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.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

What I see about my fear

So I look at my last post and what I see is that I have some desire to control what Husband is thinking because I use what he's thinking to define myself.

That's part of where the fear comes from.

I know that for me wanting to control what I can't is a form of resisting what is so, and leads to nothing but unhappiness and dissatisfaction. So I'm willing to give that up (and give it up again and again and again, because it's not going to come easily.)

The other part of the fear is a fear of trust.

I'm afriad I'll be lied to again, even if it's only that his mind is somewhere else when I believe it's with me.

And I'm afriad of what would happen if he lied again. Although oddly, we've already been through a small slip with lying (about something other than sex with prostitutes) and I lived through it.

I guess I'm just afraid of the pain. I don't want that kind of pain again.

But I'm also reminded about the gifts of pain by reading Sophie in the Moonlight and Willow posting about being right where one is supposed to be.

After reading a lot of Buddhist and related spiritual literature, I've decided to take the position that I'm always right where I'm supposed to be, and either surrendering or resisting.

In the past I've gotten caught up in the thinking that "where I'm supposed to be" is a going to be a place that I'd want to be. Now I see this isn't necessarily true.

This is a note to myself to take this mantra with me wherever I go, wherever I find myself, into to the sunshine and into the darkness: I'm right where I'm supposed to be.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Applying what I am learning

Last night Husband and I were making love, and I had the usual invasive thoughts and images of him with other women that usually accompany any sexual activity between us.

This time those were fraught with fears about Husband fantasizing about other women while he was making love to me.

I tried to think about why I was so afraid of this. First, why do I care so much about whether or not Husband finds me attractive (in my fears he was fantasizing about the other women he's had sex with because he couldn't get aroused by me)? I can be attractive whether or not he finds me so, right?

Second, if he is thinking about others (which he says he isn't, claims that in fact he can't) why does it matter because I can't control it, might not even know it? If I don't know it, it can't hurt me, right?

The answer I arrived at is that what I'm afraid of is disappearing, being negated, being invalidated by a lack of connection between us during this intimate act. If husband is with someone else or with fantasy in his mind when he's making love to me it's almost as if I'm not there. So why do I need his validation, why do I need to feel recognized by him in order to in the world?

I'm sure it's tied into the fact that deep intimacy demands both partners be fully present to and with each other. But why can't I just enjoy the moment, wherever he is and wherever I am?

I tried to think about being whole and complete as an expression of the Divine, but the fear persisted in the moment.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

"Oh come all ye faithful.."

A medium recently sang that Christmas carol to me when she was channeling my dead relatives. Only after the session was over did I catch the irony coming at me from the Other Side (or at the very least from her.)

It's ironic that out of my husband being "unfaithful," I have launched myself into a deep exploration of faith.

"Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

My exploration of faith and spirituality is leading me to exciting and challenging places.

Today in church we talked about looking to our higher power / higher self / universal love intelligence (again, take your pick - name is not important) for what we need, and not being distracted by thinking that satisfaction will come through other people or material things.

It made me think of this passage I found on Friday from the book Communion with God (which I have not read) by Neal Donald Walsch (an author I am not familiar with beyond this passage):

“When you allow yourself to experience that there is enough of what you once thought there was not enough of, extraordinary changes occur in the way you live your life.

“When you know that there is enough, you stop competing with others. You stop competing for love, or money, or sex, or power, or whatever it is you felt there was not enough of.

“The competition is over.

“This alters everything. Now, instead of competing with others to get what you want, you begin to give what you want away. Instead of fighting for more love, you begin giving more love away. Instead of struggling for success, you begin making sure that everyone else is successful. Instead of grasping for power, you begin empowering others.

“Instead of seeking affection, attention, sexual satisfaction, and emotional security, you find yourself being the source of it. Indeed, everything that you have ever wanted, you are now supplying to others. And the wonder of it all is that, as you give, so you receive. You suddenly become MORE of whatever you are giving away.

“The reason for this is clear. It has nothing to do with the fact that what you have done is “morally right”, or “spiritually enlightened”, or “the will of God”. It has to do with the simple truth: There is no one else in the room.

“There is only one of us.”

(From page 75 of “Communion with God”, by Neale Donald Walsch.)

This non-duality, letting God be God in me (paraphrasing Eckhart), creates a context in which I am free from the urgency of needing something else or someone else and gives me the ability to live life in a much more empowered way.

To live from the context of non-duality, of having and being enough because in fact I have and am All, leaves me able to choose freely in my life, unconstrained by the distraction of wanting or needing things or people in order to be satisfied, complete, whole or worthy.

I've been pondering this idea for a month now, and continue to get more and more peace and freedom from giving myself this context from which to experience life.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Don't waste a crisis?

"A good crisis is a terrible thing to waste" was the theme for the service at church today.

That concept holds great meaning for me now, and reminds me how far I've come.

It's often said (incorrectly) that the Chinese word for crisis is composed of two characters, one meaning "danger" and the other meaning "opportunity." While that isn't exactly true, I think the misunderstanding has survived over time because it resonates with people who have experienced crisis.

The crisis in my relationship has certainly been an opportunity for dramatic personal growth for which I am more thankful and grateful each day.

It was suggested today that when we find ourselves complaining it's because we haven't found a way to see the opportunity. I'm going to try to remember that in my interactions with my mother. Because of the level of co-dependency and enmenshment, our relationship has deteriorated over the years. But I don't want that for us. My mother is doing the best she can, even when she's driving me crazy and being passive aggressive and nutty in her own special way. I know I drive her crazy, too.

It's only because of therapy, reading and attending support groups over the past year and a half that I am able to see the source of our difficulties.

Understanding that and being able to observe myself participating in our enmeshed, co-dependent mess of a relationship gives me at least the opportunity to act instead of react. I'm not very good at it yet, but the possibility is there now where it wasn't before.

The last thing I want is for Mom and I to grow farther apart as she gets older. As a parent, that is certainly the last thing I'd want for me and my son. And right now, I'm the one with the better set of tools, so it's going to be up to me to meet my mom more than half way.

It will take nothing less than the support / guidance of my higher power / higher self / universal consciousness / love-beauty-intelligence - whatever you call it - to practice this, so thank god I'm beginning to have some sort of spiritual life to draw on for this daunting task!