Saturday, September 29, 2007

Falling from grace and other high places

Yesterday, Mark wrote and commented that in his view I was victimized in that relationship with Conrad and therefore did not fall from grace.

Yes, Conrad victimized me. He lied and cheated and deceived in order to get what he wanted. However, I chose, albeit not necessarily consciously, to let go of my values and beliefs in order to fit into his needs, in order to have the tantalizing aura of 'love' he held out before me and for which I kept reaching -- and coming back empty. No matter what he did, I made choices that kept me locked in his unholy embrace because my hungry heart, my desire to be 'loved like no one had ever loved me before' blinded me to the truth of what he was doing and kept me from seeing my own worthiness, my completeness, my loveliness.

I cannot be accountable for Conrad's actions. For what he did and said that caused such pain in my life. In holding him accountable, I also hold myself accountable for what I did. No matter how dark my life became I am responsible for my actions, my words, my deeds that caused such pain in the lives of those I love. In giving up on me and giving into him I betrayed a sacred trust -- to protect my children from harm, to be accountable, to be responsible to be the adult in their lives.

Author, Ann Lamott writes, “I do not at all understand the mystery of grace - only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.”

Because I journeyed so far away from my beliefs, principles and values, I lost the mystical qualities of grace in my life before I met Conrad. Sure, he did a lot to lure me away -- but I am the one who chose to continue to compromise my principles in order to not look at what he was doing that was causing me such harm. Grace was with me on that road to hell, and I kept walking away.

In my blindness, my daughters trust was betrayed. In my silence, I hurt the two people in the world to whom I was most accountable and for whom I was responsible.

It was a mighty fall.

Being a mother is for me a state of grace. It is a gift. A privilege. A sacred trust.

Once upon a time, I held a place of trust in the hearts of two young girls who loved me and believed I would never hurt them.

I fell.

I broke that trust.

In my fall, I taught my daughters I am fallible, human, and sometimes weak. In my fall, my daughters also learned the world is not a safe place. They learned that their mother lied, that she could hide the truth, that she could abandon them. Those are not lessons I ever wanted to teach my children. They deserved better. They deserved more.

Today, they get my more. I am blessed. I have been given the grace to heal, to reclaim my right to be the mother they deserve, to reconnect the circle of love into which they were born. I am blessed because in our journey into healing, my daughters embraced me with the grace of forgiveness, just as I have embraced myself with forgiveness for all that I did that hurt me and those I love.

The gift in falling comes when we get up.

In getting up, in claiming my right to live at centre stage of my own life, in asking for forgiveness and in making amends, I have taught my daughters that fear is the opportunity to be courageous. I have taught them that you cannot heal or change what you do not acknowledge. I have taught them that the power is not in the past, it is in what I do today to create a beautiful life, to honour my flawless imperfection of being human and to honour the many gifts of grace that find me on the journey of life and hold me lovingly in the light of love.

Once upon a time, I didn't value the grace within my life. I didn't believe grace wanted to find me.

Today I know the truth. I am blessed.

The question is: Where do you place your value? Do you grace someone else's words about you as the truth of your value? Or do you live in a state of grace where you stand true to the awesome beauty and wonder of who you are, exactly the way you are in this moment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You comments this week have been greatly appreciated by me. They come at a time when I am approaching my one year anniversary of NC with the psychopath who turned my life upside down for six years. I too feel that this relationship was not in the best interest of my son. This man claimed that he loved my son and that we were his family. The truth is that he destroyed my son's real family and took advantage of me at a time when I was vulnerable. In the past year I have been very hard on myself for getting caught up in his web of lies. My therapist told me that I was a victim and I work to ensure that I will never find myself in that place again. I learned the most difficult lessons of my life.

I often relate to Sarah McLachlin's song, "Fallen" in which she writes, "I got caught up in all there was to offer, But the cost was so much more than I could bear."

Again, thank you for your comments. They help many of us to heal by learning to forgive ourselves and find the strength to move on.