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When Someone Shows You Who They Really Are

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Are you always seeking? I know I am. I seek reflections of inspiration everywhere because of the darkness that appears around me. And because of this seeking; more light filters through wherever it is dark. I don't know where I'd be today if it weren't for my choice of reading and listening to wisdom teachers who have hearts full of experience. Those observations have guided me as far back as I can remember in my search for truth and peace. Through this way of seeking, I hope to set good examples, especially for my children. Answers and solutions will come and go by all of us, but true love will be more apparent to those who continue to seek... And they will find their hearts' desire.

Both my children love me and my husband, but have asked us why we stayed married all these years. That's because in their eyes and experience of living with us, they've often remarked on how opposite we are from one another. I've told them: "It is because of our love, and you, and the sake of family that we see the greater cause in the center of things." I have always envisioned, hoped, and prayed for a family, and to be a welcome foundation for children and a husband to thrive in to their fullest. I also explained that I have been living my heart's desire, but through so many obstacles, and so has their dad. And I am not deprived but privileged to do this because of dad's demanding position in life, one that gives us more space. If you think we're both doing it separately and alone because you noticed we're apart at times, we're not. The greater good of the family that we're devoted to moves us through many obstacles. Through the grace of God, I always seem to stumble on the right reflection to lift my troubled heart every day. And Dad's motivation is fueled by the enthusiasm that greets him daily.

I explained to my children that it takes great work and stretching to achieve anything we set our hearts on, regardless of what it is, and mine so happens to be the family. For others, their purpose in life may be something else that stimulates them, but they will also have to live it through the obstacles they face. It's all in service of whatever great cause we choose. And knowing this truth brings me hope. I am also more conscious these days, learning that I'm an obstacle whenever I struggle to change someone or something. This is a form of self-centeredness. This is a very powerful truth that needs repeating, as beautifully said by Marianne Williamson, in her phenomenal book, Tears to Triumph: " The ego never sees a reason to be satisfied with someone. It slyly temps us to the thoughts and behavior that would keep love at bay, even while protesting that we want it desperately. "The only reason I want you to be different is because I love you!" According to A Course in Miracles, the ego's dictate is , "seek, but do not find."

I suggested that rather than focusing on any lack of fulfillment in our family, my children see it as the true thriving family that we have, because dad and I are still doing the best as we can for all of us. And to remember a most important lesson in life, that the unity of family and marriage is not an easy thing for any one of us! Like my children, I'm also saddened to noticed many unhappy marriages. And I hope they remember that those who sustain the unity of marriage hardly ever open up about the obstacle around them. Perhaps their humble or diplomatic solutions to their problems that kept them together are not easy to share with others. Perhaps they keep silent, not for reasons of false pride or discrimination against another, but for their purer intentions of love and respect for each other.

When my younger child asked me why so many married couples are discontented, I explained that I don't have the answers for other people. But for myself, I explained that, as the years have gone by, I realized my discontent came from my desire to change someone or something. This was wrong. We were always quite different and unique from one another, even from our early days of courting. I was enthused over making family welcome, and Dad was full of robust enthusiasm over making a rich living and leaving his mark. Nothing really had changed that much over the years, and our individual focus remained true. There was no neglect that we were aware of when it came time to respect each other's choices in life. What changed was my realization and understanding that the motivated and enthused man I met at the beginning showed me who he really was; he was genuine, and I learned to accept him as he is. And I hope he recalls and accepts me as the same person who showed him who I really am, then and now. The same will be true for you. Whatever causes you live for will have just as many obstacles attached to them. But always remember that as a couple, your passion for the greater good will bring you through together.

About Catherine Nagle: Catherine grew up in Philadelphia with 16 brothers and sisters, reared by loving, old school Italian parents. Catherine's artist father's works graced churches and public buildings; her mother was a full-time homemaker. A professional hairdresser, Catherine worked in various salons while studying the Bible and pursuing spiritual growth through courses, seminars, lectures, works of Marianne Williamson, and conferences, including the National Theology of the Body Congress. She is also an Ambassador of the Society of Emotional Intelligence. The mother of two children and now a grandmother, Catherine lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and son. She is the Author of Imprinted Wisdom.