Missing an Opportunity to Shine Can Leave Us Tarnished

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In my practice, I often see men and women who struggle with the truth about their marriages. Deep down, they know that something needs to change or else their marriage will die a slow and meaningless death.

Very sadly, many are not able to summon up the necessary courage and humility to do the right thing and communicate their feelings to their spouse. Instead, they often succumb to the tantalizing and ego-feeding allure of an extramarital affair. And this, of course, is when the plot thickens.

Lies and deception increase the distance between the spouses and the resulting shame only intensifies the charade. The more guilt and shame this acting-out spouse feels, the more illusive and superficial he or she becomes with his partner. As the lies begin to solidify, both partners become imprisoned in this web of deception.

When we are faced with a moral or ethical dilemma, it’s as if there are two parts of ourselves fighting it out, ie. our conscience and our ego. One takes us upwards towards the light and the other takes us backwards towards the dark.

It is a well-known fact that our desires and attractions have the power to blind us to the REALITY of the situation with its inevitable implications and predictable consequences. How much easier it is to identify with our desires and stay in denial about how our conscience is getting bamboozled by our smiling well-fed ego!

We find ourselves in a crisis, but at the same time, in a moment of self-definition. Our work becomes the unraveling of these seductive emotions — from our real self, from our core, from the person we most deeply want ourselves to be. The payoff is huge, but it doesn’t come easily.

We pay for our way up that ladder of enlightenment with sometimes excruciating pain. Sometimes our “payment” requires us to let go of something that may seem truly irresistible, the very thing which most attracts us and hides our very own demise. Sometimes our “payment” obliges us to endure a loss that previously felt intolerable, and our suffering goes on long after we ever could have imagine.

Ultimately, our work is about taking responsibility for one of the few things we are really able to control in our lives. OUR CHOICES. It is about what our ego is willing and able to sacrifice . . . in the name of growing ourselves up.