Becoming More, Part 2, YOUR HEART
Becoming More, Part 1
Last week I talked about taking back the keys to the arena of your heart, mind, body, and spirit where you gave him open access in sharing yourself in your primary relationship. I pointed out that this arena was where he violated your trust and used your generous intimacy against you and the best interests of your whole family.
Then I invited you to use a scale to measure your experience of intimacy with him in the four same areas of his life. Important questions followed for you that would help you identify how “access” was an expression of mutuality in your relationship, or one of the ways your relationship protected him while making you more vulnerable. If you haven’t done that work yet, go back to last week and get caught up!
This week I’m going to talk more about the dynamics of your heart, and his heart.
The Gift of Loving
Have you ever felt more like a used tissue than in dealing with these men, their treatment practitioners, support groups, religious community champions, and family defenders? I haven’t. How, then, is it possible to emerge from the nightmare of his abuse of you and your children as not just “less than” but also “more than” you were?
It’s not easy. But it can be done. I know some of the pieces of that made it possible for me and for many clients to effect this personal miracle of heart, mind, body and spirit. So maybe that’s the first piece—It’s a heart, mind, body and spirit operation. These are not only the casuality zones of his and his gang’s abuse, these are also the arenas where your character, values, skills, and commitment can do their best work.
The Gift of Leaving
Within an hour of hitting the “save and publish” button on last week’s blog the messages started. Women were stunned to read experiences I described from my life that mirrored theirs. Some had never told anyone about the ways their husband would destroy any scrap of happiness, including their favorite things and personal items. They hadn’t known how to understand it, how to name it, or that other women endured it, too.
But the relief of knowing they weren’t crazy for thinking he was doing these things intentionally was followed by a fresh grief about what this revealed about their relationship and who he was. This is not what any of us imagined in our marriages and nothing prepared us for it. Like you, I believed in our love and (in our case) the vows we made before God and a congregation of family and friends.
This morning I was out in what I call my lilac “nest.” It’s the messy result of disinterest from the previous owner, or maybe it all just got away from him. Regardless, there I was, lopping off dead branches, searching out the ones with leaves, and liberating them from the vines that want to take over. With just minimal care and attention I know these lilacs will do better next year than this. I have followed this promise for two years now with my young oak, my apple trees, my maples and cedar hedge, and found it to be true. It’s the lilacs’ turn now. I hope for more blooms next year, but I will settle for more life and build on that. So, I speak encouraging words as I work, praising them for endurance and asking for understanding because while I’ve read stuff on the internet, I’m still new at this.