The Road to the Top
I entered the valley with fear and with dread
For I doubted the way that my master led,
I shrank from the blackness and darkness of night
And longed to be walking in the safety of sight.
But he said that He’d go and take me on through,
Each step of the treacherous pathway He knew.
So we walked and we walked till the midnight came,
And I said,” I just cannot go on the same.”
For the valley is endlessly long and wide,
I will not be able to reach the far side.”
But he led me still onward; upward and on
And after long hours came a glorious dawn!
I thanked the Master with tears in my eyes,
I was so ignorant and He was so wise.
For I could not have reached this mountain’s height
Had we not walked the valley last night. ( author unknown)
There is something that has been nudging me since I was told about the way of healing relationships in logotherapy. As I understood, relationships, especially those between spouses, carry many times a sign of conflict that comes from early childhood, one session served as an example where we could see how husband and wife conflicts were being re-created again and again:
The wife was asked to look for her symptoms at the time of conflict with her husband and to go past her memories to find the first time she felt like that; it was found she was feeling anger coming out when she perceived she was ignored by her husband and going back in time she could see more experiences carrying the same feelings with the caregivers at home. The husband was asked to do the same and he felt also anger coming out when he perceived his wife admiration was on somebody else, and going back on time he could retrace that feeling to when being himself the third boy his mother gave tasks to the first brother but not him.
This brought up a down- spiraling dynamic, the more she felt ignored by her husband the more she would be angry and admire others, and the more he felt not important by his wife, the more he withdrew and gave resentment. Both were angry at each other and feeling as they felt when they were on that little children’s episode.
For the therapy to continue, both husband and wife needed to find a way to communicate with each other when those feelings were flaring up again, so the other would be aware and give the partner what they needed, perhaps a hug, or a listening ear, or some deserved admiration.
What bothered me about this system is that it left the marriage as a link of causes not supernatural, the explanation of falling in love is that we look unconsciously for the spouse that will guarantee the re-experiencing again of those experiences that impressed us negatively so much as little children.
There must be another explanation, and after one month I think I found one and can rest again. I think it is true that deep inside we know when we fall in love that forces are working in us, which we do not see completely , and I think it is true that we engage ourselves with people to re-enact those traumatic experiences, but that is not the whole picture. I think the big scheme of things has it this way in order for us to learn the most, if we were not to face our worst fears, we would not gain so much strength. So it is in life, that when we go in the valley of darkness, we can have the opportunity to see the purer light again.
So in regards of the therapy, I would add the second half of the story, lest couples become discouraged at seeing half of the truth, ( you would not tell the story of Jesus by stopping at Golgotha on Friday, but you would continue till Resurrection Sunday), and also I would give encouragement to those in relationships, that this is the way to strive for the Spirit, as we strive to heal and nurture our relationships, the Spirit starts dwelling in us.
Finally one more thing to ponder, the number of divorces nowadays, besides being explained by our growing in individuality apart from growing in spirituality, it also is explained by the number of free marriages, that is marriages not arranged by parents, but by the Spirit, as we experience the falling in love. Let’s see that last point as an enhancement and not a hindrance of the work of the Spirit in us, even though in the meantime it may mean more troubles in the relationship, and many couples not making it to the end.
(Everything that is said for husband and wife also applies to any relationship, though with a lesser intensity.)
Healing the Wounds of Others
Let me not live a life that’s free
Form the things that draw me close to Thee
For how can I ever hope to heal
The wounds of others I do not feel
If my eyes are dry and I never weep
How do I know when the hurt is so deep
If my heart is cold and it never bleeds
How can I tell what my brother needs
For when ears are deaf to the beggar’s pleas
And we close our eyes and refuse to see
And we steel our hearts and harden our mind
And we count it a weakness whenever we’re kind
We are no longer following the father’s way,
Or seeking His guidance from day to day
For without crosses to carry and burdens to bear
We go through life that is frotty and fair,
And “chasing the rainbow” we have no desire
For roads that are rough and realms that are higher
So spare me no heartache or sorrow, dear lord,
For the heart that is hurt reaps the riches reward,
And god enters the heart that is broken in sorrow
As he opens the door to a brighter tomorrow,
For only through tears can we recognize
The suffering that lies in another’s eyes.