The more I forced the issue, the more he withdrew into his shell. Even though he loved me and wanted our marriage to work as much as I did, it was painfully obvious that he had no intention of stepping outside of his spiritual comfort zone just to please me.
The great Rabbi Harold Kushner once said, "God is like a mirror. The mirror never changes but everybody who looks at it sees something different." Somewhere in the midst of my gnawing discontent, this divine piece of simple wisdom gently moved me out of my own way, for I had been sorely missing the point. I had lost sight of my fundamental belief—that each one of us must follow our own unique path and come to our own truth about God and the meaning of this life. Who was I to tell anyone else how to nourish their soul, let alone the person I loved most?
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The shroud of frustration finally lifted, and I started to see things through a different lens. I admired how my "unenlightened" husband nurtured our daughters with such grace and gentle love. He is one of the few people I know who truly adores his career, and I observed how his colleagues respected his leadership. I found a renewed appreciation for how hard he worked to maintain long-standing friendships and how deeply he revered the elders in his life and how they cared for him in return. What I had perceived as his silent, spiritual dead-zone, was actually another pathway towards the same light—and, certainly, a more peaceful one than my own.
I stopped begging, lecturing and judging. I focused on my own spiritual work and left my husband alone to do his. I will never again underestimate the beauty and power of pure silence. Sometimes, remaining perfectly still is the best action one can take.
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These days, my soul is still more restless than I would like, but I have found a lovely little church where my husband can doze off and no one seems to notice. The truth is, he barely closes his eyes anymore and I can tell, in his own quiet way, he is listening. And, so am I.