“The lotus flower blooms most beautifully from the deepest and thickest mud.” Buddhist Proverb
My story starts out beautifully. My husband and I met, fell in love, and mapped out our life together. We made goals, planned our future, created a blog network, started creating a publishing company, we articulated our love, we viewed one another as equals, and shared a loving circle of harmony together.
Then it happened. Within the first few months of our marriage, my husband tells me:
“My love for you is conditional. I am using you.”
That bruised my tender newlywed heart. Majorly.
It’s difficult to even describe the emotions I went through. The hope of how I envisioned our future together suddenly shattered. I felt my enthusiasm towards our goals quickly lower.
For me, my life turned upside down. Not only was I adjusting to having my husband in prison and succeeding financially with hundreds of miles between us, but I was then struggling to find unity in our marriage after that.
His choice of words really threw me for a loop. I began to look at other prison relationships and how sooo many inmates resort to using women. The more I dwelled on that, the more I felt it happening to me.
The situation cooled down. He apologized. And I forgave him. We soon got back into the rhythm of things. Then… the demands quickly started all over again!
Silently, I carried his bruising words with me. Not realizing the pain and turmoil I was allowing to keep stored deep within me.
Every time we spoke about our publishing company, our blog network, or any means of succeeding financially together…I associated all of those things to a time when he was “using” me. It got so bad that when those topics got brought up, I would literally get a wave of physical fatigue.
I set out on a personal journey to find answers, healing, and to find forgiveness.
I had no idea that I had to put my forgiveness into action. That sounds silly, but I have never experienced such an in-depth forgiveness towards anyone before. So while on that journey, I continued to show unconditional love to my husband. I continued to encourage him in his daily life. And I continued to keep projects moving forward as best as I could.
Saying “I forgive you” was the easy part. It was the inward emotional part that finally helped me let go of the bitterness and the resentment of feeling “used” every time my husband asked something of me.
Forgiveness is a choice, and a process. I now choose to focus on the future. When a painful memory resurfaces, I remind myself that I have released and forgiven it. This process of forgiveness has been about my freedom of letting go and moving forward.
I am thankful for this whole experience. It has helped me discover the true power of forgiveness. Out of the mud of my struggle and my pain, I have opened a petal of my inner lotus flower.
“The lotus is the most beautiful flower, whose petals open one by one. But it will only grow in the mud. In order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the mud (the obstacles of life and its suffering). The mud speaks of the common ground that humans share, no matter what our stations in life. Whether we have it all or we have nothing, we are all faced with the same obstacles: sadness, loss, illness, death, etc. If we are to strive as human beings to gain more wisdom, more kindness and more compassion, we must have the intention to grow as a lotus and open each petal one by one.” – Goldie Hawn
NOTE: My husband and I got a divorce in October of 2019. The above post was written while we were still married.
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