Three of the four people who voted to listen to the rest of Dick’s presentation returned after the break. I took my place at the mic and said, “Welcome back. I guess we’re it, so let’s get started.”
“Let’s see…” I quickly scanned the text. I wanted to make sure I jumped right over the part about how Dick was going to talk until he was finished, regardless of how we felt about it. “Here we are…”
“In my remaining time I want to give you a few ways in which you can come through this time better equipped to deal with the slings and arrows of life. If you will apply what I am about to share, you will take less baggage into your future relationships and be better able to receive the love people desire to give you.”
“The Buddha said,” When you are ready the teacher will come.” It is my earnest hope that you are ready to receive everything that is in my heart to share with you this evening. I pray that Jesus the Christ will give you the “Ears to hear,” that He spoke of so often. I have four important steps to live in freedom, that I will be going over.”
Number One: We must be set free from cultural lies, half-truths and mythologies that set us up for misery. Songs, movies, books, magazine articles, and even fairy tales assure us that someday our prince will come, and we will live, Happily Ever After. I would like to share just a few songs that assure us that when the one person we are fated to fall in love with, comes along, we will be completely fulfilled, and loneliness will vanish from our lives. Some of these songs I really love but have come to see that much of the longings expressed are written in hyperbole, exaggeration, and excess.”
“You have in the outline I gave you the song lyrics and singer, just fill in the blanks. All the fill ins are in Capital letters. “We’re going to start with a song we heard a few minutes ago, At Last.
Etta James appeared on the screen and her picture was replaced by the words as she sang them, “At Last, My Love has come along, My LONELY days are OVER and life’s become a song.”
The Dixie Cups followed singing, “Going to the Chapel and we’re gonna get married…Today’s the day, we’ll say, “I Do” And we’ll never be LONELY anymore.”
Then a picture of Debbie Boone appeared on the screen as she began singing, “So many nights I’d sit by my window, waiting for someone to sing me his song, So many dreams I kept deep inside me, Alone in the dark but now you’ve come along. YOU light up my life.…. Finally, a chance to say, “Hey, I Love you” Never again to be all ALONE…”
Debbie was replaced by the Movie, South Pacific. The scene opens with Emile de Becque and Ensign Nellie Forbush standing on a beach beside a palm tree and Emile sings, “Some enchanted evening, when you find your true love, …Fly to her side and make her your own, or all through your life you may dream all ALONE…”
Dick went a bit overboard as we heard song clips from the Beatles, Chuck Berry, B. B. King, Elvis, Madonna, the Righteous Brothers, and The Rolling Stones. All were singing songs of lament, musically expressing the common feeling of I can’t be happy or live at all without the one I love.
Finally, these musical selections came to an end with Hank Williams singing, Long Gone Lonesome Blues. “I’m gonna find me a river, one cold as ice. And when I find that river, Lord I’m gonna pay the price, O Lord! I’m going down in it three times, but Lord I’m only coming up twice. She’s long gone, and now I’ve got the Lonesome Blues.”
“Did you notice how horrible the feeling of abandonment and loneliness is in these songs. Before our lover comes along, we are in the dark, in a lonely and terrible place. When the only person in this world that can make you happy and fulfilled leaves you, Hank Williams knows the thing to do is to go down to the river and jump in. Even worse would be to realize that the ONE Person that could make you happy was in front of you, and you blew it. That enchanted evening came, and you held back, fool that you were. Therefore, you are destined to dream all alone for the rest of your long, lonely, miserable life.”
“Everyone here agrees that the feeling of abandonment and loneliness are terrible indeed. But tonight, we stand against the LIE that we will never be happy again. We call out the myth that of all the billions of people in this world only one of them can make us happy. That idea is ABSURDLY STUPID no matter how real it may feel right now.”
“Why is this so important? I believe that until you can comfortably live by yourself, alone, you’re not ready for the second, third, or whatever number the next spouse is. I will speak more about this at the end.”
“Number two: We stand against the lie that we could’ve done something to save our marriage. When your spouse leaves you for someone else, your mind races to find out, WHY? Sometimes he or she has valid reasons, that were never brought to your attention. At other times, you know where you blew it. How many men do we see in these meetings who tell the story of a wife who says, “We need marriage counseling.” Man after man comes here and says, “I told her, ‘You need counseling.” This conversation may have gone on for a long or a short time, but when she changed the locks and filed for divorce, He suddenly said, “We need Marriage counseling.” Sadly, by then it was too late.”
“However, if you were taken completely by surprise, you just didn’t see it coming, the WHY, comes down to the person you married. Every one of us are flawed, broken people with baggage from life itself. Some people are so broken that they are incapable of really loving another person. Sometimes we, mistakenly, think that our love can heal and change them. Listen to the words of the song, I Can’t Make You Love Me, as sung by Adele.”
On the screen Adele appeared, she was in concert and began singing, “Turn down the lights, turn down the bed, Turn down these voices inside my head…. Cause, I can’t make you love me when you don’t, you can’t make your heart feel something that it won’t…”
Many people cannot be faithful because they are driven by their self-centered emotions. They do not have a good moral foundation to keep their promises and fulfill the marriage covenant they made. When the feelings are gone, they will say, “I don’t love you anymore.” These people really cannot, “Make their heart feel something that it won’t.” When they say, “It’s not you, it’s me,” those words are so much true than they even know.”
Number Three: Do you remember the movie Bruce Almighty? It was funny but truthful as God, (Morgan Freeman) tells Bruce, (Jim Carrey) that being all powerful does not include the power to make someone love you. However, even that truth does not stop Bruce from trying to make Grace, (Jennifer Aniston) love him by using his almighty power.”
On the screen Bruce suddenly appeared and with a mighty command, and hand movements that attempt to draw Grace to himself, he cries out, “LOVE ME!!!!” Grace gives him a disgusted look and storms off.
“God must shake his head because some of our prayers are like the boy who, needing a good grade on the exam, to pass a class, prayed, “Lord, please make Cleveland the capitol of Canada. I really need to pass this test!”
“There is a story of Hercules in which a lazy farmer got his horses and wagon stuck in the mud. Knowing how much work it would be to dig himself out began to pray, “Oh mighty Hercules, come and pull me out of this mud.” Suddenly Hercules appears in the clouds and says, “The gods help those who help themselves.”
This idea is paralleled in a quote that is attributed to many different Christian leaders down through the centuries. “Pray like everything depends on God and work like everything depends on you.” If the boy in the example above and studied and prayed, he most certainly would have known that Moosejaw, not Cleveland, is the capital of Canada.
If you believe in God, then most likely you also believe that “With God All Things Are Possible.” I would add, all things are possible for God except things that are not possible at all. For example, God cannot create a rock that is too heavy for God to move. Nor will God change the rules he himself put in place at creation. He has given every human being free will and he will not take it away from your spouse, just to save your marriage. “
“When you’ve done everything, you can do, and prayed in line with whatever teaching you follow. Then be at peace about it. I believe that God will do everything that God can do to save our marriages. It is simplistic to accuse God of abandoning you, or not loving you. Things are much more complicated than we know because of the gift of free will.”
“FINALLY, NUMBER FOUR: This Divorce Support Group is designed to help you through this terrible time. But it is also designed to keep you from going through a divorce again. Being alone is not the worst thing that can happen to you. Marrying a life sucking, joy destroying, abusive person is much worse than being alone. Think about people you know, who are so frantic to find their Soul Mate; desperate to find that one person they have dreamed of since they were a child listening to fairy tales, that move from one abusive relationship to another. Some people fall in love with alcoholic after alcoholic, drug addict after drug addict, womanizer after womanizer, and wonder why it never works out for them. Remember, Insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results.”
“That’s why I’m begging you. DO NOT get into another intimate relationship until you are at the place where you would be perfectly happy to live by yourself for the rest of your life. Yes, there will be days when it will hurt like hell, and you will feel like life is passing you by. Yes, there will be times when you see a happy couple together and, with tears in your eyes you will think, “Why can’t I have that kind of relationship?” ISN’T that where you’ve been already? Marriage on the rebound is a recipe for disaster. Please take the time to work through the pain, get to know who You are and What You like. Then you will be ready to move ahead. ‘
IN CONCLUSION: How will you know when you are moving forward to the freedom I’ve been speaking of? This process is different for each one of us, because we don’t start in the same place. For most of us it will be three steps forward and two steps back. You will know you are making progress when you begin to see the good things of your marriage and not just the bad. When you do that, you will realize that you have also stopped justifying your divorce to your friends and family. You will no longer need to be the victim of the MONSTER, which will help you see the strengths you have.
One clue is to watch what you say about your ex. I have a friend who, when speaking about his divorce always says, “She left me for another woman. That really gives a different meaning to the phrase, ‘Girl’s Night Out.’”
I stopped reading. “WHAT THE HELL??!! That sonofabitch is quoting me!” I thought to myself. “He’s judging me! Who the hell does he think he is???”
“What’s the next thing he is going to say? Let’s see…” When the day comes that he can say, ‘she left me for another woman,’ without adding the judgment, “That really gives a different meaning to the phrase, ‘Girls Night Out.” He will be a long way towards healing. You are still a battle scarred, wounded person if you are still saying things that make you out to be the victim or saying things, so no one thinks you’re stupid.” Well, I still didn’t like it, but it did kind of make sense, so I read it out loud.
Dick finished with, “I love all of you and hope that you will come to a place of true peace and joy filled love. I have a friend, a Lutheran pastor, who says, “Since I married my second wife, I have become so happy. I never knew how much fun marriage could be. My life is proof that love, not hate, joy not anger, peace not strife, is God’s perfect will for his children’s lives.” My dear friends, I pray that you too will be as blessed as my Lutheran friend. “
Suddenly, on the screen was a book, entitled, “Embracing the Good Future, overcoming the past, by Richard Jones. With a voice telling us how to get our copy.
WHAT THE HELL!!??? This entire evening had been an infomercial for his book. I wanted to get out of there and get a beer and calm down. Maria was right, “Why are there so many DICKS and so few Richards?”