Saturday, March 25, 2006

the law of gravity

kristen at unveilings has a blog post about finding and maintaining your own sense of self. she writes:
I’m learning slowly this week (read: lifetime) about how to love people without bearing too much of their weight. I’m not sure how to get my mind around this one, though, because I believe we’re all interconnected, and that lives don’t have definite starting and stopping points so far as the space we each take up. We’re not paper dolls. We’re more like, maybe…universes.
welcome to my world (or universe?)!!! liam and i have been navigating this cosmos in detail this past 12 months.

what i have realized through much of this struggle is that if i don't hold on to my gravity i become a satellite, or a moon to his universe. and i've awakened, sadly, to the realization that i have done that for the past 20 years. it was bred into me. i was created and nurtured to be a 'help-meet' - that distorted word that smacks of satellites and anti-gravity. i found that i had never even explored the dark side of the moon.

reversing this and it's magnetic pull is such a procedure that i'm sure it's what rips most established marriages apart.

we both know the way it has been is damaging to us both, but these ruts in our lives have been worn deep, and we revert to them so mindlessly.

to break this cycle and re-write these interactions we are trying hard to put up markers, red flags, if you will, along the way. we need to identify those familiar impulses and reactions as a flag - an alarm to remind us that our gravity is off balance and we're doing it again.

i truly believe this is why long established marriages dissolve or become lifeless and loveless. it's very hard work. both spouses must be fully invested and committed to the process. too many times one (or both) falsely believe it easier to begin anew, start over. or my guess is that one (my fear is it's usually the wife) gives up and reverts back to the old ways. it is truly so much work.

liam and i know that those temptations are lies, the better way, that so few actually ever attain is to continue on, push through, each step is a tiny victory, but a victory nonetheless. the real struggle is that so few ahead of us have truly chosen to walk this path and walk it well. honoring our diverse universes and each becoming fully formed into what god has created us to be.

YOU CAN DO IT! and i highly recommend doing it now before the ruts become too well worn. before the responses become so natural that you forget, forget what anything else ever felt like. exploring the dark side of the moon can be terrifying, and rather depressing. not much has been allowed to grow there and it's work to find 'booster rockets' (friends & vision) that realign the planets into the sun so that things can grow again.

a couple of years ago i was introduced to the image of the mandorla by anj & connie. it is an ancient symbol and it represents for liam and i our goal. two fully formed lives, planets, orbits that exist separately but choose to dwell in connection, alike yet distinct. similar but not the same. equal yet very different. together but not combined.

the website i've gone to for research on this is here -

they define mandorla as:

the symbol of the liminal space in which we are called to "remain"

it is such a visual reminder to use as our guide. we know that an eclipse in either field brings unbalanced life and an overshadowing of another's world. having seen the spectacular image of the sun blotted out, or the moon disappearing - it is such a graphic image that cautions us to remember that the choices we make each day will model one of these metaphors - do we honor each other's orbit or return to the distortion of the eclipse?

the almond shape in the center of the mandorla is where intimacy lies. emotional, physical, spiritual intimacy. it is where liam and i meet as one flesh and true, honoring intimacy happens. to find this place, in balance, is usually a mystery of sorts, but when it does happen it is unlike anything else in the world and it's the most beautiful thing.

i find this supremely important, especially now as our children are at the ages of individualizing and launching into their own new worlds. what does it look like to honor their gravity? how can we model this so they see our mandorla and not an eclipse? how do we keep from eclipsing them? or in reverse, their gravity becoming so strong as to throw off our own?

such big responsibilities and questions. i know this is why so many don't bother. why so many give up. allow another's planet to rob the resources it needs to survive. blot out the sun so that nothing can grow and sustain life on it's own. sometimes i fear that the pull of another's gravity is so much stronger than my own.

god help me to keep my feet firmly on the ground of my own planet today.

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