According to Merriam-Webster (MW), the definition of oxymoron is: a combination of contradictory or incongruous words (as cruel kindness); broadly: something (as a concept) that is made up of contradictory or incongruous elements.

So, yes, peace provoking is an oxymoron, considering MW also defines peace as harmony in personal relations, and provoke as inciting to anger.

When dealing with divorce, it is common for couples to engage as provokers rather than peace makers. Generally, there are three components to any conflict: legal, financial, and emotional. Initially, most conflicts are not legal problems, but there may be legal implications. Unfortunately, most attorneys are programmed to look at the legal side only, and may be unwilling or unable to step into the tumultuous mine field they would have to traverse to delve into the other two areas, finance and emotion.

Yet, there is a quiet revolution taking place; the past few decades reflect an emergence of forward thinkers promoting the novel idea that divorce can include compassion and respect. They dare to pursue peace and collaboration, instead of war and conflict. New skills are being developed, skills like conflict resolution, mediation, reconciliation, non-violent communication and dialogue.

The Social Healing Project by Judith Thompson, Ph.D. and James O’Dea, talks about social healing: “… an evolving paradigm that seeks to transcend dysfunctional polarities that hold repetitive wounding in place.” Thompson and O’Dea suggest that acknowledgement is a crucial role in achieving social healing, with three definitive acts that must take place. One must embrace the negative identity; deconstruct the false narrative; and finally, create a new narrative.

According to James O’Dea, in his book Cultivating Peace, there is no right or wrong side. “Facts can be viewed not only from social and cultural perspectives but also with wildly contrasting aims and intensions.”

Consider this philosophy and it can be said that, in most cases, divorce has no right or wrong side. So the question follows: If pursuing a divorce through the traditional legal system, can you truly achieve personal healing and forgiveness in an arena of legal minds trained purely in advocating for one side or the other?

Mediation is a neutral negotiation with professionals who listen to both sides. It is an important primary tool in achieving a successful resolution between warring couples. Mediators can provide a road map for the angry and wounded to help find their way. Rules of engagement are established to help promote an open and honest dialogue, the very key to building trust and navigating toward the commonality of peace.

At Wevorce we believe, like James O’Dea, that we must change the story, change the game. Peace is possible. The provokers are the soldiers of the future — the war they wage is as an instrument of peace. Why not take this simple concept and break the mold in the confrontational world of divorce? Let’s take those broken hearts and heal them. Be peace provokers.