A new phrase began to populate my consultations with clients; I couldn’t help myself really. My new way of looking at the world permeated every aspect of who I was. It would be remiss not to let them in on it. I always prefaced it, to give them a bit of a disclaimer, “This is not legal advice.” The very challenging cases were also given an Infinite Possibilities workbook. Every person in my office needed to know that they were powerful creators. Some clients made me wince with the words and stories they were telling about themselves and their lives. Giving them a chance at happiness didn’t have to wait until they had left their marriage. It would start right here.
One man, who had been cheating on his wife, came in surrounded by his shame and guilt. It was as if he was wearing it as a suit to cover the bright, good-looking man he was. He was ducking his head while he spoke to me of the many affairs he had indulged in behind his wife’s back. “I’m a terrible person. I’m no good. I have a problem.”
I had listened to the self-flagellation for about twenty minutes when I had to say, “Whoa!” I didn’t want to go into the whole concept of “nothing is really bad, it’s just your perception.” After all, there is only so much I can say in one session! Instead I said, “You’re not bad. You’re not terrible. You made a mistake. You’ve owned up to it. You have put it behind you.” I asked him why he felt like he had a “problem.” I asked him if he believed he was a sex addict. I was thinking all along that if he did believe himself as such, therein lay the problem.
He had been seeing a Christian counselor, who suggested he had a problem. That same counselor told him to share his sexual encounters with his wife. I wondered how the counselor was dealing with the end of the marriage, but I quickly realized that the counselor deemed it as the man’s just deserts. I began to caution him about saying he had a problem for two reasons: First, everything he said would be held against him in divorce court. Sexual addiction has been thrown up to deny visitation and custodial rights. Second, if he kept labeling himself as having a problem, then yes, he was creating what he believed. I don’t forget I’m a lawyer, but it’s as if my brain is bifurcated on these two disciplines of the law and the LAW of attraction!
It’s become a mini victory of sorts, to see the downtrodden and disheartened begin to sit up straight and to see there is another way of seeing things. I’m afraid that in this young man’s case, he went right back to his counselor and his angry wife who were all too quick to tell him how wrong he was. I gave him the most hope I was afforded in those thirty minutes.
Sometimes the people who show up clearly have been telling themselves a story of misery for many years. One woman who I represented had been weirdly absent from the process. She always sent her new husband in to meet with me. Her prior case had gone poorly for her and the judge had actually sentenced her to jail. This was too much for my client to take in her already beaten down state. She was almost rendered unable to leave the house. When I finally met with her I could sense the pain behind her lovely face. Even though she was slightly overweight she shrunk into herself in a way, taking up far less space than she should have.
Her story was of being victimized, abused, and mistreated in every way. Was it any wonder she ended up in jail? I found myself walking from behind my desk, sitting beside her and getting out my workbook. “This is not legal advice.” She wasn’t in any position to argue with me, but instead, she listened and cried as I told her she was powerful. I told her, “You are a great mom.” I asked her to tell me all the things she was proud of about the way she has parented her children. I reminded her of the great husband she has now. I told her the only way her ex-husband had power over her was if she let him. I gave her the name of the book to go with the workbook and asked her to read it.
The next time she showed up she was a different person. She had literally come to life. Her face had a rosy glow and she was smiling. She was ready to defend herself. For once she felt in charge of her life. A few months later she was taken ill with cancer. I’m new to seeing the mind body connection but I could see how living with this much emotional pain could manifest itself in your body. I was the one crying then. I don’t know what happened with her; the case was put on hold and they decided to hire a lawyer who was much less expensive than me. I know I’m attracting my own highest good, because this case was a challenging one and it would have taken my energy and time. Everything works out for the best. I keep telling myself this story. Knowing the story I tell is the one I create.
This is another phrase that’s taken on life in my office: “Everything works out for the best.” For many years I thought this was a ridiculous thing to say, but now I know how important it is to forge this into my thoughts and actions. My clients get the benefit of my insight as I dole out this age-old wisdom, no matter what the circumstances. One man comes to see me, hearing I am the best attorney in town (I don’t know who populates these rumors because this isn’t a moniker I have ever sought) and he begins sheepishly to tell his story of cheating.
Most of the time the cheaters act as if I am going to give them a hard time. I don’t care what they have done! One trait I have aspired to is non-judgment. Not to mention, after this many years in practice I have seen plenty of sexual misconduct. I stopped this guy almost immediately when he began telling me how he had been unfaithful. “It’s not going to shock me, no matter what you have done. Just tell me what happened.” Yet it was like pulling teeth! Every few minutes I had to say, “then what?”
At one point he asked me, “Why should I hire you?” (Just as an aside, I hate this question. I chose self-employment to avoid interviews!) My answer has had to change. No longer am I the Bitch in the Courtroom, so I answered truthfully. “I care about what happens to you. I will not lie to you even if you don’t like what I have to say. I’m expensive but I’m good.” He said, “I heard that.” I laughed, not knowing which part he had heard!
The meeting with this guy went great. Not only did he want to hire me, he went from telling me, “I feel like I am dying inside,” to leaving with the belief he had a great future ahead of him! He walked out telling me, “I feel better already. I can do this!” I gave him an invitation to my new workshop and the names of a few books as I sent him on his way. I was able to deliver my now trademark, “This is not legal advice,” and “everything works out for the best,” with believability and a feeling of satisfaction. I had inspired hope. These days, that’s the business I’m in!
Learning to create a story that serves you is one of my new favorite lessons. Whatever the challenges that darken my door, I can handily reframe it to be something that works for me rather than against me. Admittedly, the process can border on ludicrous as I engineer good stories for my misadventures. “I’m so glad I was lost the last two hours of this trip, because I had the chance to see the beautiful country side.” Who knows, right?
One thing I do know is that if I chose to see my day ruined by the hours I spent cursing my navigation system, the day would be colored with the feeling of my anxiety and frustration. I can choose to see things as miserable or as good. It’s always my choice. Even if I can’t see things as sheer perfection, I look for what I can find good about the situation. Getting lost meant I had a chance to listen to an entire audio book, call my mom, drink more water, or whatever. It’s begun a fun practice to find what’s RIGHT about the situation.
I also use this to start my day. I’m productive. I love working out. I’m powerful. My energy is HIGH. People love me. The words we tell ourselves have such enormous power. I have seen the proof of this for years in my law practice. As I remind the clients to see things the way they want to create them, I am taught anew about the power of creation.