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The Insistence on Maps

By Kenda-Ruth Stumpf

What stage is he in?
Do you think she's still in Replay?
When is he going to hit rock bottom?
Is this almost over?

There seems to be a need for detailed sequential instructions for life's journeys and when life steps away from the familiar path, panic ensues. People cling desperately to the instructions, reviewing the map lines and the terrain; they become insistent on continuing on the same path or direction, though the path is washed out. This must be the way, it looks familiar. I can't go that way, the detour sign points toward a steep and rocky path--treacherous way ahead! There is always a detour, but it may not be simple, pleasant or easy, or it may not look that way from your current location. But be attentive to the new path, regardless of the terrain, if you choose and allow it, it will be joyful. Embrace this journey and find your place of belonging within yourself.

But while you cannot pinpoint a location for either yourself or your MLCer on the map, you feel lost. It's hard when you are worried about your MLCer and have no feedback or information, or when his behaviour cycles seeming normal one day and volatile and erratic the next. It's hard when this continues for months or even years. It's hard because you want your location pinpointed relative to your MLCer's and you want their location precisely discernible on the map with a clear legend telling you precisely how long each section will last. You are where you are and your grounding is in your Self. There are many people who don't know where on Earth they are, and yet they aren't lost--if you ask them they will say I'm right here. They just don't know where here is geographically.

The path ahead is not always discernable. You may not see or know where it leads or even where it is. Sometimes your journey is through a blizzard in white-out conditions, sometimes you will stumble in your blindness and sometimes you will hunker down and hibernate in a protective shelter to regain your strength and bearings.

This is your journey and thus I do not know why it is happening to you, where it will take you or its meaning; those things are part of your quest and the answers (if there are any) are in the experience. If you are Standing, part of your job is to Pave the Way--make a safe path for your MLCer. But what will your MLCer find upon returning? Being abandoned removed your foundation; you do not want to rebuild upon the balloons filled with eggshells. You need to build a foundation of your Self so that the Paved Way leads to something. Being within your Self is like a beacon for your MLCer who is still seeking. You can be that point of light, that strength, the anchor and the light house that is not a reflection but rather reveals his own reflection in the water it illuminates. But to do that, you need to continue to be consistent in Being.

Your MLCer has not merely stepped off the path, MLC has thrown him so far off course that the original path is no longer attainable from his present location--perhaps the MLC path converges with it at a later date--much later. The MLC journey completely changes some, whereas others grow but seem to recover their former Selves. As a Stander your path may run parallel to your MLCer's and your paths may eventually converge with your previous path together or you may together select a new path for your reconciled relationship. Your new relationship may be similar to the former or vastly different, regardless; it's potential for beauty is infinite. Together you can build a new marital foundation; but the foundation of an US is built upon and integrated on the foundation of each I.

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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