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Mirror, Mirror

I've heard many times that those people who present us with challenges are really mirrors of our own frailties.   That means if I encounter a person who consistently stirs my emotions, it might not be that person who has the problem at all.  He or she is merely providing a mirror for me to see (and hopefully heal)  the burning ulcer inside me.  It makes sense when you think about it.  Assigning the negativity to the other person is just an easy way to avoid confronting ourselves.

Then imagine my surprise when I wrote an electronic note to my ex-husband's current live-in sweetheart in which I remarked how far we've come  in a difficult year.  Last year I was still reeling not so much from the divorce  itself but from the way it ended, with a third party involved but hidden from me.  I was furious with him and her.  He even came to my house for dinner in September,  sat across the table from  me, and told me how he'd found his soul mate, raving about her for over an hour.  I vascillated between shock and despair.  It played like a  Woody Allen movie with me stepping outside my body, watching the conversation, feeling sliced in half.

Between Yom Kippur and Halloween I purged every photo, every card, every remnant of him that still soiled  my house, and I prayed  and chanted and chanted and prayed for release from the burden of fury.  In that year, I've tried for some reason to befriend her  and move past the hurt (I still hear his cell phone ringing in my kitchen early on Saturday morning and after 10 on weeknights, and I still hear her loud voice on his phone as he tried to muffle it behind the door).  In that year we chatted amicably online more than a few times,sometimes at my intiation and sometimes at hers. All  my friends would ask "why?" and warn me, "Stop talking to them," but I didn't listen because I was going to show the world what an enlightened divorce looked like, making public my  quest to fix the unfixable.  Maybe my real motive was to emerge from the situation as the indisputable good guy. I continue to reflect upon this.  Maybe I have a bit of Stockholm syndrome and wanted these two brutes to like me.  Maybe, when I think about it, I realize that I was ready to remove him from my life but wasn't prepared to be removed from his.

 So now, precisely a year later, I wrote that note  saying "in the spirit of forgiveness, I wish you a happy new year," a note that was, surprisingly, met with silence.  Hmmmm.  What  I did see was a cryptic thread on her Facebook page in which she said she needed to eliminate toxic people from her life "even if they're only on Facebook."  And her small cadre of supporters said oh yes, oh yes, she's been too nice. 

Toxic?  Me? Too nice? To me?   How could that be after I wrote so well intentioned a note?   I waited a couple of days and  still seeing no response,  posted on her thread that sometimes it's not the other person who is toxic, that perhaps the other person is just the catalyst to draw out what  already festers within us.  No response again.  Double hmmm.  She must mean me,  right?  I scratched my head like a bewildered chimp.  My message, not just innocuous but intentionally kind,  landed smack in the crater of some ulcer she created that bore my name. .  Remedy? Unfriend.  It could be medicinal.

I mentally announce to  them,  Take your on seats the karma train.  You and he both.   

But now they inspire nightmares.  In one dream last week, I came home to find a daintily wrapped box  inside of which were two pink scoop neck sweatshirts (I never wear pink).  The box was from my ex-husband.  Someone in the dream said these are not for you. They are for her.  In a rage I threw the box out the window of my house in Far Rockaway, the house that rises from memory as Rockaway was decimated by a hurricane this week.

So I'm not over it.  And avoiding my feelings by attempting friendship with  them won  me a prescription for anti-depressants this week.  Then I woke up depressed because I found out I was depressed.

I had a reading a couple of weeks ago to get feedback on the new venture I am about to begin as a Hospice chaplain.  The reader called this work the perfect bridge between the earthly and the spiritual, allowing me to walk in two planes at once.  True, I thought; this straddles two levels of consciousness that don't always work in harmony with one another, creating spiritual cognitive dissonance.

I guess this  is my purpose:  reconciliation.  I am confessing to neturalize the tension.   I am, as are all of you, a spiritual being learning to be human (not the other way around).  And as a human being, I experience the full range of  wooly emotions.  And as a triple Capricorn with Mars in Scorpio, armed with a relentless artistic temperament, I experience personal injustice as a prolonged, persistent, and unwelcome guest.  And yes, I admit it, when I feel attacked it's tough to resist those inner calls for retribution.    I become the ugly hydra-like bitch startled from a much-needed sleep.    And the godly side, well, that's the side that writes stupid little reflective notes that remain unanswered.


Ivy said…
Lisa, your words and ability to express yourself continue to wow and impress me. You have been on an emotional and spiritual merry go round and have my love and support right there, riding with you. Moving on is no easy task but you, my friend, will persevere with grace and continued wisdom. I wish you only happiness :)

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