After confronting Adam, I had a few days to think about things. I decided to go out with a friend who’s divorced to get her perspective. I needed to vent on what was happening. Instead of having a pity party, I wanted to feel good and knew that for an evening I could indulge on two of my favorites–Red Robin’s Bottomless Steak Fries and Merlot. I would be in heaven, if just for a few hours.
I picked up Mary and we drove to Red Robin. On our way there, she updated me on her current relationship. Since her divorce, she’s dated a few men and was now in a complex relationship. I found myself giving her advice that I should be taking too. Mary had been married for 15 years and had divorced her husband because of emotional and mental abuse. During the divorce proceedings, she discovered the financial fraud he had committed and the truth revealed had stunned her. Mary confided in me that she was so much happier now; however, the current beau was draining her emotionally. She was confused by his contradictory behavior and although in a committed relationship, he was not present to her, figuratively and literally. After numerous conversations and empty promises, his behavior had not changed. Mary knew that she could not change him and that his behavior, then and now, would not be any different than tomorrow.
Sometimes the answers, Grace, are already evident, clearly in front of us. But when we wear the rose-colored glasses, we see everything as rosy–at least, we want to see matters of the heart in that way. At that moment, I was wearing contact lenses and perhaps, it was the lenses I was wearing that had an affect on me. I hadn’t worn lenses in quite some time, and the blood shot eyes from the dryness were apparent. I was staring reality in my face. As if blood vessels had burst in my eyes from the stark reality, I, for once in this matter, was beginning to understand the decision that was before me; thanks to my lenses or maybe it was Merlot.
I devoured the steak fries and Buffalo wings, my comfort for the evening, while Merlot served as my subconsciousness. As we were preparing to pay, I noticed the Jungle Shake and decided with all this monkey business going on, we should at least partake in some good, clean fun. We ordered two. Mary and I continued to talk and I began to feel the spirits take over.
Since Target was next door, I decided to let shopping kill the buzz–at least the alcoholic buzz–before I had to drive home. As we perused the clothing aisles, I began grabbing each item that appealed to me and plopped it over my left arm–even a rose-colored hooded cardigan (now that’s the rosy I want to see!). A naturally induced, exhilarating buzz was overtaking me–that’s one buzz I don’t want to kill. Oh, wait, was I in a manic phase of bipolar? I’m certain Adam would think that–anything to deflect from him.
What do you think the damage to my wallet was? Yikes, Grace!
Guiding Lesson: Eve, getting together with friends during difficult times is a must. The ability to break open your lives and share your stories with each other can be very healing, even if you don’t have everything solved. And doing this over a meal makes it more fun because you get to wash out the bitter taste in your mouth with the delightful and comforting tastes of food and spirit.
Like you started to say, another benefit to calling upon friends is that a lot of the time the answer to your conflict is in the advice you give them. This is how connected human beings are. The interlocking stories are to bring you to the realization that people are designed to help each other and by doing so are helping themselves. Here is a story that demonstrates this point.
There was a man and woman who were married. They were having lots of struggles causing them to think that they were living in hell. They did not know how to break the vicious cycle so they decided the only answer was to break up the marriage. They both blamed each and could not see the simple solution.
Now, God was intensively listening and decided to send them his trusted angel Gabriel known for his ability to communicate. He was instructed to show them what heaven and hell really look like.
So as Gabriel approached their home, he discovered that the man and woman were in separate rooms grieving the potential loss. Gabriel knocked on the door and introduces himself and explained the reason for his visit. The couple could not believe that God so much to send an angel and they welcomed him. They were not sure getting a tour of heaven or hell would help them but they didn’t argue because they were so tired of doing this.
Their first stop was hell. They immediately noticed that they people were emaciated and starving. The man and woman could not understand since they were sitting at a banquet table with plenty of food. Then they realized why. They could not bend their unusually long arms to feed themselves.
Gabriel thought that they had seen enough and took them to see heaven. The people there were also sitting at a banquet with delicious food. They even had long arms that could not bend, except they were not starving. They were so surprised that they could not see how this was possible. Then Gabriel began to show them. He said, “Pay attention to how they are able to get the food in their mouths. They are not trying to feed themselves because that would not work with arms that don’t bend. They are feeding the person across the table because their arms are designed to remind them to care for the other so all get fed.”
The man and woman BOTH recognized how shellfish they had been. They stopped caring for each other and that is why they felt they were living in hell. They were more concerned about getting what they need which caused the marriage to starve. In a marriage you need two people to commit to feeding it because one person cannot keep it going in a healthy direction.
Well, Eve, I hope you enjoyed the story. This may also help your friend in her situation. And like I said, it is about extending yourself to help the other which, in turn, helps you. This is a taste of heaven.