When Faith Is Your Only Option
One year ago my husband and I layed in bed talking about the challenges we were having in our marriage for what felt like the 100th time. No matter what angle we tried we always seemed to end up back in the same place. Exhausted and resentful. The experience of our marriage wasn't all bad, but was somewhat reminiscent of what a roller coaster feels like. Some super exciting highs, some incredibly low lows and a few mellow moments in between to catch our breath. This one one of those catch your breath moments where we could both calmly see that things just weren't working no matter what we tried. That night, March 5th 2020, we lovingly decided that it was time to consciously uncouple.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result” ~Albert Einstein
It had taken both of us a long time to come to this place of faith that separating was the best decision. I had thought about it before and we had even talked about it, but we never took action. For years I was terrified of the repercussions. How was all of this going to work? We had 2 young children and I was a stay at home mom. Was I going to end up alone? Sometimes familiarity, even when dysfunctional, feels better than loneliness. The multitude of possible outcomes that could arise from this situation were overwhelming. But that night, the heavens opened and graced us both with blind faith. We knew in that moment that we had to make a change and step into unfamiliar territory.
6 days later, on March 11th 2020, the Coronavirus was officially declared a world wide pandemic and shortly after we went into lockdown. Just days after ending a marriage that was full of avoidance we were somewhat forced to be in each other's presence virtually 24/7. I couldn’t help but think that the world's unstable state, with everything on the edge of crumbling was somehow a mirror for what was happening in my own personal life. This felt like the unimaginable.
Did we make the right decision? Could I stay rooted in faith that the health of our planet was going to be ok? Could I trust myself to be ok through untangling from 7 years of marriage? Here the truth. Neither were ok to begin with. Both were already on shaky ground, it was the familiarity which created some sense of safety, even if this safely was just an illusion. In the unknown anything can happen and as a human species who are wired for survival, we often go to what could go wrong instead of what could go right.
In these moments I experienced both my inner and outer worlds deconstructing simultaneously right before my eyes. I had nothing familiar to cling onto anymore. Faith was my only option.
It's been just over a year since this fateful time in history. In retrospect I can see that oftentimes things need to be completely deconstructed in order to rebuild it with a more sustainable foundation. I can honestly say now that choosing to end our marriage was absolutely the best choice. I knew this to be the truth then too, but it was too difficult to hear with all the noise that fear was creating in my mind. I can undoubtedly say that I have more love and compassion for him today than I did for years in the confines of our marriage. My body, mind and heart experience the gratitude of this every day.
I can also mirror this into the state of the world. While we are still in the thick of it, I truly believe that we are in the process of breaking down what we know so that we can have an opportunity to rebuild, relearn and reconstruct ourselves and our world. Where we are right now requires an incredible amount of faith, and I for one anticipate beautiful new growth and expansion to come out of this space of possibilities.
In this past year I have learned a lot about myself and the human condition, the 1st being that we are incredibly resilient creatures. Even though a lot of things seem to be on fire externally, internally there is a contradictory space for quiet reflection. It is in this space I have come to understand that faith is an inside job. I have also learned that the gateway to putting faith in the driver's seat is Presence.
Living in the future with all of its various outcomes can be incredibly unsettling for one's nervous system and can create a sense of anxiety. When we move backwards into the past we are susceptible to slide towards depression in reflection of how things used to be or should have been. The only thing that is actually in our control is how we feel in this present moment. When I choose to shift myself into this space, my emotions settle and I am more easily able to move towards a joyous state where my fear subsides and my energy opens up to miraculous possibilities.
“I have come to accept the feeling of not knowing where I am going. And I have trained myself to love it. Because it is only when we are suspended in mid air with no landing in sight, that we force our wings to unravel and alas begin our flight … the miracle is in the unfolding of the wings. You still may not know where you are going, but as long as you spread your wings, the winds will carry you. ~ C. JoyBell C