We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know

What I’m about to share are a couple profound experiences (teachings!) I witnessed as a young adult. It is with sincere thanks to my family for always allowing me to be who I AM. And for the courage in each of you to always be with ‘what is’.

My parents are happily married (50+ years!!) and have more love and honor for their relationship today than the day before. They gifted me the grace to share this writing.

And how could we know… as my writing unfolded it opened a door to a level of authentic vulnerable sharing and healing of guilt and shame that could not have ever been imagined.

Thank you Mom and Dad for showing me the way of resilience and trust through life’s contrasts.

Thank you for your eternal open hearts. ♥️

As much as we are individuals it is in the togetherness that we are whole.

I am deeply grateful for my family and what they have taught me about the depths of unconditional love and never giving up.

We don’t know what we don’t know.

So often a heartbreaking or tragic story is shared and you hear the whispers and hushes bounce off every corner in the room; I could ‘never’ handle that if it happened to me. Or ‘I wouldn’t be able to live or function if that happened’.

But how could you know.

Until you are standing in an unprecedented and shocking circumstance, you can never know the limitless strength of the human spirit. It is greater and more forgiving than you could ever imagine. It’s the place where your soul touches the void.

Let’s consider infidelity. How many times have we heard in conversation how most everything in a relationship can be worked through except for infidelity. I mean that is a pretty clear dealbreaker, right?!

But how could you know.

I am a daughter who experienced her parents reveal and process this all too common circumstance. It was initially shocking, surreal, and it seemed unforgivable.

And yet as you lean back, listen, reflect and observe from a wider and higher perspective, you realize that this unfortunate and highly common situation of infidelity is a 50-50 f#ck up. I cannot imagine this an easy net to get yourself out of but I admire my parents for seeing each of their flaws and contributions that weaved this web. I actually could see it too. With reflection of years from this vantage point I concluded it was a gift that brought them back to themselves, and each other. Maybe one of the best things that could have happened to them…

What caused the castle to crumble? Where did the values get off kilter? Who was plugged into the primary partnership and who was not? Whose needs were being fulfilled and whose were lost to the wayside? These are always the most valuable questions to inquire versus blame. It’s all too easy to marinate in judgment, blame, resentment, and anger. Many say and/or believe they could not process their way out of such an act to fully trust again.

But how could you know.

My parents did what they didn’t think they could do.

My parents are the ultimate example of truly understanding themselves, owning their part, and honoring and listening to the other to regain footing and calibration. To return to Love.

Unconditional Love.

To realign and create a new contract ~ together. To stay committed, connected, and in communication to rebuild the bridge.

So often we derail to ‘black or white’. ‘All or nothing’. Life doesn’t really flow this way… it is always a mix of both. It was not without heartbreak, pain, disappointment partnered alongside constant blind faith and trust that my parents took these steps to undo and rebirth their relationship. They had to dig for the capacity to work out the wounding… to relearn each other’s needs. They found within themselves an evolution of consciousness that they could deal with this, and wake up in a way that actually brought tremendous amounts of intimacy, understanding, and connection. It is not an “if” we have conflict is a “when”. It requires a really deep commitment to be uncomfortable, scared, and vulnerable if we are to work out the conflicts in our lives and relationships. On any level.

These two incredible beings are a testament to what it looks like when you stand in ‘what is’. This has been a huge lesson for me and I see where I have embraced this numerous times in my life. It is not comfortable BUT I am grateful I have the ability to be with ‘what is’ even when it feels icky.

And…. they continued to awe and humble me in their human spirit… because of what came next…

How could you know….

The tragic loss of my brother. Not to mention all the dramatic events that led up to the completion of his life on this planet.

Nothing rips the skin off your bones like observing your father standing over your brother‘s lifeless body in the casket mumbling “I’m not supposed to bury you son, you are supposed to bury me”. Ugh right!?!

But my Dad did not pick up the bottle. He did not trip on his dis-ease of alcoholism. He did not allow the escapism of self-destruction slip past his consciousness. He stood steadfast as the man who had overcome that numbing addiction. One might wonder if they’d have this willpower within themselves under these horrific circumstances.

But how could you know.

My parents sank in the muck together… no blaming, no retraction, no separation. Maybe figuratively but not literally. They shoveled their way out… one heap at a time. Most likely helping each other when the other had no strength to give or couldn’t quite get a deep enough breath because of all the pressure pushing in on them. Slow and steady making their way through the pain staking grief. They had lost their child, their only son.

Yet I witnessed no push back against the other. No blame, no projection. Only grace, space, and time. I’ve heard the tales of relationships and marriages that could not withstand such pain. The walls that could have been built between them.

But they did what they didn’t think they could do. Again.

So the next time you hear your voice echo those words “I could never (fill in the blank)”. Pause.

You don’t know what you don’t know.

I’d bet the entire pot of gold at the end of a rainbow that you would do what you didn’t think you could do… if you were standing in an unprecedented and shocking circumstance. If there is love there is a way. The human spirit will rise. It is more powerful than we can ever imagine. Especially if you trust, have blind faith, and turn towards unconditional love.

We don’t know what we don’t know.

Big Love ?

Postscript: Thank you Mom and Dad for being the ultimate example of pure Love and full disclosure with such honor and integrity.  Not only to yourselves but all of those around you.

I feel blessed and grateful to have chosen each of you as my parents. 

I love you Mom and Dad!

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