Friday, April 11, 2014

We Sometimes Hear Goodbye

This has been a painful week for me.  I feel as though I were punched in the gut.  Have you ever had that kind of "surprise" or shock?  The kind that is more like a bomb dropping than a pleasant unexpected event!  I think most people have.  Doesn't matter though, because when you go through it, somehow if feels like nobody else ever has--or should.  This week someone else did though.  Someone I love deeply.  I felt the pain, but so did my gentle husband, a holy man, accused not quite non-verbally as much as indirectly of heresies!  Being a holy man, charitable, and far more spiritually mature than I, he handles such personal pain far better than I.  So, always, and now again, I learn from him.  But I need to learn slowly because I'm too Irish and have to get the fight out of my gut before I settle down to let Grace do it's healing.

Feelings of betrayal are difficult to process.  I've felt the feelings, and I wasn't sure what to think.  I couldn't think, really.  I could only feel.  Feel and wonder.  That was only the beginning.  Emotions have a life cycle of their own, and hurt leads to frustration, then to anger, then what?  Feeling sad and worn out.  They lead on to reevaluating relationships and boundaries, trust and self-preservation.  That all translates into one question for me:  What do I do about hospitality?    Hospitality is the sacred tradition my parents passed to me spiritually, and ritually/practically.  It is a sacred Celtic tradition, but the plain fact is it sometimes gets taken for granted by guests of the heart.  The only way to avoid it completely is to shut the door, something foreign to me.  Something lamentable to me.  Unthinkable.

Betrayal is felt when one opens not only the door to one's home, but more profoundly when one opens the door to one's heart, welcoming another in, as family, as friend, as a trusted other, only one day, down the road, to discover all the conversations were shallow, disingenuous and words ultimately meaningless because they were untrue.  Betrayal.  It's comes in different forms, and arrives by word of mouth or action, directly or indirectly. 

So what?  What do you do with it, about it, when it happens?  I'm still learning.  After the hurt and anger came the wonder, and now I'm thinking more clearly.  It takes time to process reality when reality sucks.  The bottom line, at the end of the day, is that some people use people.  Some do it unconsciously, unintentionally, only to survive periods of loneliness between relationships that they ultimately destroy, or find such fault with them they need to run away...  They find a hideout with some schmuck bleeding heart like me.  Then move on to the next adventure.

At the end of the day we all need to take stock and learn from the various relationships in our lives.  We learn about love from the good ones, and we learn about the need for healthy discernment from the abusive or painful ones...learn to be more careful and have our boundaries securely in place so that a healthy spiritual detachment allows us to remain in peace should we sometimes hear "Goodbye."   At the end of the day, life goes on, and I grow stronger.  What choice is there?


Sharon_Hart said...

I have given much thought to the topic of hospitality and betrayal. While one can find 'excuses' for the behavior of another, ultimately you are still left with the emotional upheaval and the unanswered questions that may periodically raise their heads for acknowledgement.

Because their is a religious/spiritual imperative to provide hospitality, perhaps it is best if we treat it as a gift freely given, without expectation of reward or even acknowledgement. In the same way as a gift given to someone that is stuck in a closet and is never used or perhaps 're-gifted', our hospitality is given freely and it is up to the recipient to determine how they will behave.

At the end of the day, we can find solace in the fact that some people bless us by coming into our lives, whereas others bless us by leaving.

Sisterpatricia said...

The story that comes to mind is of the desert father who was robbed. He found something the robber had missed and chased after him to give that as well. I don't recommend it, but it is a rather elegant way of saying "shame on you." I think what I need to say is that you never run out of love by giving it. You just can't expect others to be grown ups. As Christians we are not expected be doormats. Rather, as "wise as the serpent and gentle as the dove." I would gladly wring this person's neck but it's not worth going to jail for. And I will not let that person rob me of my peace. I don't know if this makes any sense, but hey, you know me. Love, Sr. Patti