No, really…does anyone even blog anymore? Or, for that matter, read blogs? This blog gets the random “100 hits in one day” phenomenon (or is it phenomena? whatever) every so often, which baffles me, but it has been ages since I actually read blogs let alone post on this one. No matter.
I guess I’m here for the annual-ish update of the Marriage- just for those three of you who read this that we don’t keep in contact with-
We are still married.
And it is really good.
See, here’s the deal.
We (I) talk about Enlightenment like it is a destination. We (I) buy some books on prayer, meditation, what-have-you. We (I) read them. We (I) study and pray and meditate and work on our mindfulness with the expectation that “someday” we (I) will arrive at that beautiful resting place called Enlightenment and then can quietly live out our (my) days in peace and tranquility.
But it’s nowhere near that.
Yeah, I bought all the books, hired all the coaches, therapists, guides, etc…, took my daily obligatory journey into nothingness/oneness and every day came out and looked around expecting to see a glimpse of my destination. What did I see? The exact same landscape I started out with.
It’s not like that. At all.
When our “big year-13 blowout” occurred, I went into hyper-protective mode. Protect myself, protect my family, protect my marriage, protect my testimony, image, sanity, healthy glowing skin, figure, on and on and on. Which is normal. A lot of things are normal when your entire world implodes and you are the only person who can mend it. What I didn’t realize was that “normal” didn’t equal “everything will be fine tomorrow.” On more than 20 occasions I was given the advice to “turn yourself over to Christ and let Him heal you.” I h.a.t.e.d. that advice. What on earth did that mean? I am a righteous daughter of God who does everything I’m supposed to do. As far as I was concerned, I was as turned to Christ as a person could be.
But I wasn’t.
And that’s what really stinks about the whole thing.
Everything is contained within the spirit that resides within me.
I mean EVERYTHING.
Every answer I have ever sought is available to me if I just get out of my own way.
I have come to understand that everything that is bad on this earth has been orchestrated and perpetrated by the Adversary. (I almost cringe as I type this because it is so “seminary” to say that. Every cheesy church filmstrip ever produced had some reference to “the adversary” tempting us to do all flavors of naughtiness and mayhem which will most certainly lead to despair and misery. The only problem was that all the people I knew who were taking part in said “naughtiness” seemed to be a lot happier and relaxed than I ever was.) Back to the point: As silly and juvenile as it sounds, it is true. All of my self-hate, doubt about my abilities, my worthiness to be a parent, the merit of saving my marriage, all came from the adversary. He even plays me against my better intentions- leading me to grand vanities and then whispering insidious lies about how truly ugly and unwanted I was. Which, of course, were all lies.
His greatest lies are about families/intimacy/marriages/kids/roles of parents, etc… He doesn’t want marriages to succeed. His very intent is to keep every one of us away from God’s purposes- which are to bring us back to Him, in covenant keeping families. So he attacks them at every turn. We weren’t exempt, and really, no one who pursues the course of family or righteousness will be exempt.
I don’t think mixed-orientation-marriages are anything special to him or to God, they are just an easier target.
So there’s light. Elder Bednar gave a talk in a recent conference about light. There is light that comes on gradually, like a sunrise, or light that comes on in an instant, like a light switch. I’ve experienced both in my attempts to figure out how on earth to “turn myself over to Christ.” You see, turning yourself over is merely getting your crazy, obstinate, know-it-all flesh out of the way of your perfect, bright, humble spirit. Simple, right? Totally not simple. But as I have experienced glimpses of True Light, I have seen the “naughtiness” as misery, and “righteousness” as true happiness. It seems that there is a dead zone, like in the vision of the tree of life, where if you are holding to the rod, but lost in the mists, that you simply cannot see light and dark for what they are. But if you continue to “press forward, with a perfect brightness of hope” the tree will emerge in all its glory and truth and you will look back and see it all for what it truly is. Darkness and misery, goodness and hope.
So, after 4 plus years of clawing my way through the mists of darkness, I have not arrived at enlightenment. That won’t come for possibly eons of time- there’s a LOT to learn before reaching any sort of spiritual rest-stop. But I have started to awaken to the purpose of my journey. Started. And some days, I totally want to just jump ship, dive into the river of muck and go join the mocking voices in the Great and Spacious building. (Doesn’t it look like so much more fun? And I’ve never been too fond of being mocked.) But then I look up, and get out of my own way, and I see the light and I remember. And I see people all around me who are trying to find and remember, and my heart aches for them to know what I know. But all I have to offer them is “turn yourself over to Christ.”