2 OUT OF 4 (an excerpt)

I was a statistic.  I was now part of the failed marriage statistics.  I was also an evangelical divorce within the church statistic.  George Barna had my direct number.
There are already shelves and shelves full of books on divorce.  They range from self-help books, to psychological processee time lines.  Some smack of self-pity.  Others, from a sterile sort of removed from it experience.  Some of have penned their journey of self-discovery, like the book Eat, Pray, Love  [Not a fan!  It was the first movie I went to alone post-divorce!].  Other writers splash acid on their readers from the bitterness still heavy on the pages from their divorce.  There are fundamentalist writings on God’s hatred of divorce.  How the fall of man is directly linked to failed relationships.  I would agree on that to the point that the fall of man was the result of a failed relationship – the one between God and man!

I don’t want to be any of those books.

Shakespeare has a quote in “Hamlet”, which was repeated by Gilligan from “Gilligan’s Island”, “To
thine own self be true.”    That is what I shall attempt to do. 

It seems as though whenever I am searching or shopping for a very specific thing is when I cannot find it.  When I desperately am needing that particular item, I come up empty handed.  That was true too of my journey through divorce.  I had no point of reference.
If I was the author of Webster’s Dictionary and could create new definitions, this would be the entry for DIVORCE:
 n: A separation from everything concrete and known.
v: The act of reassembling separate parts to make a whole again.

I don’t want to wear events in my life, divorce included, like a badge of honor - as if, those events are what define me.  Instead, I want to see them as a conduit of sorts, a path designed to cause me to redefine myself.  I don’t want to portray the misnomer that horrific events make us more special.  Make us smarter.  Make us more emotionally intelligent.   It is not an exclusive “good old boys club”.  Pain is an extremely universal link in every one's life.
Divorce teaches us, but only as far as we are willing to learn.  Only as far as I was willing to learn.
I am not a painter.  My daughter is though.  I wonder if someone were to paint a picture of a mountain, but didn’t put any other pieces of nature surrounding it, would we be able to see the full beauty of the mountain in the picture?  Or, is beauty found when things are highlighted or contrasted next to it?

Marriage, the concept and the expectation is a beautiful thing.  In that context its beauty is surrounded by other things of beauty that make it what it should be; love, affection, passion, connection, attraction, partnership, acceptance, spark, selflessness.   Outside that context, without those details that support and construct what it truly should be, it is a picture of a mountain only.  No sun, no color variations, no trees, no landscape.  It is very, very one-dimensional.
Divorce is not a unique experience.  With regularity it happens statistically 2 in 4 times.  It can be tossed into the salad of shared and similar human experiences like; birth, death, marriage, college, graduation, jobs, retirement, illness.   Divorce though is intensely private.  They say that “war is hell”.  To that I say divorce is one of the routes there.   It takes you to a place of deep hellish agony weighed down by the under lying pain that led to it.

. . . I stood in the church nursery moments before my first
wedding at all of 18 years old.  Just three months shy of my 19th birthday I was walking down the matrimonial aisle.  No, I wasn’t pregnant, just young and stupid.  And, I was lost in hurt.  That day should have been one of excitement, giddiness even.  Most definitely passion.  The dream of a lifetime.  It wasn't.

If you don’t believe me.  If you think it is an after-the-fact sort of conclusion drawn to make my divorce understandable, you would be wrong.  Clearly seen on my dad’s face as he walked me down the aisle was a reflection of the trepidation I felt.   He felt it too . . . .

1 comment:

  1. Agree - divorce teaches, but only so far as one is willing to learn. Many jump right back into marriage instead of facing and/or taking on much of anything, let alone finding themselves to any degree. Books are not for everyone, but for some they can be wonderful. Highly recommend 1 book - "If The Buddha Dated" by Charlotte Kasl; her followup book is nearly as good - "If The Buddha Got Stuck". MI