One day after leaving the courthouse, and after a very difficult hearing, (of course all hearings in a divorce case are difficult) my son, Austin, and I exited the building only to be confronted by my father. My son, against my protests, had arrived at court that afternoon. He spoke with my attorney and was insistent on taking the stand to tell the truth about having been the one who had taken the photos of my battered face. At the previous hearing, my father had lied and said he suspected that I had photoshopped them. My father had seen my bruised and swollen face and so knew this was not true. Anyway, I had not wanted Austin to testify, I did not want him to be involved in any of the insanity caused by my parents involvement in my divorce, but he would not take no for an answer.
This angered my father and after court he was waiting outside in the parking lot. He began pointing his finger in my face and yelling that God was going to get me for this. I began to cry, asking, “get me for what, Dad? For not wanting to live an abusive existence? For fighting instead of walking away with nothing after a 23 year marriage?
As the tears rolled down my cheeks and as the confusion and bewilderment at my own parents judgement flooded my heart… my son gently pulled me away and walked me to my car. As we sat there, and as the tears continued to stream down my face, I could only utter “Why, why, why? My son then spoke the truest words I have ever heard. He said, Mom, Mom, Mom, and with each utterances of my name his voice became louder. When he had my attention, he then spoke with the sweetest, kindest, and gentlest voice I have ever heard, “Mom, you can’t explain insanity”.
It was as if I had been hit by lightening! At that moment, I realized that for my entire life I had been trying to explain and reason the insanity of the judgements of my parents. They did not know me, they were unable to see my heart. They could only see their own judgements.
As I sat there thinking about my son’s words, I realized there would never again be a reason to explain myself to those who are unable to see my heart. He was right, there is no way to explain or try to make sense of why people judge and hurt others. There was no anger, how could I possibly be angry with another who is incapable of living from truth, from their own hearts? If we don’t speak from our hearts to one another, can there be any real truth to those words?
Not long after this, I moved to France and while there I wrote my parents this letter…
Dear Mom and Dad,
I have learned a lot about life over these past years since the divorce. Some lessons have been difficult and others beautiful and easy. C’est la vie, as they say often here in France. Yep, “it is the life”… but what is the life? That is the question that I came in search of and of course it is the one question that countless others have searched. We each have a journey and our journeys, just like ourselves, are unique… each is so different.
But where is real truth and beauty actually found? At one time I thought it was found in things and so I bought everything (as you both know, lol). But later I realized these things could never truly make me happy, at least not if my heart was not right. Yes, it’s true that things are wonderful to have and there is nothing wrong in striving for them, as long as we are able to realize they are not truly important in maintaining happiness. But at that time, these “things” were a drug to me. Just as heroin gives relief from the pain for an addict, these “things” took away my own pain, but only for a moment or two. Soon I would need more of the drug… a new “thing”. As long as I could continue to feed my addiction, I could avoid looking at the real me.
Because we and our life experiences are so different, I have come to realize that we cannot ever judge another. We can only love and perhaps share what we have learned in order that we can grow from the knowledge and experiences of each other. I have learned that the only true meaning of life is love. I have learned that loving one another and looking at each other and the world thru God’s eyes is how I strive and wish to be.
OK, so maybe you are thinking that is a pretty bold statement, how could anyone hope to do this, to look at the world thru the eyes of God. First, let me say that I respect your beliefs but please know the God I know is not the God your religion teaches. The God I know never judges. The God I know is pure love and pure love is incapable of anything but love. The God I know has the same unconditional love that I as a mother have for my own children. As a mother, it is my job to guide my children along their journey but never to force my will upon them with threats of punishment or judgements from me. I am always here to support, encourage, and guide them. But most importantly, I am here to always love them.
I have spent these years studying and reading countless books on this subject in the hopes of finding my own truth and inner peace. Thru this I have learned that in order to feel God, I must recognize my ego, quiet it and be still. It is only in quieting the mind and in opening the heart that peace can be found.
These of course are my beliefs and I do not wish to force them on you or anyone. I only share them with you in order that we might have a better understanding of each other.
With Love Always,