I'll admit it, I've spent many hours on the couch in a therapist's office. I remember telling her during those horrid days of seven years ago that I felt broken and unfixable. I wanted her to erase the disappointment and anger and make everything great again ... after all, she was the expert. It was almost frustrating the way she'd just listen to me rant on and on, only offering feeble retorts like "How did that make you feel?" "Duh. It made me feel like crap and that's why I'm sitting here paying you $80/hour!!! Just tell me how to make my life OK and I'll be out of your hair!" Well, we all know that's not how it works. The aha moments came to me all on my own. Slower than I wanted, but they came. Thank God for my wonderful therapist - an angel on earth - and her amazing listening skills.
Life has offered up a new batch of crap in recent months, and sometimes I feel I need to make another appointment. But this new, fresh pain brought me instead to my current prayer spot of choice: a tree stump on the grounds of a hillside overlooking the great pacific. I shut off the ipod and waited for my answer. "Just tell me how to make my life OK and I'll be out of your hair," I demand. I sat there for a half-hour, and while peaceful and serene, not a wise word was offered. "What do you want from me? 80 bucks an hour?!" I got up, near disgust, and was greeted by the cutest little lab puppy who undoubtably had a master not far behind I'd have to interact with. To my surprise it was my good girlfriend and her husband taking a Saturday stroll. It would take at least one separate blog entry to tell you how much I love this woman. A relatively new friend, her amazing depth and willingness to reach out has proven to be one of the great joys in my life. We hugged, chatted briefly, parted ways. Seeing her right then and there I realized I had my answer - partially, at least. "More of this."
Friends and family have offered me well-meaning advice in recent days, and a large part of my turmoil involves deciding whether or not to follow it. They want me to have the marriage ceremony, the white-picket fence, and the happily ever after and they see no indications of these things happening in my current situation. But ending this 3-year relationship would wipe out a huge source of unconditional love in my life, the depth of which only I can measure. My well-meaning sources really have no idea. It is clear that my situation does not fit tidily into anyone's preconceived notions of a committed relationship - but does that make it invalid?
I smiled on the walk home reflecting on the simple joy of bumping into a really good friend. I spotted a family of deer, as I often do in my foresty neighborhood. Nine times out of ten it is a mother deer with her two foals. I always see this scene as God's little reminder that my primary role in life is that of mother-deer - to see that my children are fed, protected, and well-raised, even at my own sacrifice. In all of my decisions, this comes first, I again confirm.
I must also nurture the other unconditional loves in my life: Friends, family, partner - all of whom completely have my back. Who's to say they aren't all of equal importance? I'm reduced to tears when I think of the value of the lot I've been given.
Like a good therapist, God just keeps listening. The answers are coming.
|Transformation in progress.|