I want to write about faith and courage, and share with you about a particular core conflict dynamic with my wife Schena that has been quite repetitive and challenging for us over our now almost 19 years of marriage. I have grown enormously over the years learning how to truly live and apply the skills I offer to others; and with those skills we have been able to continually navigate those issues and come back to connection and to nurturing a rich and beautiful family life together.
The deeper sharing I want to offer to you here is how this core conflict dynamic just wouldn’t get fully resolved. It kept coming back, sometimes more intensely, and then to be navigated once again back to connection. Some of you reading may feel some recognition of this relationship pattern. I want to tell you about what seems to be a transformation of this pattern that feels kind of miraculous, and how that happened.
Of all the things I had tried over the years, there was one thing I hadn’t done in our relationship. It was to see, really see, how the depths of traumatic fear lodged deep in my mind and body had constricted and limited my ability in our relationship to open, listen to, and follow my heart. This kept me from taking a leap of faith. What was that leap of faith? To believe in her and myself at a level that was really scary for me, to say “yes” to her heart’s invitation to mine.
I thought I knew my trauma and fear so well, like an old, familiar blanket wrapped tightly around me keeping me safe and protected. But I had not noticed how its cloaking insulated me from the life my heart was asking me to step into. I could not recognize how the astonishing radiance of Schena’s bold, courageous, adventurous, passionate spirit was inviting and cajoling me into a larger and greater life of magic and beauty and wonder, and also into greater contribution to the world. The life I dreamed about and longed for was hidden in plain sight right in front of me.
The problem was that I saw Schena’s bold, courageous, and visionary way of living as terrifying to the parts of me that wanted safety and security. So, my survival brain resisted mightily. What it took to step into saying “yes” was courage. I thought of myself as courageous, but in many ways I was not. What gives us the courage to step into and through the fears that stop us in our tracks, and to heal? I found that for me it is faith.
As I have been walking through a long “dark night of the soul,” faith and courage have come to me through deepening into the spirituality of the components of empathic communication (which for me come out of the work of Nonviolent Communication/NVC). I have found that the components give me the ability to experience, if for only brief moments at a time, the peace of unconditional wellbeing (i.e. not dependent on what happens), the joy and love of feeling one with the universal life force in us and others that doesn’t suffer and die, and the awe and wonder of being “in the flow” of life marveling at beauty and the appearance of synchronicities.
Through these communication doorways, or dimensions, of consciousness I taste and touch the experience of wholeness, mystery, and the mystical at the source of creation. From this place, I find the faith and courage to face and feel and heal the fear and suffering through communication with myself and others, and courageously step into the life of my heart’s calling.
I would very much enjoy hearing about your experience of faith and courage if you’d like to write to me. Thank you for reading!