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Divorce as a Lesson in Love

What is love? Everyone, it seems, has a slightly different definition. As a culture, we tend to put an emphasis on romantic love, but why does it differ so greatly in definition from the love we extend to friends? Why do so many love relationships turn bitter and contentious before ending in anger and resentment? Perhaps it's due to the expectations we place upon one another. Instead of practicing acceptance and compassion for the flawed person we profess to adore- as we are often able to do with friends- we find ourselves subconsciously seeking perceived perfection from our partners. When we are inevitably disappointed, slowly but surely, the scales begin to tip away from our idealized identification with romantic love toward disillusionment and division.

Is there really any such thing as unconditional romantic love? Doesn't everyone have a deal breaker? That's what I always assumed. Until nine months after the dissolution of my sixteen year marriage, anyway. Turns out, going through the agonizing stages of grief has been brutally beneficial. Divorce has served to teach me the true meaning of love: Selfless Acceptance.

At first, it was easier to be angry. Not only at my ex, but with myself as well. I continuously reviewed all of the negativity which led to our end in order to soften the severing of our once sacred bond. This worked for a while. However, there are just as many sweet recollections of our time together banked within my memory. These were far more problematic for me to process emotionally. I could not reconcile the beauty we once shared in contrast to the pain we both inflicted upon one another in the end. There was a part of me that wanted to wipe all of the good from my mind forever, eraser to chalkboard style.

I vacillated between attempting to stoke the fires of hate in order to protect myself from debilitating depression or dwelling upon the pain evoked by happy memories, knowing in my heart that we will never share such experiences together again. The seemingly eternal question persisted: How could I find peace apart from him?

The only solution I can surmise is love. Not the romantic version of love upon which we built our ultimately doomed relationship. A truer, deeper, more honest love. At the end of the day, regardless of what's been said or done, regardless of the fact that irreparable mistakes were made, I have accepted that I'm finally able to love him in the purest way possible.

Although we can never be together, I don't have to obliterate all of the positivity which was created throughout our union in order to justify our separation. My love for him is now void of the unrealistic expectations which led to our mutual unhappiness. I no longer need to possess him- to have him, to hold him- in order to love him. For once, I can do so without being offered anything from him in return. This brand of selfless, unconditional love has finally allowed me to love him enough to let him go without loving him any less.

Tibetan Prayer Flag Project

In Tibet, the tradition of hanging flags began more than 2000 years ago. It is thought that by hanging flags in high places the "Lung ta" will carry the blessings depicted on the flags to all beings. As wind passes over the surface of the flags, which are sensitive to the slightest movement of the wind, the air is purified and sanctified by the mantras.

The prayers of a flag become a permanent part of the universe as the images fade from exposure to the elements. Just as life moves on and is replaced by new life, Tibetans renew their hopes for the world by continually mounting new flags alongside the old. This act symbolizes a welcoming of life's changes and an acknowledgment that all beings are part of a greater ongoing cycle.

It has been suggested by contemporary Tibetans that we create our own prayer flags by imprinting them with poems, prayers and symbols from the great faiths of the world in hopes of uniting them in a spirit of peace and harmony.

A good expressive arts project could consist of making flags that express wishes for the world, illustrate thankfulness, encourage kindness, or communicate messages of love. It's as simple as ripping an old bed sheet into squares and decorating the pieces with felt pens and watered-down fabric paints.


Just hang the completed prayer flags to dry, then stitch onto a ribbon.


The flags may be hung indoors, but they are intended to be strung up outside where the wind will disperse their messages. After some time the prayer flags will fade and fray (they purposely are not hemmed) symbolizing the natural passing of all things. Traditionally, when that happens, the flags are to be burned to release the last of their prayers and then replaced by new flags that contain our renewed wishes. Or you may simply put new ones over the old ones.

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Pain Unspeakable.

I am still, two days later, thanking God that Merick is alive. He was mauled by the dog of a family friend on his face and neck. He has seven very shocking lacerations and ended up with 22 stitches. As scary as it was, and as ugly as his injuries are, it could have been so much worse. The dog, a German Shepherd Akita mix, could have killed him. If the bites had been just a smidgen in another direction, if the owner and my husband wouldn't have been within arm's reach ... Oh, God. I can't even consider the possibilities. Coming this close to losing Merick just makes us value every second we have with him all the more now ... Life is so fragile and precious. It can be taken away in an instant. That fact is ever so clear to me now. Every moment is a gift ... and we won't soon forget it.

The dog was put down within hours of the attack. There is absolutely no satisfaction in that fact for any of us.

We won't know about the severity of the scars until later but, considering his injuries, it's very likely that they'll be sticking around. Of course, we will do everything in our power and use every medical option available to help to minimize them in the future. As you can imagine, we are very upset about it. I tear up every time I think about it. My heart is broken. My beautiful, perfect baby boy has been scarred in ways that go far beyond his physical appearance. When I look at him, I do so with a brave face. I smile, I kiss him, I tell him he'll be fine. I refuse to let him see my fear or my tears.

Last night, I couldn't sleep. Alone in the dark with an indescribable ache in my chest, I suppressed my cries and tried to breathe through the pain. So many thoughts and anxieties washed over me. Things I've never considered before, fears I've not entertained in nine years of motherhood, blame I cannot help but place upon myself and his father. How could we have let this happen to him? How could we have gotten him this far only to fail him now? I feel like God entrusted this flawless child to me and now I've let the evil of this world, literally, eat him alive. Some decision, somewhere, could have been made differently and all of this could have been avoided. Why didn't we take the right path? God help me, I am so sorrowful. More than anything, I want Jesus to lay His healing hand upon my boy and make this all alright. Please God, hear my prayer ....



I'm loving this song.


I'm Not Who I Was