Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Something to reflect upon

My husband is an engineer; an exceedingly logical, practical, no nonsense sort of individual, and a man of enormous integrity. Yes, this is all good -- but, as with all good things, there is a catch.  It took me years to realize how deeply he could feel things -- and he still... well, it's not that he has trouble expressing emotion; it's more that he's not convinced that emotion is something that needs to be or even should be expressed.

And I entered this, my second marriage, some 28 years ago, after a difficult childhood and ten years of marriage to a man whose "I love you's" were usually said as he was on the way out the door to a liaison with another woman.  So even if this husband had been capable of saying "the L word" I'm not sure I could have trusted it anyway. Which could explain why I chose a logical, practical, no nonsense individual of irreproachable integrity.  Trust was the most important thing, and I no longer trusted easy words of love.

Which doesn't mean I didn't long to hear them. Or long for romantic gestures.  So last night, when he sort of casually mentioned that if we were to revisit our marriage, he would do a more traditionally romantic proposal, down on one knee, with a ring (instead of asking, in a phone call, "would you consider marrying me?") I was sort of stopped in my tracks.  And found myself wondering how I would have behaved differently, these last 28 years, if I had known that he loved me (because it turned out he did, and still does); that I wasn't (as I'd always assumed and expected) his conscious, logical, practical choice for a mate at a time in his life when he was ready to settle down.

I mean, I felt honored -- and still do.  But I never quite felt loved -- at least, not for the first 20 years or so.  And -- being a person of faith -- I came to view (or possibly channel) that longing for love as a longing for God, for the unconditional love that comes from understanding that we are part of a divine and universal circle of love.  And the longing helped make me who I am today.

So I'm reflecting on all that, and I invite you this morning also to take a moment and reflect: How would you be different, if you knew, right to the core of your being that you were loved?  What would that feel like, to know yourself totally, wholly loved? What choices might you make or have made differently?  Would you be/have been stronger, more assertive?  Would you be/have been kinder, more accepting?

And -- even if we never received that from a partner or spouse -- how would we be different if we fully understood, to the core of our being, how deeply, intensely, wholly, unconditionally loved we are by God?

Because we are.

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