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Bless and Release

This is the eighth in a series written by Malcolm Marler and Mary Bea Sullivan, husband and wife, about their journey as Mary, an author, prepares to go to Virginia Theological Seminary.  Malcolm is a director of pastoral care at a hospital in Alabama.

“She Said” by Mary Bea Sullivan  

“We released our prospective home buyers from the sales contract,” I tell my family and friends. Malcolm is more direct, “The deal fell through.”
 

We weren’t totally surprised with this turn of events; there were warning signs along the way.  Still, it was disappointing.  On Saturday we received what seemed to us, an unreasonable request. Sad and mad, I threw a 5-star pity party with all of the furnishings–temper tantrum, whining,  and the coup de grace, a recounting of many of my life’s major  disappointments.  I guarantee you, the only guest at the party, Malcolm, wasn’t have such a great time.

Like a dog with a bone, I carried my anger with me to church the next morning. Some dear friends listened, assuring me they cared.  When I demonized the buyers (people whom I had never even met) I only felt worse.  I tried to couch my poison with piety, “We really do wish them well….”  “Our prayer is that they will love this home for years; but they are so demanding!”  Eventually, even I was tired of myself.

By Sunday evening, Malcolm and I had come to terms with the fact that we would be ok either way. Our happiness, our lives, did not depend on selling this house.  Before turning out the lights we prayed for our answer to be “abundantly clear.”

During the next morning’s run, I thought of the buyers and in my mind chanted a version of the Metta (Loving-kindness) Prayer for them. The prayer followed the rhythm of my steps, “May you be happy.  May you be healthy.  May you be peaceful.  May you know love.  May you be happy.  May you be healthy.  May you be peaceful.  May you know love,…” I believe it is Rachel Naomi Remen who reminds us that we cannot send blessing and curse someone at the same time.  After 3.5 miles of chanting,  I was blessed–with peace. 

And our prayer was answered. Upon receiving another correspondence from the buyers, it was abundantly clear, we were not their sellers.  We needed to release them to find their lake home.  We needed to release ourselves too.

After dinner last night Malcolm said, “It’s hard to know what to do now, I’ve been so focused on moving.” We talked about how we didn’t regret giving away or throwing away anything, and that we still had some work to do in that department.  We affirmed our choices to sell/ lease the lake house, and for me to go to VTS.  We wondered if some of the lessons of simplifying and letting go didn’t include letting go of our desire to be in control of these outcomes.  We sat in silence for awhile.

“I think I’ll cut the grass and weed the gardens in the morning.” I said.

“Maybe we can go for a swim after work.”  Malcolm suggested.

“That would be nice.” I replied as I snuggled in close.

Thank you for sharing your experiences.  Blessings!

Note:  We are very aware that this unexpected change of course is very minor in light of the many people who are currently dealing with the after affects of tornadoes and floods. We are safe in a home with running water, power, and a bounty of beauty.


 

One Response to “Bless and Release”

  1. Sandra Langston says:

    Boy, life gives us some rough times, doesn’t it? Think of it as a gift, now you are not quite so rushed in this packing process and Mary will have a little more time for those meaningful projects, like photo albums. What a wonderful accomplishment! I moved boxes of unsorted photos even with by last move and STILL have barely started, much less completed, that goal. Love those positive chants! Blessing to you!

    Sandra Langston

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