Tuesday, March 07, 2006

More Patience

I just had a long talk with one of my friends about something that she just discovered about herself.  In telling me she also said that she hoped I would write about it and maybe help someone else to see what can happen.  
My friend had an awful childhood, about as bad as I have ever heard from someone.  I know there are worse ones but not one that anyone has discussed with me.  Needless to say this childhood, which I will not describe, did not equip this person for life in the world in a genteel manner.   It would be my expectation that such a childhood would lead a person automatically to hook up with an abusive type man and, until yesterday, that is what I thought her first marriage was like.  The marriage she is in now is with a true passive/aggressive type person and is something that she is slowly extracting herself from but her first marriage was out of the normal pattern, she actually married a nice guy.  He was supportive, he constantly encouraged her, he made excuses for her and gave her as much as she needed.  In return she was the abusive one.  She realizes now that she simply had no way of understanding what was happening.  Her cultural and familial training had taught her to be defensive, aggressive, distrustful and terrified so, she treated this man really badly.  In other words she had no clue how to be loved because that emotion had never been in her world before.  So she divorced this man, that being the only response possible for her, since being loved was so alien, and married a passive/aggressive man who would treat her as she expected to be treated.  
Does this sound familiar to anyone?  
What then happened, apparently as a result of some clues she had extracted from other talks, was that, on a recent evening, she went into a state that in Sufism is called Shahid, The Witness.  Shahid is a state wherein all things observed are simply looked at.  There is no judgment, no assessment or opinion, you just look.  It is a fairly high state of observation since a person has to leave all of their opinions about what is behind and just observe.  So she was looking at her life, all of it, and seeing that this man, her first husband was in fact her first teacher.  He was the person who showed her that there were other ways of being that she had yet to understand or accept.  At the time she simply could not respond as we might expect her to in our fantasies.  All she could do was remember.  Finally, after 15 years, the lessons became real and she has begun the very painful but wonderful process of recognizing who she really is.  
There is much more to this story of course.  All the drama and angst and bitter assessment of her own reactions but slowly she is seeing what we all might see, that our reactions to conditions are all part of our learning and ultimately are part of the healing that must take place for us all.  
We all have poor reactions to things that are not part of our normal matrix just because we have no way of knowing what is appropriate.  And an argument could be made that any reaction is appropriate because that is what we are doing.   For instance, what did the first husband learn about himself and about life as a result of this total rejection?  
So, for just a moment, allow yourself to look on a part of your life that you are sure is already settled and see if perhaps there is something that you were being asked to learn but which you simply could not see at the time.  It can be embarrassing of course but so what!  Embarrassment is part of the spiritual path.  And while you are doing that, consider all of the people around you who are also struggling to heal their psychic damage.  Do you suppose it is possible to allow them their current states?   Do you suppose that they too will discover something, some years down the road, that they could not see in the moment?  It does not mean that you have to put up with their nonsense but it can mean that, while you are extracting yourself from some relationship, that you also see what is possible, for them, for you and for humanity.

Love & Blessings, Musawwir

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

well it is a topic I understand very well and possibly more than most people do.. she married the second man because she understands passive aggressive behavior.. to her that is n ormal behavior.. it is why we seek a healthy relationship.. because it is what we know.
for her to be in a good relationship with her first husband was terrifying for her.. she could not trust or predict when the outburst might come.. even though it didn't.. she could not figure the pattern of when it will come.. since it always has in the past.. the fear of the unknown... and as for how you put it into terms of our spiritual path is perfect.
some people may not discover what the lesson is until the day of their death.. all life paths are different... some things we will learn and grow through quickly.. other we don't.. some maybe not until another life.. but we take it with us for a reason...

blow said...

well it's amazing how we end up so messed up bacuse of dysfunctional childhoods.. and all of know what that's like don't we? it's good that your friend is finally on her road to 'recovery', so to speak. she's luckier than m,ost people to actually have started this process of healing and discovering herself!
wish her good luck! :)

Damali Asabyi Kioni said...

I've been visiting your blog for months, but I this is probably my first time commenting. This post hits home for me. Though I doubt that I've experienced the anguish and pain that this lady has, to some degree we are the same. This life is a constant learning experience. I feel like when I finally "get" one lesson.. there's another thing to learn.

Your entries touch and inspire me. Please keep it up! DAK

Nasty Nashe said...

Word, man....WORD.