Photography by Kate Cornfoot
Scars on the Heart
This journey has not been easy. Sometimes, I wonder how life would be if I lived it like a “normal” person who had a “normal” marriage, “normal” kids and spent my days excited about collapsing in front of the TV or buying a new dress in the weekends. For me, everyday I get to explore another part of the journey up the mountainside towards awakening. I get to see where I am not aware, where I am holding too hard, where I am fearful. The Universe seems interested in me moving and helping others move as I go.
Living this way has had a dramatic impact on my relationship with Will. We are no longer married but have created another way to be...
We see each other as Sovereign beings that choose to parent together and support each other in our work that helps others. There is nothing left unsaid between us and at times it has been deeply challenging. We have questioned everything about how we live and the choices we make and this has led us to question the way we connect with each other on every level.
As we evolved from a married couple into deep spiritual friendship, we began to understand that much of the discomfort and unsaid pain in relationships is between partners who push and pull each other through being too enmeshed. Society teaches couples to hold each other very tightly through ownership and expectation and it is very hard for people to fulfill those tight roles at times.
I believe that the natural way for humans to live is more like a tribe. For women, I think that to have your children without help from others is very difficult and causes a lot of quiet pain, competitive energy between women and expectation of perfection within households. So many women I see at Angels Rest, struggle with feeling guilty about not being a good enough Mother, guilty for wishing they had some time for themselves, guilty for not “doing the Mothering job right.”
The men I see also struggle. They hide a secret pain of servitude if they are the breadwinners in the family. They feel the pain of a backpack of provision and they are taught at an early age that this is something not to be spoken of. Most women have no idea that men feel this way. But I see it everyday in men with chronic back pain, chest pain and the desperate desire to escape this constant expectation of provision through alcohol, affairs or simply dying early.
I know the idea of going back into community living sounds like some sort of hippy commune thinking, but I am not sure if this constant mouse wheel living of a single man and a single woman living in a house and working themselves to the bone to provide everything for their families makes all that many people terribly happy. This stress hurts our bodies, our relationships and our ability to find happiness. There has to be another way, a simpler way to live in harmony with each other, together and with what our earth offers us. I think more and more people are feeling the call of living a simpler life, growing their own vegetables and sharing resources.
My own life has become more this way and it has been an unbelievable and hard ride to get here. I had to let go of the Cinderella and the Prince relationship model. I had to let go of expecting my partner to provide everything and continue to wear that mantle without complaint. I had to release ownership and that hurt like hell. I had been pulling away from the conventional idea of how married people behave for a long time and I know that had been very hurtful for Will. I did not like the idea of being owned, of not being able to talk and have deep conversations with other people just because I “belonged” to Will...
An excerpt from Veronica's story from 'Made Beautiful by Scars- real women's stories'
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Made Beautiful By Scars...