How many of you have read Fifty Shades of Grey? If you haven't yet, you must.
Over my vacation last week, I decided to catch up on my pleasure reading which included the Fifty Shades trilogy, and I am so glad I did. Not because of the sex, which was fabulously fun to read, but more importantly, because the underlying messages of the book are those that are in alignment with all that I stand for.
The books, which most will say are simply erotica for the middle aged, is really a love story, and one that touches upon the very core of what effortless, extraordinary love is all about.
Yes, the book is deliciously erotic. Yes, the book touches upon sexual content that is edgy and may be outside of our comfort zone. Yes, the book is exaggerated and extreme in its story. However, the messages are, in my opinion, critical to the success of any good relationship.
I feel that the most significant message of the book is that things are not always what they seem.
This is a story of two seemingly unsuited individuals who, over time, prove that they are more of an ideal fit than they could have ever imagined.
We all come with baggage, especially after divorce. We develop our own "fifty shades of divorce" and these fifty shades become part of the fabric of our lives as well as the experience that best prepares us for our next chapter.
The relationship between Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele is one that allows the reader to take their own discomfort with how they think they would handle their situation and view it relative to how Christian and Anastasia's relationship grows and evolves.
Extraordinary love is created when we engage and communicate with our lover/partner with curiosity and compassion. When our curiosity about why someone does what they do outweighs our need to judge them. When our desire to understand outweighs our need to react.
The book creates a relationship that is built on the curiosity and compassion shared between Christian and Anastasia and we watch as they question and challenge each other and their "baggage" with humor, desire and passion.
They are each more interested in learning about each other and what motivates their actions, behaviors and words than they are about pushing each other away because of discomfort and fear.
Moving through and forward after divorce is an experience that can become our defining story if we let it and can sometimes leave us feeling emotionally reactive and protective.
As we create and attract new relationships after divorce -- with our ex, with our children, and with new lovers -- leading with curiosity and compassion will ultimately open the door to extraordinary experiences.
I won't give away the ending, but I will tell you that what happens between them is only possible because they are both willing to:
1. Use the truth and experiences of their past as opportunities to grow and evolve, becoming a catalyst for change; and
2. Look past the way things might "seem" with a desire to understand and to unleash the potential in each other.
As you move forward through and after your divorce, remember that things are not always what they seem. There are always reasons why people act the way they do, say the things they do and react the way they do. If you approach every situation with curiosity and compassion, you will not only discover what is really going on beneath the surface, but you will discover how to communicate in a way that will get you exactly what you want!