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We are three adults living in a polyamorous triad family. The content here is intended for an adult audience. If you are not an adult, please leave now.


A Path

I've stayed mostly quiet about our family's recent trauma.  I've avoided speaking directly to what has happened, hoping to not make things worse, trying not to create big emotional blowbacks, wanting to not get caught up in trying to be "right."

I've felt lost and hopeless a lot, fearing for our future, and completely unsure what to do to try and bring us to some sort of peace or healing.  I believe that what we have created together is special and unique and worth fighting for.  I am convinced that we are strong enough to survive this.  I think we have great gifts of strength and resilience and intellect that could all be put to work in service to saving our life and our love...

And I cannot see into what will be.  I cannot be sure.  I do not know.

Today, though, I seem to have broken through a barrier in my own thinking, and I do not feel so paralyzed.  Today, it seems clear to me that I can begin to heal myself.  I can't change what has happened, and I can't control what will happen, but I can reclaim my own power, and learn to be strong for myself and my family.

I am about to undertake a journey into my own spirituality -- something that was, once, a big part of my life, and something that I have in large part let go of during these last 8 years.  I have, through much of my adult life, called myself a "spiritual backpacker."  By that, I mean that I am inclined to travel very lightly with regard to spiritual dogma and ritual, carrying with me only those teachings and ideas that hold great value and power for me personally.  In recent years, I've come to feel that, perhaps, I really don't believe in anything at all, and so have viewed myself, more and more, as a-religious.

That really isn't the truth, however.  I do believe, strongly, in the creative divine -- the force that binds us each and all, and that works through us all to create the world and the universe anew in every moment.  I believe that prayer is the evolutionary engine, and that we are driven to the expression of the mystery precisely because we know it is the truth of every atom and every cell across time and distance.  I'm not Christian, and I'm not attracted to much that passes for "organized" religion, but I am most definitely a believer, and today I am reclaiming that for myself.

I first came to be aware of my own spiritual power when I was a child only 9 or 10 years old.  I can still see myself in my mind's eye, standing in church, dressed in my red coat and hat, hearing the things that were just part of the accepted mythology of my Catholic upbringing, and thinking that it made no sense at all.  I remember looking at my parents, looking around at the other adults nearby, looking back to the priest, and deciding that there was some huge lie being perpetrated by the lot of them.  It was a seminal moment in my growing up.  I never believed in the same way again.  However, once I was freed from that foolishness, I became curious about what really might be going on when people gathered to pray and worship.  I experimented with my own focus and my own attention and my own inner senses, and found that there were vibrations and currents around the whole experience that I could tap into and manipulate and wonder at.  I found that I could reach out with my mind and make contact with people -- and it gave me a wicked thrill when, doing that, I could startle the priest at mass, or my teachers, or a bus driver, or...  From that point on, I loved learning about the mystery that lies beyond our perceptions.  From Ouija boards, to ghosts, to astral projection, I was hungry for experience and understanding of the spirit realm.  As I got older, I found myself fascinated with mystics and theologians who could take me beyond the typical Sunday school understanding of the life of the spirit, and so I became a student of Paul Tillich, and Martin Buber, and Kathleen Norris.  I read about reincarnation theology, and practiced the tricks of astral projection.  I studied with a Lakota Sioux teacher, and I learned to push storms around from a wiccan friend.  Oh yes, there's plenty I believe in, although I imagine that the average priest or minister would be horrified to know the contents of my "backpack."

I guess that all of that is a long-winded, round-about way of announcing to those who read here that I am off on a spiritual sojourn.  I have no intention of leaving my loves or leaving my family, and I am determined to continue to fight for our mutual healing and future happiness, but I have personal work to do.  As Tom and I chatted yesterday, he insisted that I have absolute freedom to do whatever I want, and while I might dispute that, I am free to believe and practice as I choose.  It is high time that I got to work becoming whoever I am supposed to be in this life.  Eight years is a long sabbatical.  Back to work...

I'll be re-reading a book that I first found many years ago.  It is called "Healing into Immortality," by Gerald Epstein, copyright 1994.  It is billed as a new spiritual medicine of healing stories and imagery," and it takes a frankly religious approach to personal healing.  I remember, from my first encounter with it, that I had to school myself to read it even when the language was more "churchy" than I was comfortable with.  That said, I came to value it as a powerful guide to personal wellness, and I need to relearn the lessons it contains. 
I'll be talking my way through its pages here in the next weeks and months.  If you are interested in the dialog, then feel free to talk with me about it.  If not, consider yourself warned -- it might be that you'll want to skip our place and find someplace that is more (or even a little bit) kinky.  Believe me, I do understand...

I am also contemplating a return to Quaker meeting for worship.  I haven't been to meeting for worship since I moved here to Ohio.  In the early years, I could not find a meeting close to home, but today I looked and there is an unprogrammed Friends meeting nearby.  I am feeling drawn to the power of that silence.  Perhaps tomorrow.  Or in a week...  I don't know, but I believe I'd benefit from worshiping with Friends again.

There is nothing earth-shaking in any of that, and probably, for most of our readers, nothing even interesting.  For me, however, it feels like a start toward something that feels whole and powerful and promising.



  1. Sue,
    I was smiling while reading this. I think re-exploring that spiritual path will do you good. I do label myself a Christian, but the things I believe and embrace, under that label, would make most Christians run in horror and distance themselves from me. I find bits of truth and meaning in most spiritual teachings, not just Christian ones. The Eastern religions, Buddhism in particular, have influenced my beliefs quite a bit. Two of my professors were Quakers and I loved their acceptance and perspective. I have admired and learned from my Muslim friends. More recently, I studied a bit with some Mormon young women. I am not confused in what I believe, nor am I searching for something to convert to, but I think we can draw faith, spirituality and comfort from many sources. I also think we benefit from listening to others and finding out what they believe.

    I guess what I am saying, in a long winded way, is I look forward to the upcoming dialogue from you. Be at peace dear friend. My prayers for all of you continue every day.

  2. Oh, Sue, I am so happy to read this! You know I've been worrying about you. Whatever happens with your family, whatever direction the Herons each and all end up going, you need to do it from a core of personal strength.

    I'm Jewish, though not religious in a standard sort of way. Then again, that applies to a lot of us. Whatever my own pantheistic version of Judaism, it is part of who I am and I'm grateful to have found a synagogue which doesn't put chains around our beliefs.

    But I have all sorts of friends, and many aren't at all comfortable with religion - especially whichever one they were indoctrinated into by accident of birth. I mention that I'm going to synagogue at one time or another, but it's not something I feel comfortable talking about.

    And yet it is part of who I am. It is part of what makes me who I am. And now that I am clearer on that, I don't want to let it go.

    We have a new prayer in our prayer book, for people in interfaith relationships. We give thanks for the relationship while praying that it not cause us to distance ourselves from our own faith or from the community.

    So good luck on your resumed journey. I'm looking forward to hearing about what you find along the way.


  3. I, too, will look forward to hearing more about this part of your journey. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you all.

    much love and hugs xxx

  4. Sue,
    This exploration interests me greatly, and I look forward to reading about it.
    I also remain in thought and prayer, supportive and encouraging of all of you.
    (PS- Elle, so VERY good to hear your voice, even in this small way, I miss you.)

  5. What you wrote here I relate so much to. And have struggled with the same, and came to the same spot you are now in. Yet, I have not moved to action.


  6. I spent many years attending Quaker meetings, being, with my then wife, Warden of the Quaker Meeting House at Preston Patrick in Cumbria - one of the earliest meeting houses. There is much to be said for the silence, though I have to say we found them a difficult group to deal with! It was a lovely, peaceful place to stay and I have often wondered whether the peace of the place was due to centuries of Quakerism practised there, or whether perhaps the site had been chosen because of its "vibes".


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