Saturday, July 15, 2017

The Self Alone--"Thank You Ashley Madison" excerpt

Wednesday, January 30

     Mind over matter was the theme of Kabbalah class this morning and we made lists of what we want to manifest. My list: My books are wildly successful. I’m independently wealthy. I have a charitable organization that lifts women. I feel divine presence and guidance all the time.
     Our teacher, Elisheva, asked us to notice which desires were ego driven and which came from the light (divine source). She told us to tweak our ego-driven desires into ones that serve the greater good.
     “If our desires are polluted with selfishness to receive for the self alone, our results will be limited,” Elisheva said. “If we think big. If we purify our intentions for the greater good. The sky is the limit.”
     I grew up being told I couldn’t be a good mother and work outside my home. I grew up being told wanting lots of money was greedy and bad. Bullshit. I ditch those beliefs. I’m going to earn lots of money. My children and I have vast resources, abundant lives, and are making the world a better place. Money flows in and out of me and I am a divinely-directed money sprinkler.
     I raised my hand. “My desires, even my desire to feel divinely directed, are motivated by wanting to feel good and be better off. Is that alright? Is it selfish? Do I need to uproot my selfishness?”
     “The answer is yes and yes,” Elisheva said. “You need to catch yourself in selfishness and alter your desires into something for the long-term greater good. You need  to make uprooting selfishness a priority, not a side job.”
     Angie and I went to lunch afterward. She had just gotten back from a ten-day Kabbalah trip to spiritual sites in the Ukraine and Poland.
     “So, how was it?” I asked.
     “I knew what to expect,” Angie said flatly. “A lot of riding around on buses from place to place. Kabbalists believe that when a person dies, a lot of their energy stays where they lived and died. We were on five- and six-hour bus rides to homes and cemeteries where great Kabbalists lived and were buried. We didn’t get much sleep. I think the most we got was five or six hours one night.”
     “Did you feel their energy?”
     “No. I don’t feel energy. I’m not one of those people. A lot of people said they did, but feeling it or not feeling it, it doesn’t matter. Everyone still receives the same benefit. I used to think I needed to force myself to try to feel it. It’s like trying to make yourself cry when someone dies because you think you’re supposed to but it’s not genuine.”
     “I’m familiar with that. I’ve suspected people of lying when they claimed to feel energy I wasn’t.”
     “We’re a lot alike,” Angie said, nodding. “That’s why we like each other. How are you doing?”
     “My lawyer is working on a settlement. Hopefully JB will sign it. I see and speak to him as little as possible. I’d love to tell him exactly how I feel but it wouldn’t serve me well.”
     “There’s nothing wrong with being smart and taking care of yourself,” Angie said. “I should have been smarter like that.”
     “Hey, I found out the HPV is gone! I’m clean. I don’t have any STDs. My tests and pap came back negative. I can’t tell you how relieved I am. I’m sleeping again. I don’t feel like I’m about to jump out of my skin anymore.”
     “That’s so great.”
     “I’m still having trouble processing what JB did, though. Sexting while he was with the boys and me. Having unprotected sex then sticking himself in me. I think he took pleasure in getting one over on me. He got off on that.”
     “I read ‘Diary of an Alcoholic Housewife’ while I was on my trip,” Angie said. “I couldn’t put it down. I read three quarters of it on the plane. You know I get motion sickness in the car, especially if I read. Well, I read the rest of your book on the bus and that should tell you how much I enjoyed it. I hate to say I enjoyed it because it was about a very tough time in your life, but I was struck by how unsupportive JB was.”
     “Really? I thought he was supportive. But other people who’ve read my book said the same.”
     “The whole time you were getting sober JB kept drinking. And the two of you kept hanging out with your drinking friends. It’s a miracle you didn’t drink. Knowing how low the odds are for an alcoholic to stop drinking. . . The fact that you didn’t drink while that was going on . . .” Angie shook her head. “Something big is planned for you. You wrote about the two of you going out to dinner before you traveled to Budapest. You told him you were considering drinking on your trip. He said, ‘I’m not going to tell you what to do.’ My mouth dropped open. I remember reading that part on the bus and my jaw dropping. My brain was screaming, ‘Yes, you can tell your wife not to drink!’”
     “When people get sober, their partners often try to get them to drink. I thought JB was supportive because he wasn’t doing that.”
     “He wasn’t supportive. Everything changed when you got sober. No more crazy drunken sex. JB liked having sex with you when he was drunk and you put a stop to that. He liked being able to manipulate you, have you the way he wanted you when you were drinking.”
     “At book signings women would tell me he wasn't supportive. They asked me if that was why I didn’t write about him much. They wanted to know what my marriage was like. Reporters asked the same. I said my marriage was good, that JB was supportive. All the while he was on Ashley Madison.”
     “You were pulling away from JB and he felt it. He didn’t like it. You were doing that for a long time before he cheated. When he started cheating he was selfish, wrapped up in himself, and he was sticking it to you for pulling away from him.”
     “Maybe I didn’t love JB enough. Maybe I pushed him to make the choices he did. But he didn’t have to do that. He could have gone any number of ways. He chose what he chose.”

No comments:

Post a Comment