Spirituality, Liturgy and the Tao of Inner Peace
As this beautiful blonde walked up, the “other” woman, I quickly embraced her, with all the love I could muster in my heart. I tried not to cry but the tears came quickly before I could hold back, she and I understood this pain, the pain of being used. We had both loved him, we were both talented, intelligent, beautiful women in our own rights. She had been the one used for filler, and I had been the one that he posed a life. I suppose you might ask how did we come to have such mutual respect and love, well, we are both daughters of the King, we both have a clear understanding of the pitfalls of not accepting our own value. Far too many of us as woman have too long used the narratives of the “other” woman or the “nagging” wife to degrade our sisters. Far to often we tear each other down, missing the prime suspect, in order to distract from the elephant in the room.
I had heard her name mentioned, but not all that often or well, she was his former girlfriend and I had caught him texting her, but it was quickly explained away. He and I had built a little life together, we had frustrations and there were plenty of fights, mostly him being upset with me, but we had still managed to stay together off and on for a year and a half …. We had drifted back and forth and I had never over the time of separation of three months heard her name, oil that day — the day when we had made the decision to be really together.
However, that afternoon I was to find that there had indeed been much more than I had ever dreamed…She was just one of three or four women that summer we had been separated, and just a short week and a half ago the messages read that she was the wonderful, an amazing woman he needed, and wanted in every-way! My heart felt as though it might stop at the sight of these messages….How? What? I didn’t understand, he had always said I was “The ONE.?” The worst kind of sucker punch, the one you never see coming, the kind that takes all the breath from your lungs. Devastation. I wish this was where the story ended, but alas it is not. What I found out that day, was only shattered further the next when after my warning message to her she was kind enough to write me back…and then as Paul Harvey would say, I heard “The rest of the story.” He had completely broken her heart and ghosted her when he met, and then periodically he had started up texting “I’m sorry, miss you, sorry about the way I left you”…and much more — much, much more, that I cannot write here, and I cannot un-see. The conversations that happened while we were still together, living together, making a life together, and she had the proof. She was ashamed of her actions, although it was all on a digital format and not in person, she still felt bad, for her participation. Yet, I understood, I had been there too, and I quickly reminded her – he was the one in a relationship, and it was him that had the burden of faithfulness. I knew all to well what it was to be lonely and have someone know just what to say to make all your buttons move, that false hope that he does really want you, that “she” neglects him or mistreats him, the lies we tell ourselves to receive the outside affirmations we desire.When in reality we are already loved and adored, by a Savior that wants the very best for us, that wants us to be not a secret but a first priority in the life of our significant other. I also knew what it was to be preyed upon, what I didn’t know was the pain of being absolutely, positively – sucker punched. Of all the things that had been issues in our relationship, faithfulness was never something I even worried about, anytime I found or saw something slightly off, I was rebuked and berated…how could I snoop?? What did I think I would find? My actions were also always under a microscope so I thought wow he’s really against cheaters…
As she and I sat through lunch, we told each other what a treasure the other was, how beautiful and sexy we were, what a great catch either of us would have made. We both were dealing with so many insecurities, her for “Why could’t she be the one to have a home with him?”, and me for “Why couldn’t I keep his attentions at home?” There were more tears and it was sometimes just hard to swallow as we tried to make sense of it all and put together some type of time line. I searched through hundreds of pictures looking to see if I had been sexy, appealing, attentive?? or sent messages for ‘those’ days?…it didn’t seem to matter the rhyme or reason, no one was really sure. WE were there to let each other know that we were both beautiful creatures of God, and it was NOT our fault. Our value and worth was not wrapped up in the actions of one incapable of empathy, incapable of thinking down the road and how these actions would hurt another so deeply, no not incapable – capable, he just didn’t care. He cared that he full-filled all the needs and wants of his heart. We spoke kind words, we made plans to see each other again, and be accountable to each other. There was love, there was forgiveness, and we both went away a little better for having known and spent time with each other. I know this, she is wonderful and I would have made a home with her in a second, and I know she would have filled her time with me as well.
Ladies, more of us need to see blame where blame is due, we all to often relegate our sisters to the villain when the true perpetrator is the man we gave our hearts to in the first place. I don’t blame her, I only want for her to build a wall so she never lets that kind of neglect of her time and heart happen again. I know the one – the one who was called to be faithful to me and not to any other, the one who shared my home, my bed, and most importantly my heart.
May we seek to Love our Sisters in Christ, our Sisters in our lives, and around the world, MORE.
I know I have farther to go with my forgiveness, this is just the beginning, and I don’t believe forgiveness means forgetting or being careless with my heart, but I must forgive everyone – even myself.
LOVE ONE ANOTHER….
Thanks be to God.