Saturday, August 24, 2013

on epic fights and letting love win (for chris)

The kids were coughing and we were all sick so nobody slept well and doesn't that just show us who we really are underneath all the Instagram.  Our most epic discussion/argument/fight was boiling just beneath the baby soft skin of four years and a few months of well, we're married now and here's two new humans to take care of.

You scratched me and I bled all over us, a tirade brought to you by the letter S: sickness, sleep deprivation and stress, nothing too crazy or earth-shattering really.  Just doing life a bit tougher than normal.  I felt justified, you were defensive and we left the room so that babies wouldn't hear, but they always know what's going on.

I could hear Patty Griffin singing over us, but we were louder:

//we're calling for help tonight on a thin phone line/as usual we're having ourselves one hell of a time/ and the planes keep flying right over our heads no matter how loud we shout/ hey, hey, hey, hey/ and we keep waving and waving our arms in the air til we're all tired out//

I could see your mouth moving but couldn't hear anything you were saying, the planes were so loud.   I couldn't understand what was coming out of my own mouth either, I wasn't sure why I was so mad but I just kept going.

For being two fairly mature people we can still be a relational wasteland, can't we?  

It had to stop though, there were children to take care of and we were ashamed like 4 year olds ourselves, fuming but neither of us willing to say that other S-word, the one that could actually, possibly, somehow make things new.

I always start my apologies with something lame, like sorry I'm tired, sorry I didn't sleep well, sorry you aggravate me so easily, sorry for being grumpy - I tread around in the murky waters that look almost like I'm sorry but I'm not quite ready to be a grown up yet.  Just give me two more minutes.  It always takes me awhile to get desperate enough to own my stuff.

I probably told you to go first, but I can't remember.
I'm sorry for being selfish.
I'm sorry for not making my needs known.
I'm sorry for lashing out in anger,
for not practicing self-control.
I'm sorry for swearing.  At you.

By now the girl has dragged a chair to the glass-paned door and is trying to work out the handle.  But we lay in bed together still in the same spot where moments before I was crying and shouting and angrier than I ever thought I could be at the Canadian boy whom I dreamed of sharing this very bed with.  We are quiet, relieved.

//it's hard to give/ it's hard to get/ but everybody needs a little forgiveness.//

And when we go there, go low, against every instinct in our bodies, hearts and minds, that's when the sun breaks through and we can suddenly breathe again.  The planes are quiet, there's no need to yell.  The wind lifts our little home-made kite way up, where we can see and remember why we are even in this moment at all, why we are walking together towards a future, towards good and hope.
 
The kids were coughing so I put them in the shower at 6pm hoping steam would help their breathing and maybe the warm water would wash off some energy as well.  I sat listening to them giggle and splash.  You came in and joined me.  There were plenty of dishes and laundry to keep you busy but you slid down to the cold tile floor.  We talked of nothing very interesting, I can't even remember what, but it felt good that you wanted to be with me still, we basked in the warmth of friendship resurrection.

I could see dark stuff growing on the bottom of the shower door and I sprayed and scrubbed a bit while we talked.  The slow accumulation of dirt is washed off our bodies daily but finds it's way there, to the lowest place.  Most of the time we don't notice it but then we do and it takes some work, some elbow-grease and the willingness to go lower than is comfortable.  If we just ignore it, we will be overcome by it, at least eventually. 

We thought our intimacy began in emails, long gazes, maybe on our first night together, when we really saw each other.  But we really saw each other today.  And it was ugly.  But when we still chose to stay - to say sorry like the four year olds that we are, to release forgiveness and hold on tight to each other - that's more powerful than attraction or hormones or even our wedding vows.  Our conflict isn't a red flag, it's the only path we have to each other.   It's a sign that we're being vulnerable, that we're doing something right.  We're headed somewhere together and this is hard because it's real.  Those painful moments are an invitation to be exposed, to see anew, to be forgiven, and to let love win again, at least in us. 

//open your eyes boy, i think we are saved.  open your eyes boy, i think we are saved.//


 

3 comments:

  1. "Our conflict isn't a red flag, it's the only path we have to each other. It's a sign that we're being vulnerable, that we're doing something right. We're headed somewhere together and this is hard because it's real. Those painful moments are an invitation to be exposed, to see anew, to be forgiven, and to let love win again, at least in us."


    These final four sentences of your post, oh soooooo true. This is learned only in real life. Living and being and practicing is how we learn what real love is. We learn that we are fully capable of giving love. We learn that we innately deserve love. We know that we ARE love. Created in love and created to love. My journey is your journey, and your journey is my journey. When we choose to take those courageous steps, we see how BEAUTIFUL life is. We discover love and beauty when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable. Love. Accept. Forgive (ourselves and others). And then we know love! I love you Becca!

    - Abigail

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  2. love you so much abigabagail ... i love how you live out love in your unique way. xx

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