Excerpt from I Married a Mystic
“I Want to be Eaten by a Bear”
After a couple of weeks at the Peace House, David and I were in our car, headed north on a road-trip to Vermont. Until this day, David had happily joined me for what I still felt were my essential afternoon “siestas.” Usually we managed to work siesta time into our travel schedule wherever we went, either by stopping in rest areas or arriving at our destination in time for a nap. However, on this day, we were at least three hours from our destination, and it was nearing two p.m.
I noticed the typical thoughts that arose within my mind when I began to feel the familiar heaviness, and it seemed like my rest time was threatened: If we don’t stop soon I will start to get a headache. I’m starting to fade and I need to have a rest. I won’t make it for the gathering tonight. I asked David to pull the car over. I could sense that he wasn’t in full agreement, but I was clear and firm in my request—after all, I was still recovering from a head injury, and he knew it was what I needed.
After not seeing a rest area for some time, David pulled the car over on the side of the road, and we attempted to rest. We reclined the front seats and lay on our sides. David’s large six-foot frame hardly fit into the tiny hybrid car, and he shuffled around, unable to stretch his legs out at all. Vehicles flew by, shaking the car, and it was anything but restful. The awareness that this was not the Spirit’s Plan was like a deafening unspoken sound that filled the vehicle.
After ten minutes, David sat up, adjusting his seat, and said we would continue driving. He said it wasn’t restful, that he had a gathering that night, and that our hosts were expecting us at 5:30 p.m. for dinner. We were to continue, and I could rest in the car as he drove. I protested that the car was too low to the ground, that I felt jarred by the pot-holes. I was worried about being exhausted by the time we got there. However, David was clearly following the Spirit’s guidance, and I had no choice. I felt terrible. Trapped. I wondered what I was doing there anyway in a crazy little car that David had bought simply to save gas. I was in total disagreement with him about everything in that moment. Then the dark thoughts turned to hurt—David obviously didn’t love me. If my mother, Jackie, was here, she’d find us a hotel to rest in if that was what I needed.
I kept my eyes closed for the rest of the drive. My mind still felt stuck in a dark cloud when we arrived at our hosts’ retreat center. David was ready to join with them, but I told him I was going to rest. I lay down in the bedroom, but I felt anything but restful. So instead, I slipped out the back door and went for a walk. As I walked through the pine forest, I thought, I hope I get eaten by a bear—then David would feel sorry for not loving me! I walked for another five minutes and then suddenly stopped. Oh, my God, what was I doing? Wanting to be eaten by a bear? Convinced that David didn’t love me? This is ridiculous!
I had to question the belief that David didn’t love me. What if he had been right, that we were supposed to keep driving? I saw the protesting thought arise immediately: I’m still recovering from a head injury, and he is supposed to be supporting me. But then I asked myself, Is that what I really want—to still be recovering from a head injury and be dependent on afternoon naps? The answer was immediate: No! I don’t want this anymore!
I didn’t know how recovery could be possible. I had tried everything I could to heal myself of my post-accident symptoms—from physical therapies, meditation, pushing my way through them, to surrendering to them. Finally I had accepted that my symptoms might be a lifelong condition; clearly, I had no control over them. It felt like a critical “eye-of-the-needle” moment. I couldn’t imagine how healing could occur or how there wouldn’t be painful consequences if I missed my afternoon siestas.
But what if this was the day? What if the Spirit really was in charge and this wasn’t what it seemed? I had a decision to make: to continue to try to protect myself and be right about what I thought I needed, or to decide for God and to put myself and all of my situations into His hands. My decision was clear—I did want to be over this! I did want to be healed!
I turned back towards the retreat center and felt a lightness and joy re-entering my mind. I could still feel a faint, familiar sensation of afternoon heaviness in the background, but I happily decided to no longer let that feeling be a reason to make decisions. From now on, I told the Spirit, I give my rest time to you. I trust that if I am to rest, you will guide me.
Oh, how simple! I found myself skipping back to share the good news with David and everyone at the center. I opened the door and they were all sitting at a large dinner table in a soft, loving glow, as if awaiting my perfectly timed arrival.
The soft glow remained throughout the entire weekend. I felt a quiet strength growing within me, and I felt held in the arms of God. I felt more deeply joined than ever with David in a glorious purpose. These experiences were showing me that I didn’t know my own best interests. The Spirit was guiding me through this awakening process step by step for this learning. I was so grateful for David’s “true empathy” and non-compromising approach to following the Spirit’s guidance.
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I Married a Mystic is the story of one woman’s leap of faith
to discover a love that never ends!