Love’s Journey

I grew to believe that they had been sent into this life for the sole purpose of generating obstacles for me on my spiritual development journey.

Continued from Decision

“Love is the beginning of the journey, its end, and the journey itself.” ~ Deepak Chopra

Not long after ‘decision day’ I was at church, me and the girls. I was hurting and looking for support. Sometimes, and many of you can attest, a church is a busy place, especially on Sunday’s. It wasn’t the time or necessarily the place for a full-on discussion about the events unfolding in my life but I wanted to at least let Pastor R know something was amiss. As we made our way through the ‘receiving line’ to share our regards, I gave him a little hug and said softly “things are bad, history is repeating itself”, believing he would understand since he was so instrumental years ago after Hubby’s first indiscretion. He smiled, nodded, and hugged me back. I went home and waited for him to call.

He didn’t call. I went to church again the next week – this time by myself because Hubby was with the girls. There is no doubt in my mind that I looked sad… most nights I cried myself to sleep in those early weeks. I waited for him to make eye contact with me so that I could telepathically share my pain with him, or at least make sure he was able to notice my demeanor. I had been a part of that church since its organizational days and knew most people there as we were still a small group. No one asked about the family. No one asked me how I was doing. I might as well have been invisible that day. I bypassed the line of people waiting to say hello or otherwise to Pastor R and headed home with deep disappointment.

I didn’t go back. I waited though, waited for R to call… waited for someone from one of the home groups or ministries to call and at the very least make sure everything was ok… nope. Didn’t happen. I know that I could have picked up the phone and called someone, I know that I could have reached out to R again, and I know that it wasn’t anyone’s direct responsibility to keep track of me but I expected it. I expected my faith community, people who had known me for seven or eight years to at least ‘notice’ that I wasn’t there week after week and to find out why.

Describing the disappointment is difficult because the rational part of me wants to take responsibility for not communicating properly about it. The emotional side of me, however, went directly to that place where abandonment resides; fortifying some internal creed that was now easily triggered. Many of the criticisms I had about organized religion were validated in this failure. The negligence that I perceived from this spiritual community was flawed by my expectations and forced me to investigate why I had developed them. In addition, it created an opportunity for me to better understand what I wanted from people who share my beliefs. The icing on the cake was when the leader of the finance ministry called to schedule our annual commitment meeting. I think I hung up on him.

I never did return to that community and no one ever asked why. I tried a few other churches in the area and I was always unsatisfied with either the contradictions, the hypocrisy of the congregants (some of whom I had known through the years, realizing that they were ‘fair weather’ church goers) or the degree of fundamentalism and rigidity. I just cannot relate to a literal translation of a Biblical text. I read the bible as a teen and took the opportunity to read it again, the New Testament mostly, during this time… I read it with a different perspective, a more open mind to language and metaphor. I thought long and hard about the idea that I was created in God’s image… what? God was a tall, heavyset, white female? Did I look like him more before or after my tenth birthday? Why is God depicted as male? Why old? Why do we think of God in human terms at all?

One of the most profound things I’ve ever heard about imagining God came from an interview of Deepak Chopra on The View – an ABC television program. They asked him “how do you envision God?” and he replied, “to visualize God is to limit God.”  Something important clicked for me in that explanation. Then, in the Brian Weiss book Messages from the Masters, he writes that a Soul Master defines Love… “Love. Everything is Love… Everything is love. With love comes understanding. With understanding comes patience. And then the time stops. Everything is now.  Love is our nature. We are Love. … Love is the ultimate healer.”

I started to assemble a collection of ideas across various world religions and there were similarities that resonated within me deeply.


I knew I didn’t have to be a practicing Catholic, Presbyterian, Methodist, etc…, to embody these tenets. Moreover, I knew that when I focused on Love, I felt God’s presence no matter where I was. I chose to simply BE love as much as was possible and to foster and grow the spirit of love in my life whenever and however I could.

Many of us have great intentions and I am no different. I was good at loving people, paying it forward, growing my faith … until… Hubby and Abee entered the picture. It was there that all my faith was challenged and I grew to believe that they had been sent into this life for the sole purpose of generating obstacles for me on my spiritual development journey. It was working…

I found myself turning to Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life. Here, I discovered more validation for my pain as well… “God intentionally allows you to go through painful experiences to equip you for ministry to others”. I, like countless others, was known to beg for a response to the question ‘why me God, why me?’ It’s incredibly difficult to accept extreme circumstances as purposeful without some paradigm of faith and so I found resolve in these words. More importantly, it was yet another source confirming the necessity of Love… offering sentiments such as “Life minus love equals zero.” And “It’s not what you do, but how much love you put into it that matters.”

I turned to Deepak Chopra to learn meditation and here is where I found profound peace. I heeded his words “In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you” and when I was angry, frustrated, scared, or unsure I sat still and followed his voice into a state of calm that offered the most incredible tranquility and comfort. In those moments, I imagined myself wrapped in a cocoon of light, in the arms of God’s love and I was safe.

Turning the Century

In one statement, God took on a whole new meaning for me and again, I wanted to experience more.

“…hidden in your deepest feelings is your highest truth” – Neale Donald Walsch

The year before and the year after Y2K were full of activity. The kids were growing and active, our business grew at lightning speed, we built a new house, moved, and consequently there was always a ‘project’. Hubby and I worked well together when a project was in the works. We both turned 40 – he got a big party and I got a new house.

We became pretty fanatical about Y2K. Yes, we were the ones who collected canned goods and buckets of flour. It was all very organized, dated, and sorted of course. Hubby made sure we had barrels of gasoline and tools that didn’t require electricity. We found a generator and I learned how to can food. It was all consuming for about eighteen months prior as we planned and prepared. Our business was even prepped for disaster. We were the ‘just in case’ people – the ones who felt it was better to be safe than sorry. I had done a tremendous amount of research on the internet back when you could believe what you read there – cough, cough. There was intelligent information from reliable sources that imparted a ‘possibility’ of global disaster so we …. were prepared.

On New Year’s Eve, I recall being a little nervous but overall excited for the memorable event and we allowed the girls to stay up ‘til midnight. We took wooden spoons, pots, and pans outside to ‘howl it up’ as a way to remember a century change. When the lights stayed on and our banks opened it was a true celebration. We were relieved and very well stocked. We didn’t have to buy green beans for three years~!

Business was good. A couple of years back we had made some professional decisions that moved us toward success rather quickly. It was an exciting time and while I wasn’t as worried about how much hamburger to buy each week, our money was predominately going back into the business as fast as we could make it. The one exception was our new house.  The old one needed new windows and a new roof. It needed new flooring and a kitchen redo. A new house made much more sense. We were the third house in a new development where we could modify the lot and building as long as we had the money to support the changes. We nickel and dimed our builder by the week with a total of twenty-two change orders. I know by the end he had to be happy we finally finished the build and couldn’t bug him more.

It was more than either of us had ever dreamed of owning. It had room – plus – for all of us and anyone else who wanted to stay. We took all of the ‘cash’ we had saved as part of our ‘disaster plan’ and finished the basement right away, giving us an additional 1500 square feet of living space. It was a true ‘family’ house. I remember standing outside on the deck one fall evening looking through the windows to the inside where my family sat on a couch facing a fireplace that was floor to ceiling stone – two stories high. I watched in fascination because it was surreal. It felt as if it was someone else’s house – beautiful, warm, and full of family. There was a moment when I felt completely disconnected from it as if I was watching from another plane, from some outside realm. And then I was back – that was my family, my home, people I loved and I was deeply grateful.

In our MOMS Club book group, we read all three books in the Conversations with God series and I found it fascinating. It was another ‘ah ha’ moment on so many levels for me. Yes, it was written by some guy who claimed God was talking to him, but that was Moses many years ago too! I don’t know what it true or make believe but I know what resonated deeply with my soul. In Book One, God says “all human emotions are motivated at their deepest level by one of two emotions – fear or love.” I knew that to be true for me then and today – as a psychology professional – I see it demonstrated over and over again. Looking back, I believe that all my behaviors were motivated by either fear or love. Fear of being left, feeling pain, being lonely, being unlovable… feelings of love for my children, my husband, my family. I can’t think of anything I did that didn’t fall into one of those categories and sadly, fear was more prevalent than love.

In this book, God says “Emotion is the power which attracts. That which you fear strongly, you will experience.”  Again – that rang true for me. I had to look closely at all the things that I was feeling and then look again closely at my experiences – did they match? Which came first? The chicken (fear) or the egg (experience)? What if my fears WERE creating my experiences?  What if God was allowing these things to happen so that I could process my fears? So that I could come to NOT fear them?  He goes on to say “there is NO coincidence in the universe” – gosh – that matches what The Celestine Prophecy says….  What if these ARE God’s messages? What if I am supposed to be learning from EVERY. THING.

I was thrust into a state of exploratory discovery. I journaled. I spoke with friends. I continued to read. I would go to the bookstore and stand in the self-help, spirituality, or New Age sections and allow the book to ‘call me’. I would pick it up – open it randomly – and read.  If it ‘spoke’ to me – if something on that page resonated deeply, then I would buy the book and highlight it… page by page.

I recall hearing Deepak Chopra speaking to women on morning television show The View answering the question “How do you envision God”? His response: “To envision God is to limit God and therefore I do not”. That one statement provided an epiphany for me. I recalled years of sitting in church, looking through bibles and hymnals, seeing religious paintings of God – the man. I was – in that moment – allowing my mind to create a different vision – or rather, erase all the prior visions that I had of the entity I called God. I imagined God as everything – everything I couldn’t see – everything I did see – all the energy that existed in the universe. It opened the door for me to consider religion in a way that made much more sense in my mind. In one statement, God took on a whole new meaning for me and again, I wanted to experience more.

I believed that we had turned a corner with the introduction of the twenty-first century. We were more connected than ever before, enjoying our new home, our family, our success. Life was good – for a while.