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Step Out of the Box

By Kenda-Ruth Stumpf

Accommodation was your MLCer's box. Constructed solidly with straight edges and firm walls, it contained personal hopes and dreams as well as familial and cultural hopes and dreams. The box encompassed the boundaries of how life is supposed to be. The problem was that its contents were limited to only those preplanned hopes and dreams and its structure allowed for no additions, deletions or revisions. So your MLCer smashed the box.

That was a shock to you, wasn't it? You were in that box. But you have a box of your own and like Russian matryoshka (nesting) dolls, your box fits in your MLCer's, though unlike the dolls, the reverse is also true and your MLCer's box also fits in yours.

So what is your box? Your hope chest, filled with not only past memories, but also future plans. In part, your suffering and mourning is for those dreams that will never be--you are suffering because you continue to cling to dreams and ideas of forever, dream house, retirement, growing old together... But maybe that box is Pandora's, now emptied of all but Hope. It probably feels like all those afflictions have escaped to infect your life.

It's like someone cut you out of the portrait of your life and stuck you to a canvas with no background; or uprooted you from your homeland and transplanted you in a foreign land where the laws are different and you don't speak the language. Life is difficult when you have no map, no familiar references to guide and comfort you. This is your new reality. Now, imagine and plan your new future; the old one is gone and life cannot be what it was. But as you plan that new future, beware of building a new inflexible box to replace the old one.

Discomfort, disruption, suffering...enables change; they enable you to escape a paralyzing predictable life that had become so stable, secure and comfortable that you were numb to the rotting death from the inside. It's a pretty package, nice bow and wrapping paper, but nothing interesting inside. You fell into the trap of believing the outside was an honest reflection of the inside.

Or maybe your life was perfect--the inside was as beautiful as the outside appearance. But it's still gone--smashed. The box is irreparable, but the life--single or together--is rebuildable and it is not a box, square peg, round hole--it is what you make it.

I'm Kenda-Ruth and I believe in marriage.
Are you tired of hearing...
  • Once a cheater always a cheater?
  • You're better off without him?
  • She doesn't deserve you?
  • I guess it just wasn't meant to last?
  • Divorce is no big deal?
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