The Beginning of Something Else

On June 1, 2007 I found out my husband and partner of almost two decades had been unfaithful to me since before our marriage, and had been having intercourse with prostitutes for 3 1/2 years. This is what happened next.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Is it possible I'm coming to not regret the past?

Reading Pema Chodron's Wisdom of No Escape this morning, I realized that, while sounding trite, it's also true that those with the greatest challenges have the greatest opportunities.

I once visited a Tarot card reader who told me that this life was my R&R life. And, if you don't count my father lying about being sick and then running off to a commune when I was 12, that's pretty much been true.

I haven't had great fame or fortune, but I am lucky enough to have been born in the US at a time when life for the average American is easy relative to the lives of the rest of the world's population; I've always felt loved by my family and friends; I have a wonderful son and a husband who loves us and is committed to us; I've never wanted for any necessities in life; I've had the opportunity to get a good education and find good jobs; and I've had the luxury of thinking about life in terms of optimal self-realization and self-expression rather than survival. I've been lucky.

Maybe the ultimate luck is that I found a loving partner who has also, as a part of his own journey, presented me with my biggest opportunity for growth by delivering the biggest challenge of my life.

I never knew, and would likely never have known had I stayed on the same trajectory, that I was almost entirely without self-definition. I could describe myself certainly, my flaws, my qualities, my dreams and aspirations, my way of being in the world, the person I was striving to be. But as for identifying a core "self" that I defined as valid and worthy on its own, a self which could not be dictated or shattered by the responses of others...This was a distinction I didn't know I didn't have.

I am grateful to be on this journey, grateful for new perspective, new tools, a new relationship to spirituality and surrender. And while I don't always recognize it in the moment, I'm grateful for the pain that has taught me the non-dualistic nature of pain: The great opportunity that is only available with the greatest challenge.


MargauxMeade said...

This was a really beautiful post. It reminded me to count my blessings and realize that I have a lot to be grateful for in my relationship.

Anonymous said...

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You write in such a moving way.

Catherine said...

How true! I often find that the things that challenge me most - also help me to grow and learn the most - How is that book as far as easy reading goes?

woman.anonymous7 said...

Thank you MM and SK for visiting.
Catherine - I like Chodron's books a lot, so for me, pretty easy reading - just a chapter or two each morning.