Recently I went to hear Neale Donald Walsch talk on a variety of interesting subjects. I was taken aback when he mentioned he had been married five — count ’em FIVE — times. (Or was it seven? Whatever the number — it was a lot.) And it makes one think, doesn’t it? How can a “spiritual person” have gone through so many broken relationships, and still be spiritual? Should we really listen to a fallen, broken, wounded person?
The answer is YES.
In fact those are precisely the people we should be listening to.
Some of the most spiritual people of our time had to learn the really hard way, through systems. Systems like marriage, religion, career, and organized group-think. Systems are not inherently bad, but systems always come with limitations. Some of these wounded warriors — who are people who managed to escape the system — are now able to teach us what they have learned through trial and error.
The benefit of the system is that it inspires us to break out of its confines. Ask yourself: what lies beyond the system? Beyond marriage? Beyond career? Beyond home? Beyond structure? Beyond the known? Who are we when we go beyond the known?
I have been married three times. Oh yes, I said it…THREE TIMES. My first marriage (at 19 years old) did not work because I was in no way shape or form ready to be married. My second marriage failed because it wasn’t rooted on a sure foundation. My third marriage? Well, my third marriage is the marriage I am in now, and it’s a complete blessing because for THIS marriage I let God do the guiding and the picking. I am married now in a way that resides within but also transcends the construct — because it does not FOCUS on the construct.
Sometimes we have to completely blow up a system in order to transcend it. Neale blew up five marriages before he transcended it. He is married now, happily, and he is still a spiritual person, one of the finest spiritual people of our time. Failures always lead to understanding and success. Why be ashamed of your failures? Because you made bad decisions? Who among us hasn’t? We all have, and especially me! The test of true spiritual mettle is our ability to rise again after the fall, to use what we have learned from our failures to make ourselves better, and to make the world better.
And we can ALL do that.