The Relentless Turning Toward Life
In my tradition we call today Easter. But if we empty the day of the religious particularity, we can all celebrate that life is resilient and persistent in the face of obstacles and threats and injury.
I have been hanging around wives and partners of men called sex addicts for about eight years now. Through the “scrying” (thank you Laurel for this screaming and crying combo platter) and grieving and raging and heartbreaking soul-destroying accounts we have shared with each other, there is resilience and persistence that emerge most often.
One of the signs of those great character traits is in our ability to laugh and make each other laugh in the midst of our own hideous troubles. Yes, sometimes it is survivor humour, but it’s pretty damn funny!
Another of those signs is the capacity to feel not just your own pain, but the pain of others—and to take care of each other. Offering encouragement to other women about believing in the value of their lives, and the treasure of their love empowers them to resist the diminishing of same by husbands and boyfriends and sex addiction treatment practitioners. I have seen this change women’s lives for good. And I have seen it happen across political lines, racial lines, economic lines, religious lines, and national borders. This is powerful stuff we have to give each other.
We also learn to look at creation around us and see its resilience and gifts of persistence. We see it in the trees and bushes maimed by a hard winter of ice and wind, still bringing forth buds when spring finally comes. I see it in the white hares of winter outside my window, whose coats turn to brown in the spring and summer, so they blend in again, just like they do in their winter whites. And yes, there it is when the green shoots of spring bulbs push through the earth and surprise us again with colour and beauty and wonder of new life. I thank Daisy who loved her pregnant dog and all her puppies in the midst of personal disaster. I thank Claire who introduced me to the ministry of donkeys. I thank Zumbagirl whose cat was front and centre all the way. And so many others who were connected to nature in their healing and support of others who were healing. All these things and more remind us that we are part of a life force at work in all living things that endures, and changes, and grows, and blooms even after every sign of that has been hidden in the frozen winter white of inner and outer landscapes.
For me, I have also found my own resilience and persistence in the unexpected opportunity to love again. I never imagined such a thing. I could not imagine it. And yet it fell into my life just the same. What a surprise to find my heart could love a new life partner, and that it would not be awful after all! Loving someone could actually be fun! I thought this dream was gone forever from my humanity. It wasn’t. I was wonderfully wrong.
We are on a road and we do not know the way. We have each other. And we have the living things that meet us there. Together we will keep from losing ourselves. In my sacred story, there is One who is also on that road, having come through death to new life as well. It’s good to have company, however we find it.
If you think you are on that road, and need some company, your story is safe here.