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, May 12, 2009

Finding love in loss

The Buddhist Reviews Tricycle Magazine publishes a "Daily Dharma" email that excerpts writings on Buddhism.

Today's edition about finding love in loss, from Lorne Ladner's book The Lost Art of Compassion, so aptly described what this journey has been for me:

"To live a meaningful life, each of us must step outside the familiar, confining walls of ego defenses and enter our own wilderness, our own charnel ground, to face honestly the truth of impermanence and loss. In the strange cemetery of imagination, mourning ourselves, we suddenly stumble upon what’s most essential. Facing loss, we find love."

Over the past 2 years I've found greater love and compassion for myself and others, beyond what I knew to be possible.

I still get scared, pissed off, resentful, etc. There's no doubt that I'll always be human, and that the logical effect of impermanence is that "good" is as temporary as "bad."

But in order to survive the loss of the life I thought I was living, I've been pushed into new territory and tasted the sweetness of a deeper love than I've ever known before, which has made possible a deeper and more profound peace.

Monday, May 4, 2009

What am I afriad of?

For the past several weeks I've been wrestling with fears. I even woke one night and went through Husband's emails and Twitter friends to see what I would find.

I found nothing, and I don't have any reason to think anything's going on.

It's surprising, because I'd have thought from the way things are going with Husband's recovery and our couples work that I would feel more secure, more sure by now.

Of course, the thing that I've been slacking off on is my own recovery work. After almost 2 years you'd think I'd have come far enough, right?!

But, not surprising now that I've jumped in, apparently it's going to take more time to cross these waters. Maybe a lifetime. Maybe that's human beings are here for. To be ongoingly recovering or avoiding recovery.

Recovering from what? Not everybody is married to a sex addict, after all.

I've decided that what I'm recovering from is being human...which explains why it's a life's work, and why others who find themselves in a human existence may also find it a useful pursuit.

I'm recovering from the curse of our big, human brains that know enough to know (even if only subconsciously) and be afraid of (even if only subconsciously) how much we don't know.

One question I've been looking at again recently is 'Why did this happen to me twice?'

Betrayed by my father, betrayed by my husband, both of whom I trusted with childlike certainty.

I think there are many ways of looking at everything, and that with that choice lies freedom and any hope of peace.

So I've decided to listen for the voice of my higher power/divine self/universal love intelligence/name-of-one's-choice-for-that-which-is-beyond-me in this matter. Some would call it the voice of God.

When I listen, what I hear is my higher power telling me that I'm ready. I'm ready to be with the groundlessness that is the truth of our existence and find peace. I'm ready to have faith that I everything I need in this life will be provided even if it's not what I think I need or what I want. I'm ready to accept that everything changes, the 'good' and the 'bad,' and that no matter how I plan for the future and wish for a different past, all I have is the moment I'm in and the choice to be full of love and compassion or not in that instant. I'm ready to find freedom, peace and the ultimate strength in courageous surrender to what is so.

Higher power has presented me with this opportunity because I am ready to find that inside myself.

So fear is my ally. When I feel it I'm reminded that I am on the right path, that I'm keeping myself open to learning who I am in the face of it, that I'm learning how I can resist both fight and flight to fleetingly experience my true self in those moments.