I have had several transformative conversations with my wife recently. One had to do with strength. She wanted to know why I have it, and what well I am drawing from.
You see, my wife is very, very sick. Her situation has gotten serious, and we are now trying to figure this out. In the process, my resolve has been tested, that’s for sure. I will say, amazingly, that I am holding my own. I do cry a lot. I won’t lie about that. However, crying is not necessarily so bad. I am kind of getting used to it.
Anyway, I used to have a pretty pat answer for the question of where my strength comes from: God of course!. Now, I am not so sure.
It is kind of like prayer. I pray a lot these days. I guess it goes with the territory of being a spouse of someone who is seriously ill. Oddly, in the process, I have kind of figured out why prayer works, and what religion is all about, at least for me.
You see, to me at least, prayer is not for God. Prayer is actually for me.
Since I have lived in a state of total doubt for some time now, I am not sure if God even hears my prayers. That’s another one: My wife asked me recently why God was a mystery. (I replied: “Wait! I know this one!”) Eventually, I did come up with the answer: Since God is completely unknowable, He / She is a complete mystery. Every experience I have ever had with God (and believe me, I have had some doozies) has been completely subjective. I mean, how can I be sure that my subconscious mind didn’t simply make it all up?
You get the idea. Since I don’t have much of what religious folks would call faith (which I regard as uncritically believing propositions that are at best harmless lies), it may surprise you that I pray. But, again, I realize now that prayer is not for God. It is for me.
You see, when I pray for my wife, I let go of the problem a little. Since this is a problem over which I have absolutely no direct control (much as I would like to!), I simply must let go or I will take the problem onto myself. Therein lies the path which I cannot tread.
So, in a sense, I need divine help and guidance. I need the Strength of The Goddess. I rely on Her now. Even if I am not sure She hears me.