Several months ago I had an experience that I would like to share and get feedback on. It seems that many on this site (myself included) simply read
posts and reply, or post things second hand without getting personal. I feel the best posts are the ones detailing the experiences of the individual
posting, so I'm overcoming my reservations of risk and ridicule to write a post about my epiphany. Be gentle with me.
I've been struggling mightily against major difficulties in the last several years - the death of my parents in 2000, my grandfather and oldest
brother(42) in 2002, and a disabling auto accident in 2001 that had me waking up from back surgery to the 9/11 disaster (a story in itself). The last
two years have seen me re-injure my back at work and my marriage completely unravel, with my precious 5-year old son in the balance. My divorce is
final, but I'm allowing my ex to live with me because she is broke, doesn't have a job, and my son needs his mom.
Anyway, back in August I was dealing with all this and decided to take a break, go to the corner bar, watch pre-season football, and have a beer. The
Giants were playing the Panthers and it was nice to relax for a minute and watch the game. I started my career in management working in bars and
clubs and am quite familiar with the scene, so it was soothing to just sit and forget for awhile.
After the game, I went home and was accosted by my soon to be ex. I had requested a restraining order against her from my attorney the previous
Monday for being physically and verbally abusive, she had been fired from another job on Tuesday, and I had reached the limit of my ability to cope
with her tirades. So I changed clothes and went back to the bar, which of course meant that I was going to meet some hussy and commit adultery (yeah,
right). When I returned to the bar, things had definitely changed for the worse, and I could read the place like the back of my hand. Apparently, it
was 'Sons of Hell' night, and a mortorcycle gang by that name had the place pretty much to itself, except for me. After years of running clubs, it
was obvious to me what was going on. The 'brains' of the group sized me up as I ordered a beer, and as I turned to look the place over I could
tell, those are the hookers over there, those guys are selling the drugs, and those guys by the door are the ones who are going to beat the crap out
of me if I don't finish my drink and leave. It was almost like I had ESP. Actually, it was exactly like that.
So I drank up and left. When I got back home again, it was like a veil had been lifted and my confusion over the disfunction in my marriage was gone.
Somehow, being in the familiar environment of the bar and reading the place like a book had restored my confidence in my own perceptions. I saw with
utter clarity that my soon to be ex was not intersted in my well-being, but in my demise to her benefit. A true soul-sucker, and I had been married
to her for almost nine years.
I went out to my work bench in the garage (my only personal space in the house at the time) and started to pray. I went through my prayers and began
trying to meditate on my situation and the possible solutions to it. Suddenly, a question rose into my mind, demanding an answer. It was 'what do
you really want?'. I thought it over for a second, and the answer was clear. I want peace. Not just for me, not an instant gratification feeling
that is quickly replaced by desire for something else, but peace and healing for the entire world. I reviewed all my old animosities, including those
involving my future ex and every slight or injury or disappointment I had suffered, and came to the realization that nothing mattered more to me than
peace and healing. Something like 'well, alright now' rose into my mind from the same source as before, and suddenly I was flooded with
realizations of what I can only describe as the truth. Starting with my head, my whole body began tingling. The closest thing I can relate it to is
an involuntary shiver, but it was much deeper and more powerful than anything I'd ever felt before, and it didn't stop. After a minute, the feeling
seemed to gather at the base of my lower back where I have a torn disk. There is no doubt in my mind that I was being healed, not completely all at
once, but definitely a powerful start. The feeling was so powerful and overwhelming that I started to get scared that it would sweep me up with it
and carry me away from this existence. I have to stick around to take care of my boy, so I somehow pulled away from the feeling and it subsided. But
it hasn't gone away entirely, and I don't want it to. My sister-in-law says that what I'm feeling is the presence of the Holy Spirit, and I think
she is right. All the challenges of my life are still there, and I still have a ways to go healing from my injuries and getting my life back on
track, but I feel like I'm headed in the right direction now, and I have my confidence back. Nothing is different, but everything has changed. For
the better. May peace and healing come to us all in our time of need.