Thursday, November 22, 2012

Flawed People Can Do Amazing Things

The title of this post isn’t 100% a reflection of the meat of this post, but then again it isn’t totally off the mark. It is the thought that keeps popping into my head as I reflect on my discussion Tuesday with my pastor.

As I mentioned at the end of my last post, my therapy session on Monday left me feeling less than settled on anything. I felt like we barely got started before we had to end. I was a mess and spent much of the afternoon at work fighting back tears as I tried to concentrate on spreadsheets full of premiums and claims and admin expenses. My emotions were barely under the surface, so much so that by that evening twice the singers on The Voice that night made me bawl. Since that is hardly how I wish to go through life, and I felt like I desperately needed to talk to someone I turned to my pastor.

Now, please understand that I am not the person that normally goes running to the pastor for counseling. As a matter of fact, I have spent most of my life avoiding such conversations like the plague. I have always felt the need to appear like I have it all together and am a model Progressive Christian around church people. Oh, I’ll fight the fight for understanding and empathy for others who have fallen, but God forbid I admit to having messed up myself.

However, my current pastor has made me feel eminently comfortable in being able to admit to imperfection, to admit to being human and having human failings. It is only because of this that I have been able to confide certain things to her in the past and the only reason I could confide in her on Tuesday.

I started by giving her the synopsis of the 30+ year debacle in which I have put myself. (See previous posts ‘cause I ain’t repeating it again.)

God did not strike me with a lightning bolt when I confessed. Not that I really thought that would happen. After all, God has known all along what I’ve been doing and what I’ve been feeling and the struggles I’ve had with all of this. And deep in my heart I know God to be loving and forgiving. God has always been there for me when I’ve been good and when I’ve been bad.


I know that there are churches where there is no way one could retain a position of leadership if it became known even to only the pastor that an affair was occurring, particularly one that the participant of the affair is not even willing to say she is definitely stopping. I know that my church is pretty much not like that, but there is always that fear that runs through me. So I didn’t know for sure if she might not ask me to step down from the committee that I chair and represent on the church council. She didn’t. When I mentioned that I wasn’t sure I should continue considering seminary given what I am involved in she reminded me that no one is perfect, that we all have sin in our lives and that it doesn’t magically go away just because we attend seminary or become ordained.

So apparently, there is hope for me yet.

All along in this I have thought that if ever J and I were exposed at least it won’t be to a national and international audience. Nobody is really going to care that two virtually unknown nobodies had an affair. We may go through hell with friends and family but at least the media wouldn’t be camped outside our doors. We wouldn’t be fodder for discussion on news shows and jokes on late night TV.

But I’ve digressed. Back to my discussion with my pastor.

The locus of the discussion was really around what would make me feel like a happy and complete person. After some discussion, I said that what I really wanted was to be available for a fully committed relationship with someone that is fulfilling physically, emotionally and spiritually. After that, she kept bringing our discussion back to that point.

I have discussed before with my pastor my relationship with W so she is well aware that all is not rosy in our household. She was very clear with me that from all I have told her W and I no longer have a covenantal relationship between us. It was broken long ago, and the fact that we still have a marriage in the legal sense does not mean that we have anything resembling a marriage in the spiritual sense. The relationship is not fulfilling in either a physical or emotional sense, although spiritually it might be somewhat. It is clear from the past several years that it is not likely to change in any substantial way.

Clearly the relationship, or whatever it is, with J is not fulfilling in any sense. It is something I hang onto because it is the idea of J that is so appealing, not the actual person.

If I want to even be available for the possibility of finding a fulfilling relationship then I have to let go of both of these relationships. Headwise, this makes tons of sense to me. Headwise, I can see that I should let go in both cases. Heartwise, I just can’t seem to make myself do it. Yet I know that the only person who would be [insert derogatory term of choice here] enough to enter into a relationship with me knowing that I am tangled up with those two would not be the quality of person I would want to have a long term relationship with.

Yesterday, after I met with the pastor I was reading some of my old posts about J. Sigh… I recycle these same things over and over and over and over and never seem to make any sort of progress. And in spite of that I remain a relatively productive human being. You wouldn’t know that from what you know of me in my blog, but I am. I do a lot in my real life and occasionally even make a difference in someone’s life. Even though I’m flawed… really, really flawed.

1 comment:

Val said...

I know EXACTLY how you feel about "recycling" everything...
But when I recycled an old post of mine (which sounded virtually identical to current woes), I received a couple of comments which in their opinion, reflected progress?!?
Oh well, I'll take it!