Chapter 7 ~ Into the Clearing
(Wedding meaning the looking within and facing the challenge of the mystery of your being and then the wedding/marriage of all parts of ones self to make one whole.)
"The journey through the woods on the way to the wedding winds around many obstacles and through varied terrains. The journey is unique for each person, but all who have started on their way share the experiment and ecstasy of a vision, the fear and trembling before the awesome mystery of love, and the agony of the struggle to find the way.
The obstacles we encounter on the way to the wedding are like rocks that, in changing the course of a rushing river, leads us into new ways of our being and love. Through encountering the obstacles, we grow and change into the adventure that our life and love are.
The obstacles and the suffering that goes with them are actually stepping stones on the way; they are an essential part of the way and form the very course of our journey."
(No pain no gain).
Okay to make a really long story short and because I don't want to type it all out, this Linda Leonard, in addition to everything else, was a mountain climber. Her 'lover' was too. They decided to climb Kilimanjaro. At first the guides thought she shouldn't finish the climb because they felt she wouldn't make it. (Now this does happen because my son who just climbed told me the guides do encourage or discourage certain people.) Her 'lover' also told her he thought she wouldn't make it (men are so dumb sometimes - think things, don't say things - that goes for us women too I must admit). At first she was angry, but ah a woman scorned, they become even more determined. She decided to go for it.
"The hardest part of her trip was at 17,000 feet when her lover called out that he could not make it! An unexpected attack of severe altitude sickness. He was a doctor and knew the symptoms. She despaired over what to do."
"Should she turn back and join him, or should she try to go on and reach the top alone?"
Knowing that he probably wanted her to join him - should she go on? If she did was it love (did she love him) if she went on alone? Was it an ego trip to go on?
"She was confused. Her task was to climb the mountain. Her heart sank. Her will quavered. To go back would have been easy. It was the loyal womanly thing to do. "
Or was it?
"It was hard, but she made her decision . . . go on. Try to reach the goal. (I realized when I read this book it was my personal Epiphany). And she went on in agony of the struggle, with the fear and trembling before the challenge of the mountain, and with the challenge of her relationship - she went on anyway, without knowing the consequences. "
"She descended. At first her lover was mad at her. She felt terrible, but inside she felt empowered, as though a new life would begin for her."
Of course their relationship changed. It got better. Things worked out for them because both of them were open to change and growth - but it doesn't always work out that way. "If the inner wedding is not reached before the outer wedding takes place or during the course of a marriage, the marriage frequently breaks up because it lacks the dept of a soul relationship."
You have to know when to be strong and when to be weak. You have to know when to mourn and when to laugh. You have to know when to talk and when to be quiet. You have to know when to stay and when to go on. And at times it can come with a very high price tag.
"When you encounter difficulties and contradictions, do not try to break them, but bend them with gentleness and time." – St. Francis De Sales
Don't try to break your difficulties and contradictions, try to bend with them with gentleness, but when all the trying you can do is done and you've bent as far as you can bend - then take a leap of faith and go forward . . . I was just talking to a friend last night about this very thing. The question for me is - how in the world you get the courage to do the hardest thing in the world you've ever done - with no assurances of what the outcome will be. I guess give it time and when the time is right you will know. Like in Enchanted April - maybe in waiting you'll find an answer. I'm not sure.