Recently, Matthew and I had been struggling with our relationship.  After two weeks of vacation and uniteruppetd family time we arrived home to the reality of our life, which is a tag team effort and a division of roles, he working while I tackle the domestic affairs.  We intentionally chose this traditional family style before Rowen was even born.  We felt it would be important and beneficial for me to be a full time momma and take on all the roles of the house while he continued to build his business and support us financially.  It had worked pretty well up until now.

Matthew's business has begun soaring, which translates into tight deadlines and an increasingly heavy workload.  All this to say "family time" was getting squeezed out of his life. He began to feel isolated from us and resentful of the endless time Rowen and I had together and the leisurely style and playfulness of our days.  Meanwhile I was feeling deflated, criticized and unaccepted in his presence. Resentment creates a strong wedge and it was increasing the distance between us with each passing day.

Our fifth wedding anniversary was in the midst of this breakdown.  We went for a hike as a family along a spectacular river in an old growth forest near the base of Mount St. Helens. The walk started off with a bang when I said something that triggered him and we dove into a long, transparent, and difficult conversation for the next few hours (dotted with moments of silence and joy at watching Rowen throw rocks, climb, and play in the water.) Things continued to go downhill between us. We eventually stopped at a rocky beach along the river, I was pulled in by the presence of 3 cairns. By now I felt hopeless, like reconciliation or understanding were a million miles away. I even suggested we should see a marriage counselor together. 

As our alienation and frustration escalated, it suddenly cracked and the light of our true essence shone out from behind the hurt and defensive storylines.

Matthew said "I love you, let's just drop this."

I responded "you mean we just drop it all, leave our baggage here by the river, and move on?" Baffled by the ease of the proposal.

He replied "yes, that's what I'm saying."

And with that simple idea we dropped the storylines and the disappointments and met at the core of who we both are, what we both share: radiant Love, the root of all that is. We dissolved ourselves and rested in love. Then we started over.

I am eternally grateful and still mystified by the power of Matthew's wisdom to start anew.  He taught me that forgiveness is a choice.  It's not the result of achieving understanding or processing all of the pain. It's a shift in the heart.  All you have to do is sincerely say "yes, I'm ready to let go."

Shared by Jessica Peterson