Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Tend To the Wound: Your First Step to Healing
So I was thrilled when I read this post from Bindu Wiles. Wiles is one of those magical writers that takes our messy world and distills it with words into a thing of beauty. In this post, she shares a story that works as a perfect parable, with the moral being we must truly tend to our wounds.
At no point in my life did I need this lesson more than when I first learned of my husband's affair(s). Instead, like so many of us, I focused on the marriage. I needed to save the marriage, I believed. I needed to protect my children. I needed to protect my husband, who was having to face the consequences of his actions at work. I did exactly the opposite of what Wiles recommends. Rather than tend to the arrow in my heart, I made sure that anyone who might even witness the arrow was told that they were imagining it. I was fine. I smiled at acquaintances at the grocery store, though later I couldn't recall a word I'd said. I chatted with my kids' teachers. I assured friends who cautiously asked if I was "alright" that yes, of course I was. Just a bit tired. And each night, I begged and pleaded with my husband to explain to me why he shot the arrow.
In hindsight, I should have closed out the world as best I could and tended to the arrow.
And though it's a lesson I didn't learn then, as fate would have it, I can learn it now. As our new marriage counsellor recently informed my husband and I, we haven't even begun our "recovery work."
For weeks now, we've sat in her office, me with an arrow in my heart, my husband holding the bow...and talked about anything but. We've talked about division of labor. We've talked about respect. We've talked about our renovations until my head was going to explode. And then last week, I brought up the arrow. And at that point she looked at both of us and said, "we haven't even begun..."
No surprise to me. The wound around the arrow has grown tough. But recently it has started to hurt again. I've felt hopeless and helpless. Wounded and weak.
I should have tended my wounds better back then.
But I can tend them now. And I will.
I hope you will, too.