lodgepole pine forest for it’s cones to open up and release the seeds from within and hence the next lodgepole pine forest is created – aka a pyral climax life cycle. Its’ cones are called serotinous cones for the fact that they are very tightly protected. It’s near impossible to break open a lodgepole pine cone and get at the seeds, thus less attractive to small critters looking for a meal. The cones built up in the forest floor over the years, waiting for the opportunity to release the hidden treasures from within. What is required is an extreme heat event, such as wildfire, to melt away the resins that bind the cone together and thereby releasing their seeds. Now back to divorce.

From my experience, it certainly has felt like I’ve been through a wildfire, even burned a wee bit. But rather than dwelling on how hurt I am (heck I tried that early on and it didn’t work so good…), I am picturing myself as the newly opened cone now. I am released and free to grow, to set new roots, and to create my own divorce ecology and share the hidden treasures from within my true self. My divorce has become my very own sine qua non for becoming the person I am today. I’ve faced the fire and know first hand how it feels. I also know how it feels right-now in my journey and will continue to share my experience.

So if you are like most parents of divorce, you are also concerned about the healthy growth and development of your children. Well, it is really no different. Yes, divorce (the wildfire) will have burned them a wee bit too; however, this is your opportunity to nurture them with all the love that lush seedlings and new beginnings deserve. Your children will be establishing new roots regardless…why not guide them towards growing deep, meaningful roots? The same roots that will help them to grow up to be healthy and strong. As their parent, you will be setting them on the path of how they think and feel. If you are happy, your children will be happy. If you are constantly complaining and blaming, particularly about your ex-spouse, then chances are your children will do the same. They will mirror you because they are your seedlings. You chose to get a divorce to get out of an unhealthy relationship; now it’s your time to choose a healthy relationship with your ex spouse by respecting them for their differences and raising your seedlings to be empathetic listeners and accepting diversity. Make your family tree the best it can be. Take care of your own roots so that you can help your children through divorce and set their roots in fertile ground.