A Family Uniting
This is a modest chronicle of a wonderful time of healing and hope that I was able to share with my son, Seth, my daughter, Jessie, and my brother Dan.
The story runs through my own tentative struggle with the "rightness" of using the tool of entheogenic investigation in order to find resolution for some deep and troubling personal issues and how to repair whatever damage to my family which might have resulted from these issues and internal conflicts.
Of a summer some years ago, I became increasingly restless and uncomfortable with having to live a secret life Vis entheogens and the great help they had been in my life. (How this came to be a part of my story will become clear a bit later).
Accordingly, I undertook to begin to sensitively share with those who are most important in my life. I explained my feelings to my wife Kim, and while she understood my felt need for personal integrity and transparency, she cautioned me not to drop "the big one" on old friends and family, due to the concern it could cause those who might not understand.
Therefore, I began with my pastor. This is a man for whom I have the greatest respect and one whom I have seen walk in such reality and integrity that I could literally trust my life to him. That evening of disclosure in our living room was socially uncomfortable for Kim. I made it clear as I carefully laid out the background, foreground and present situation, that I was not disclosing this as expressing a need for help, or as a confession of some "secret sin," but that my greatest desire was to walk in reality as much as my Lord might. This certainly involved walking in truthfulness.
After listening to me, and then to my wife expressing her semi apologetic concern, this man turned to her and said something like, "Kim, you have said all that you need to say. Do not worry yourself. He will stop using these things when God tells him to." We prayed some and visited some more and he advised me to proceed with caution and with deference to those young ones who might be damaged by too much information too soon.
Over the months as I prayed and meditated on these things, I became increasingly moved by a need and desire to be honest and transparent with those I love.
Later that year in October, Kim and I were privileged to spend some time together camping in a very beautiful location in the canyon and mesa lands of the 4 Corners area just above the Colorado River. (This trip was to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary). On one of our last days there, we shared a sacramental journey together. The bonding and love and glory of everything both within and without, seemed almost more than we could contain. And as we had occasion to look back over our 30 plus years together we spoke of our children and the paths we have all been on and God's amazing care and manifest love for us as a family.
There on a high place with the sun setting in apricots and blush tones, and the canyons echoing back in plumbs and rusts and ochre, she turned to me and said, "You really must bring Seth here". (Seth is our son. He was in his mid twenties and married, and lived quite near to us). I understood that she meant here, where we were both physically, and in our hearts.
About Thanksgiving of that year, I summoned the courage to ask Seth if he would be able to make himself available for a time away for a camping trip. He was quite enthusiastic about the prospects. I had no idea how it might work out for us to share the healing virtues of the medicine or even to get away for a while to plumb the depths of our relationship. I still had not told him that I had been experiencing growth and understanding by means of these substances. I just began saving money for the proposed camping trip. Many circumstances, both financial and occupational came up that seemed to frustrate his being able to get away, but I persisted in planning and preparing.
A couple of months later on a warm day in March I felt a sense of inner peace and clarity, and asked him if we could make a time to walk around and find a quiet place to talk, as I had some things which had been on my heart for some time that I needed to say. Here then, was another difficult threshold to cross; one fraught with inner conflict. Not knowing how he would respond to the new knowledge of his fathers' use of these medicines, produced in me much imaginary suffering.
As we walked up the hill behind our farm I began sharing how my heart and my life had been shredded by many circumstances and disappointments including his leaving home at the age of 17. This was a few years prior, and he had gotten involved with drugs and with darkness to the point of it almost costing him his life. I shared with him many other deep areas of my life which had also been called into question with so much inner upheaval that I had often even despaired of life.
So great was my turmoil during that period that I often found myself thinking how nice it would be if some accident or event would come along and "take me out," as it were. It had been almost too difficult to continue trying to make sense of it all.
At any rate, I explained to him that although I knew many things about the love and the grace of God, that they were all in my head, isolated and locked up, but my heart had felt as empty and barren as the Antarctic Desert. I explained how in final desperation, I had begun to consider finding some radical way to bridge the gap between my head and my heart, and thus how these medicines had become an option in my need.
From years of reading and from my studies gaining an associate's degree in psychology, and my own depth therapy, I had come to understand that C.G. Jung was correct in saying that the void in between the conscious "head" and unconscious "heart" was populated by strong archetypes and powerful image-beings of my own and my culture's psyche. Very real life and death issues live there in that boundary zone. Yet, the crossing of that distance and the facing of those challenges is the journey that must be undertaken if one is to become one whole being. Seth seemed to grasp what I was talking about, and encouraged me to go on.
So I told him how that after months of praying, I made the fearful plunge. I had roused myself to the understanding that God would speak to me or close the door through which I was preparing to step if He did not want me to walk through. To be honest; there was no sense of a resounding "yes", but more importantly there wasn't even a faint "no". I had no other indicators for or against, save my own cultures' fears and prohibitions.
A long time I stood trembling on that threshold between hope in a constant but unseen goodness, and a pervasive social fear-state. I felt deeply that taking this step could affect my experience in eternity. This was almost too great a risk to contemplate.
By means of some plant matter that I was able to prepare and fearfully swallow, I gradually began to notice a unifying principle of love emerging, and to find some connection with the disparate parts of my soul.
As I shared this with Seth, I told him how worried I had been that revealing this kind of information might lead to all kinds of problems because of the whole issue of "DRUGS". This was especially the case considering Seth's own near tragedies some years earlier. But, as I openly shared these things, I began to feel a certain change in both of us.
Seth also shared many things with me. Chief among them was how much it meant to him that his father would be this open and honest enough with him to risk everything for the truth. He shared also that he and his sisters had noticed some remarkable changes in me over the past couple of years and how radical and pronounced they had been. Now, he said, he could see part of the reason I had been able to change so. Big hugs and teary sighs brought a foretaste of healing that day.
I also told him that I had been thinking about sharing a time on a camping trip with him with the addition of the medicine, wondering what in our relationship might be made accessible. I hastened to add that yes or no were equally the right answer and he assured me that he would consider it an honor and a privilege to do so. Well, by then I was on cloud nine, partly from the feeling of a weight lifted off and partly from anticipation of future joy.
I expressed my hope of sharing this same disclosure with his older sister as well, but Seth cautioned me to wait, as she was in a relationship with a guy whom he did not trust and who might be future trouble should such information fall into his hands . (Boy was that prophetic!!)
A few days later, I encountered my daughter Jessie walking down the hill from Seth's to our house where she was visiting, and I could feel tears come to my eyes. A bit puzzled, she hugged me and I was able to tell her that I was longing for a time when we could be together and I could share some deep and needful things from me to her. (There had been a long period of estrangement as she struggled with her identity and a subsequent addiction to heroin. She had been in recovery for a couple of years.) She hugged me and quietly affirmed her desire for that to be possible also.
I guess it should be obvious by now, that there was much in my life that had been problematic. In raising our children, a lot of undiscerned damage had been done despite my best intentions and efforts.
In May the circumstances fell into place and the day finally rolled around for Seth and me to leave to drive to my brother's in Colorado. It was a 17-hour drive, but the time fairly flew by as we talked and shared our hopes and views on many topics of significance.
Coming down to visit my brother Dan, in that especially beautiful land of desert mesas and awesome canyons had a special significance to me. I had shared this sacramental communion with my brother two years previous, and it totally transformed our relationship from one of distant and mild interest to one of deep brotherly solidarity and soul partnering. Since that time we have held each other, cried and laughed together, helped each other, and drawn close on the deepest levels.
Of course Dan knew that Seth was going to join me in this same kind of intimate fellowship, and so had prepared everything in advance and made himself available as the general servant and facilitator. He said that was willing to not join us or be included in the special father-son time. I told him that he was certainly welcome to join us in all aspects of the camp out, but that I would be primarily focused on seeing Seth through his own issues and helping him step completely as possible out into manhood.
I envisioned this as an initiatory time of passing into true adulthood: something that had never actually happened as he had left home prematurely. This passage into adulthood is something that is not consciously provided for in our culture, but would, by the grace of God, be happening with us there under the open canopy of heaven.
Just before Seth and I left, we learned that Jessie and her troubling boyfriend
were going to be traveling through the same general area of the country at about the same time, quite by "chance." We all encouraged her to call us when she got to her friends in Utah which was about 2 hours away from Dan's so we might get together with her as well for some camping and hiking or whatever might be. Of course we did not know whether that would turn out to be possible either from a timing or a logistical point of view. Also, it was increasingly apparent that her boyfriend was of the controlling type personality and seemed intent on isolating her from her family if possible.
Well, Dan, true to his servants' heart, had even gone up to camp the week before our arrival with firewood and a weed whacker!! And the morning after our arrival at his home, he took us on a hike from the valley floor where he lives (at 3500 feet) up a steep mesa to about 7500 feet of elevation to get us limbered up and acclimated. Whew! Our legs and lungs told us that he had anticipated all of our needs!
The next morning (which was that of the night of the full of the moon), we drove out over the mesas and mountains to that very special place where Dan and I, and later my dear wife and I had shared so richly. Dan had more fittingly than we knew, "named" the place Zion for the high hill top with the sweeping view over the mesas.
Fasting, Dan, Seth and I set up camp, arranged our things, and later in the day, explored a bit. Then on return to camp each took some of a well known empathogen, and sat down to pray that God would help us each to see Him in each other and to see His ways for our lives, Etc. We read some meaningful things and waited. Soon we began to know the beginnings of the answer to those prayers. We went for another short hike, rejoicing and praising God for the richness of His love that we could see in our common and individual lives. Much concern and much love reached out from us all to Jessie who was not known for certain to be anywhere within a thousand miles. We each realized that she was very much on our hearts and minds.
Later on that afternoon, Seth had come to some personal realizations and had found his way to the top of the highest part of the mesa, which has a flat table-like area about 10 feet in diameter atop a high cone shaped mound. This point which we had "named" Mt. Zion, was where he wept and spoke alone with God and did some inner business that had been years in the waiting. Some of this he later shared with me, and it blessed me deeply.
We came back to camp and added a supplement of one of the C series of phenethylamine medicines. As we lay down to rest and wait, many things began to come to the surface in Seth, as his steadiness, resourcefulness, and determination to find truth began to emerge. We all went for a great hike through amazing beauty, and then settled in for the night with a fire and music.
As I was the designated medicine man as well as the fire man, I had the hearth well in hand. The full moon rose into filmy cirrus clouds that brushed the stars and strung them together with the finest of webs. Many good CDs were in the player and the music was as peaceful as the night. Dan had a special battery set up in his truck so we had music that proved to be deeply moving.
Later in the night when the moon was well up, I asked Dan if he would be at all uncomfortable if I took Seth for a walk and Seth if he would mind accompanying me. This was agreeable to all, so Seth and I left camp and climbed up onto the mesa top to find a place to be and just talk about whatever came up.
As we went up on to "Zion", I remember being powerfully impacted by the story of Abraham and Isaac, and what an amazingly difficult experience that must have been for them both. The fear and apprehension of that huge moment in history began to fill me, only to be replaced with the calm and certain knowledge that as they were faithful to what God was speaking to them, the provision of His loving gift was shown. I prayed within for the same fidelity to what God might want to demonstrate or do.
On the mesa above camp and the valley we talked of many things, and soon the deepest core issues of Seth's life came up. These were things that had been operating in his psyche with an astonishing degree of autonomy and power for years. As he identified them and went through all the permutations of blame and ascription of responsibilities, I tried my best to understand the reality of what he with words was trying to communicate.
At one frustrating point, I cried, "Seth, I need to hear you better! Help me hear you better!" After multiple tries, I came to understand that now he could see his life-issues and history as a metaphor of the many unresolved things in our family history, going back for generations.
It would be impossible to adequately explain the depth to which I saw that like Abraham and Isaac, we had brought all that we knew to be true of ourselves to that place of sacrifice and unknowing. In the same way, born out of the approval of our willingness to obey and risk everything, God turned our sacrifice into provision. And because of this, an act became infused with a power to release and redemption to generations behind and ahead. We discovered that we had been asked to step into a type or a shadow of something that was vastly beyond our own thinking, and as we walked the steps of that, we were privileged to draw upon its power for healing and renewal. We began in that place to put those things in order and to take responsibility for our own parts of the story, and healing began.
There is not time nor would it be appropriate to go into the myriad resolutions of the many aspects of the family structure, our individual souls, and the God who made us and put us together as a family, but two different men walked down off that mesa that night. Time had set the tone for healing and restoration on a deeply generational level. To this day, several years later, we are still living out the patterns of understanding gained that night.
As Seth and I arrived back in camp with the dogs, my brother Dan was obviously glad to see us and later commented that he could really see a clearly different Seth. This was Seth, the man and father, come into his own, and walking with his father in adulthood and confident assurance that all that he had dared hope and fight for would be his.
We spent a wonderful night of deep appreciation and love around the fire and the CD player. The dogs kept the coyotes informed of their boundaries, while the moon swept the grasses and mesas with the softest of pastels.
We spent most of the next day resting around camp and eating lightly, and recalling all the things we had learned and seen.
For a day or two we stayed fairly close to home at Dans' house. There was some country I had wanted to show Seth, and so we drove off for a sightseeing trip. I recall that the next three nights were very restless for me, as I was constantly waking up and finding myself either praying for or contending for Jessie in my dreams. On our return from a drive to show Seth the Anasazi ruins in a place Dan and I had discovered the previous year, Dan's phone rang and there was Jessie! She was in Moab! She could get together with us and take a couple of days for camping, since her friend had found some remodel work with someone there. Hallelujah!
We agreed that I would meet her in Moab Monday at about 0900, for a camp-out and get together outing. I met up with her, and after a warm hug with lots of happiness from her and a cool and distant regard from the "boyfriend," we drove into Arches National Park for some sight seeing on the way to camp. It was beautiful there, and the psychic and emotional space around us was so pregnant that we ended up crying at the beauty of it all, and for no other particular reason that we could tell.
When we finally made it to the camp place, Dan and Seth having already gotten it set up and were waiting for us in a shady grotto. We got close enough for the dogs to get out of our Jeep, Jessie's dog and mine ran ahead to be "surprise-ambushed" by Seth's big Australian Shepherd who had been waiting to pounce. There was an explosion of dog joy, reunion and celebration as we pulled in to the camp!
As evening fell I let the guys know that I wanted to have "the talk" with Jessie, and they kept a respectful distance. I asked her if she remembered that time I had tears in my eyes and had told her how much I wanted to share some things with her. She did of course. And then I asked about her commitment to David, the "boyfriend." I told her that I had to ask because what I wanted to share was very personal and potentially dangerous to me, and I needed to know where she was at as far as the relationship was concerned. She very seriously told me that Dave was a friend who had "a lot of problems" but that she wasn't sure how she felt about being with him so much.
She said that the reason for her road trip with Dave was that she had felt that it was the right time to pull back from her routine at home and get away from the town and job and all those routine things so that whatever was real inside her might become clear to her. So this is why she left with David in the first place. She then told me that anything that I shared with her would be between her and me. "Good enough", said I.
I then shared a version of what I had told Seth. With tears down my face, I told her how much I loved her and how hard it was for me to walk in a partial honesty, and how sorry I was for that element of unreality. I told her that I was prepared to sit with her in that sacred communion should she desire, and that Seth and Dan could join us if it seemed good to her, to help along. I told her that there was no pressure or expectation, and again, that Yes or No were each the right answer. She interrupted me as soon as she could get a word in edgewise and said, "The right answer is YES!" The whole company was fairly humming with barely subdued anticipation.
We decided to sleep on it that night and to fast a bit, and then begin at about noon tomorrow. That morning we took her on an orientation walk so she could feel comfortable with the lay of the land. As we talked, she recalled how she had said that day before in Arches National Park that there seemed to be writing in all the rock faces. She had said at the time she felt no need to try to interpret that writing. I jumped in, and trying to be "spiritual", said that it seemed to me that the messages said "I Am."
She replied that she felt like they were saying to her something more like "I Am This, Now." (I think I just said, "Whew," and shut up.)
Back at camp we drank some sassafras tea with the medicine as before, and with much prayer for help and guidance, we settled back under our sun shelter to wait in hope for God to show us His ways.
After a while, I noticed a small tear in her eye, and Seth, lying beside his sister writing something on a yellow tablet. He looked over at her and handed it to her, and said simply, "What are the plusses and minuses?" I could see her thinking for some moments. She laid back and later began to write. About an hour later she handed me the pad where Seth had written, + FORGIVENESS - ?
She had written, (and I paraphrase), "There are NO minuses. So long I have carried the sense that I have failed and that I must do what it takes to fix it all. This has colored all of my choices and responses in life. I thought this was mine. It is not mine. It never was mine. I am not that... I am strong, I am loved, and I am beautiful. I do not need to carry that any more. I am forgiven and I forgive myself. I forgive myself for believing that it lies within me to fix myself." and words to that effect.
All three of us there witnessed in her countenance the change from a tired, drawn, quiet young lady with circles under her eyes, to a radiant and royal looking young woman with poise and grace and a command of her inner parts. All of us remarked later how abrupt and astonishing that transformation was. So pronounced was this change, that each of us thought that it was surely only a personal perception, and that no one else could see it the same! But it was independently and powerfully present to us all.
Later as we hiked around we were once again deeply moved by the beauty of the land and the amazing palette of pastels that everywhere greeted us in the earth. The vivid blue sky and gnarled silver of the ancient juniper trunks, with pale blue berries scattered beneath accented it all. In all the places where water would collect and run off during the summer thunder storms we would find these exquisite feminine contours and shapes in the sandstone where curves and lips and vaginal involutions were accented by the most delicate lines and colors of pink to orange to cream colors. The lichens on the surfaces we hiked were of the most iridescent of greens, yellows, oranges, pale lavenders, and black, and were arrayed in the most intricate and evocative patterns; each in its own place yet all together in a whole that trembled on the brink of some deep recognition. The ravens that nest in the cliffs nearby rose on the breeze to follow us, and hovered overhead just high enough to listen in and to make their croaking commentaries in reply.
Many times Jessie would be just standing there with a beatific gaze or a tear on her face. When asked of it, she would remark on the preciousness of our family, or God's amazing grace to bring us all to this place at this time and in this way; or how much of her life had been striving for autonomy and how debilitating that was, and how life is about acceptance and saying, "Yes" to it all. (We used to humorously tell each other a theme from "A Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy," that the answer to Life, the Universe and Everything was 42 and have a good laugh.) Now we all saw that the answer is simply "Yes." Yes to the great Love that moves all things to an ultimate perfection.
As we supplemented the medicine, and the afternoon deepened into evening, our love and understanding of the sacredness of our lives together likewise deepened. I found myself standing on a cliff above camp in the twilight; the camp fire lit below, and me dancing in the sky to the music from the player, with my dear daughter Jessie sitting with her brother and her uncle, safe and joyful by the fire. I knew that generations had joined us at this alter, and a deep sense of an eternal "just-so-ness" assured me that something of eternal consequence had been brought forth that day as well. It was a deep time of reverent praise for me. The amethyst sky lightened to a translucent lilac color in the west and seemed to call to the stars to come out to watch over us through the night. And this they did.
That night around the fire we talked of many things, and Jessie realized that David was just carrying and acting out way too much darkness and pain for her to continue with. She allowed that she could sit with him while he healed, but could not carry his darkness and bitterness anymore.
We talked about beings who are themselves light, as contrasted with those who merely cloak themselves in borrowed light to use for their own ends. We rejoiced in realizing the angelic covering we have enjoyed all our lives, and about the need to not be taken in by those who merely use light as a covering for their own agendas.
Having had this conversation an hour or so earlier, we were thrilled to look in the sky to see curtains and ribbons of pale green, violet, and blue light streaming down from the north. Of course! It was the Solar Maximum for sure, and the Northern Lights; but also a confirming visitation by Light Itself!
We finally, gratefully, and with great satisfaction fell asleep in great peace, and awakened around dawn to a vaguely familiar smell... What was it?... Ah yes, rain on wet pavement!? Clouds to the West; sunrise to the east! Rain was falling miles away with cool air spilling down from the clouds and pushing the sweet odor of wet, warm sandstone and sage and pinion and juniper over the mesas to us... We sat up to just draw it in like a refreshing fruit drink on a hot afternoon. Then Lo! There was a fountain of the purest prismatic colors springing up some miles away on the horizon! Only the base of a huge rainbow could be seen. Another gift of light! Brilliant, it was against the deep plum colored clouds that were being washed along the edges with a golden translucence where the virga just hung in space. Zion was silent and hushed, breathing in the perfume of the desert and that precious moist allotment of life.
Jessie and I (after I took good photos) walked up onto the mesa top and wandered for some miles and hours drinking in the beauty as a gentle rain began. The cactus blooms seemed even more radiant than yesterday and the stone and earth more rich in color from moistness and the early morning light angle. As the rain began, the Canyon Wrens and Meadow Larks began to sing in earnest thanksgiving for new opportunities to hunt, gather and feed their young occasioned by this rain. As we returned to camp we had the chance to see the sandstone which had been formed by water reply by channeling the rain into the water's very own images and shapes all over again. The cycles and reciprocities resonate with me even as I type this.
We left camp tired and contented. Jessie consented to stay with us at Uncle Dan and Aunt Vicki's for a couple of more days, and we all settled in to a comfortable familiarity. The love in that home for and toward Jessie was very evident. They both impressed upon her that she was to call them if there was ANY need, and that she would always have a place there.
The next day Seth and I had to leave for our long drive home, and on the way we were to drop Jessie off in Moab to hook up with the boyfriend. Sigh... We got up at 3:00 AM after a restless night to leave her behind as we headed back up to home and work responsibilities. We eventually found David's pickup and camper at the town park, and Jessie and her dog Sasha got out of the Jeep for the last time.
After a long and gentle, deep hug from her, we prayed. When I had asked her if I could pray about anything for her during that long night on Zion, she had said "No," after thinking for a while. But the next day on our morning hike she had said that I could pray that she would be able to continue to walk in the truth she had come to see, and in the beauty she had come to know and that she would be able to speak her heart and not be so concerned whether she was understood; just to be able to just say it and let the chips fall where they may. Oh my, what music to my ears!
We said a difficult goodbye to Jessie. Then Seth and I settled in for the long drive into another dawn. We had a good long visit about the things we had seen and been shown as we discovered our journey back to each other as adults. We talked long and hard about our concern for Jessie's safety and how we needed to not doubt the God who had brought us together and shown us in many ways His great care. We affirmed the need to keep acknowledging that He was doing a deep and thorough work in us all, and that He would not let her miss the completion of His purposes.
At home that night I finally slept deeply but woke up wondering about Jessie. I tried several times to call various message numbers she had given for contact in Moab, to no avail. I was very puzzled at my own agitation and doubt. I had just given up trying to contact her, and the phone rang. It was Dan. Jessie had called. Dave had dropped her off somewhere in the desert about 2 hours away from Dan's home. He was going right out to find her, and said he would call me back when he found her, but that she sounded all right.
At a small, lonely service station in the desert, Jessie got her things out and called Dan. On seeing this, Dave was extremely enraged, and jerked his dog out of the truck and tied it to her suitcase. He then drove off up the road, and left her there in the desert at a small, dilapidated gas station with tumbleweeds and an outhouse out back.
Dan, before leaving, had called that area's local sheriff's office, advising them of her plight. So a bit later, a deputy drove up to see that she was all right. He kindly offered any and all help including a ride, but she told him, "My uncle Dan will be here before long." (With a vengeance if needed!) The deputy talked to the station owner and asked him to keep an eye out and to call if anything untoward might be happening. This man very kindly watched over her and was quite solicitous while she sat outside and alternately petted the dogs and cried. Then a state trooper also showed up and offered her help, and promised to stay in the area until Uncle Dan arrived. Talk about Gods' faithful protection!
Well, Jessie ended up staying there in Colorado with her Uncle Dan and Aunt Vicki, and has by now come to a very deep measure of peace. She found work, and she is finding even deeper meaning on her journey... She is strong and beautiful and she is walking in truth and beauty. She has spoken the truth and she let the chips fall where they would. She is staying right on point with what she learned on Zion.
I dearly love all of my children, as they have become their own persons in this world. I love my brother and his wife, as they have found God together in each other, and in Him have found each other. I love my dear wife who has walked with me through the deep uncertainty that I have brought into our lives by daring to walk "the roads less traveled." Together we hold in open hands the treasures we have found along that path, and I know this for certain: that He who has begun a good work in us will complete it.
Seth later sat with me and went through our photos of the trip, and made my heart so glad with his understanding and determination to walk in what God showed him and in the new relationship we have as men. Dan called and described how hectic things had gotten since we left and yet how he remembered all that had been given us. Today he has a measure of peace and assurance that is simply perfect.
There is something penned by D.H. Lawrence which has spoken to me over these dozen or so years. It reads:
"I am not a mechanism, an assembly of various sections. And it is not because a mechanism is working wrongly that I am ill. I am ill because of the wounds of the soul...to the deep emotional self. And the wounds to the soul take a long, long time, only time can help, and patience, and a certain difficult repentance, a long and difficult repentance, and realization of life's mistake, and the freeing oneself from the endless repetition of THE MISTAKE which mankind at large has chosen to sanctify."
What can I say?
Some four years later, Jessie is married to a wonderful young man whom she met in Moab, through the circle of acquaintances Dave introduced her to that spring. She and her husband are deliriously happy, and are so wonderfully respectful and supportive of each other that their growth is amazing to watch.
Seth continues to amaze me as he continues to hang on to what is True, and best in the midst of painful and puzzling circumstances. Truly deep strength and honor are being forged in the fires of his commitment to generational redemption. The life he is gaining is showing like molten gold in the characters of his wife and two children.
Dan is growing in wisdom and patience. We have had occasion to journey together into many of the recesses of our family maze, and he is faithfully continuing the honorable work of being "there" for his family in ways that no one was ever there for him. His honesty and giving nature are both growing and continue to be an inspiration to me.
As for me? I am still these years later both amazed and gratified at the opportunity to find the reality of loving commitment within family, and of the ability of these tools, when combined with right intention, to aid us to do work in the deep recesses of the heart. While I might have been willing to do the work, I had very little knowledge of where to work or what to do. Of course I am still learning to walk in what I was shown then, and finding that theory and understanding are good but no substitute for a life practice. Undoing habits of response that are years deep takes work and commitment and trust. The work is being done, and the fruits are showing up in abundance.
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