I’m getting the silent treatment, or at least that’s what I think it is. I haven’t seen my wife since last Thursday, and I haven’t heard a peep from her since Saturday. I have tried to engage her: I call, but it goes straight to voice mail, so I leave a cheerful little messages. I occasionally get texts from her, and the last exchange we had was on Saturday. It was all very positive and cheerful. Since then I’ve heard nothing. Nada, zilch, bubkis.
I’ve been thinking something was up, especially since she gave me that letter last week. So, I had a session with my counselor yesterday to talk this over and try to decipher what the heck is going on with this woman. As I’ve likely mentioned before, my counselor is a very skilled individual, and more of a marriage coach than a counselor. His approach is fundamentally pro-marriage, and he comes at pretty much every session, even those with obstinate spouses, from the standpoint of assuming that, since you are married, you are going to stay that way. I took the liberty of typing up a copy of my wife’s letter and sending it to him, and he did have a chance to read it over. His assessment was that she is in a deep state of crisis right now. All of the happiness she has been seeking through this path of destruction is eluding her, and will continue to elude her. This certainly makes sense from the standpoint of karma: while it’s not exactly a case of you get back what you give, it is very much the case that negative actions are rewarded by negative outcomes, and positive actions, while carrying no guarantee of having positive outcomes, are at least far more likely to see good things come to fruition.
He felt that the tone of her letter was warm, and that she was trying to accomplish several things. First, there were the expressions of gratitude to me and my family. Then, there were the apologies; these he explained as of the variety of “I’m sorry for my actions, but I’m going to continue to do them.” Finally, there were the celebrations of our past, outlining many of the positives she says she holds dear to her heart. On top of all of this, there was a sense of finality about her writing and choice of words, but he said that I shouldn’t take that seriously. I had the same reaction in reading it as well, and it was as though her expressions of finality were merely half-hearted.
Certainly I’m getting conflicting signals. Her behavior has been cordial, for the most part, but she has almost totally withdrawn from me. She has given me gifts and done nice things that were totally unsolicited, and some of these have happened in the past few days. Yet at the same time, she has really turned a cold shoulder over the past few days. Something is definitely up. I felt this way last week before discovering her note to me, and I still feel this way. I don’t know what it is. I cannot put my finger on it, really. I have the sense, in a way, that her situation is starting to finally spiral out of control. I’ve said this before, but there is something about this situation that strikes me, energetically at least, as unprecedented. It’s like there is this despair that underlies everything about her, and she is grasping helplessly at whatever tiny strands of happiness she thinks are out there. Unfortunately, none of those strands is substantial enough to provide her with what she’s seeking.
And then there’s me. I’m here, totally stable, and not going away. That’s got to bug her to no end. My life is heading in the right direction. I’ve worked on myself these past five months such that the complaints she had about me are mostly gone. The reasons for her wanting to exit her relationship with me are getting flimsier and flimsier. Basically, there is no basis to her arguments anymore, and I sense that she knows it. This would only make the process of her justifying her own behavior and situation that much more difficult.
So I guess that’s where she stands right now. Her life as she’s tried to construct it is an utter sham, and I think she knows it. She has lied to so many people for such a long time that I suspect it is finally starting to come unhinged. She has also surrounded herself with a small core of people who seem to support her agenda, and facing the reality of having to admit to them that her “new” life is a sham must be quite humiliating. But that is exactly what must and will happen. It will also take a great act of humility for her to want to return to this house and this relationship, but that is also necessary for her to heal.
Where do I stand right now? Actually in a pretty good place. Things are looking fairly good professionally. Emotionally I am pretty stable, and not plagued by endless worry, sleepless nights, and lack of appetite. I still get anxious, I do get lonely sometimes, and I even am occasionally despondent, but overall things are pretty good for me right now.
Let me just briefly return to the idea of karma, though. On Sunday, I received an email from a friend who practices in a different Tibetan Buddhist lineage. She invited me to an open house at their center, so I decided to go. It’s a tiny place that inhabits basically a small office/shop space in a strip mall. Weird place for a spiritual center, I know, but they’re making it work. She told me that they would be having a Red Tara empowerment that night, and that I’d be welcome to attend if I so desired. In Vajrayana Buddhism, empowerments are very important: it is seen that there are certain practices, or sometimes certain aspects of some practices, that one cannot do without the proper introduction. This is given in the form of a ritual ceremony that bestows the blessings of the lineage, and clears away the karmic obstacles to whatever practice is being empowered. In her lineage, Red Tara is central; in mine, it’s Green Tara.
I know, I know… you’re saying “Tara what?” Tara is seen as the female buddha of compassion that manifests in different forms, 21 to be precise. She is also known, on the absolute level as Samantabhadri, the consort of Samantabhadra, the primordial buddha, and thus she is seen as the mother of all of the buddhas and hence the mother of all enlightened activity. (Remember, the idea of buddhas is just that: a formal idea. It represents something that is beyond ideation, but presents a gateway for reaching the experience of that which it represents.) Green Tara is seen as the main emanation of Tara, the ninth in the series of 21 emanations, and is considered to be the protector from all fears. The color green symbolizes karma energy, which manifests as all-accomplishing wisdom. Red Tara represents padma energy, which is magnetizing, and manifests as the wisdom of discriminating awareness. Green Tara has been a regular practice for me for nearly a year, and is seen to remove obstacles in one’s life, particularly obstacles to compassionate activity. Red Tara is new to me, but I find it interesting that this practice would become available to me exactly at the time in my life when I might need magnetizing energy to manifest the most. That’s karma.
Since that evening, I’ve decided to refrain from any sort of negativity that might impact my reconciliation efforts. I realized that there still were things I was doing, even at the subtle level, that were acting sort of as a wedge between myself and the process of reconciliation. This even included holding on to emails and computer files that I initially thought I might need as evidence at some point. Those are gone now.
I still think something’s up. I still don’t know what it is. But I do know that I have patience and can wait this out.