Making a case
Thirty years of being a divorce lawyer taught me how to build a winning case. I learned that one can gather evidence for any conclusion.  At trial, both sides have a stack of exhibits, a list of witnesses, a summary of statutes, and an argument. We build cases to support our conclusions.

When going through divorce, we choose from many conclusions:

            “My life is ruined.”  OR “My life is changing but it will be okay.”

            “My children will be devastated.” OR “With enough love and stability, my children 

                                                                                         will survive this.”

            “I will never recovery financially.” OR “This is a financial setback and I am                                                                                       grateful for what I have.”

            “My spouse is out to destroy me.” OR “I choose to focus on what I can control.”    

Remember, you can build a case for anything. You can even find experts who will agree with you.  The more interesting question, however, is to consider which conclusions best serve you.

On these days when a true Nebraska winter comes upon us and the wind is blowing, I tend to focus on the conclusion that winter is hard. It’s cold. It’s dark. It’s barren. Countless others support my opinion.  I read the forecast and am further affirmed.  Frozen parts of my car confirm I am right.

When focusing on a conclusion, the human brain not only seeks out additional supporting evidence, but it tends to ignore any evidence to the contrary.  We listen only to people who agree with us. We ignore our intuition.  We justify or rationalize any facts that conflict with our closely held belief.

When I choose instead to focus on the conclusion that winter is wonderful, I begin to notice evidence I previously ignored. I smile snuggling under a warm blanket.  Lit candles look beautiful.  Hot tea never tasted so good. I get to read a book instead of pulling the weeds. I don’t have to worry about wearing a swim suit to a pool party. Spring is just around the corner.

What conclusions are you focusing on during this winter of your life? How well are they serving you?  Are you open to considering a different conclusion to focus on?  Is there some evidence that you have been ignoring? 

Choose your conclusions wisely.  Then build your case thoroughly, surrounding yourself with the people, activities, and thoughts that support you to have a winning outcome. I promise a much warmer winter if you do.

Susan Ann Koenig

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