Habit of Sacrifice

Dear Kelley, My husband and I have been married almost 5 years. We have 2 children — M and L, ages 3 and 21 months. My husband is in the National Guard and is scheduled to deploy to Iraq. He will be leading a combat unit of 12 soldiers working in a law enforcement/sniper unit being assembled now. I have very vivid dreams. I dreamt that I saw him being killed along with several other American soldiers and Iraqi soldiers. I had the dream before I knew he was being deployed. What is also bad is that he and I are struggling to stay together. The “divorce” word has surfaced several times, but we don’t want to pursue it before he deploys. After our latest discussion of divorce, I dreamed that 1000 white horses were running out of white trees with green leaves. I felt very clearly that I would be free. But I don’t know at what cost. My questions are:

* Will D be killed in Iraq?
* Will D and I divorce?
* Will my husband have a good relationship with our boys?
* Will our children lead happy lives?
* Will I ever be happy?

Thanks, Julie

Thank you for your note, Julie. Indeed, there is a lot going on energetically for you. You feel incredibly weighed down by responsibility, and that you have sacrificed your happiness for little in return. The reality is, that is exactly what’s happened. You have gotten into the habit of giving up bits of yourself here and there for so long that you have very little left for, or OF yourself. Sacrifice often seems romantic, especially when we’re young. Men and women in their own way are socialized to expect certain levels of sacrifice in relationships. Even among enlightened people many feel sacrifice is necessary. It rarely is, though. Where compromise is a willed even exchange of power, and an agreement to foster growth in yourself and your partner, sacrifice is a willed loss of power. In all of time, there have been very few instances where sacrifice was truly warranted. You do not have to carry the lineage of sacrifice anymore.

Years ago I read in a popular poll that the number one fantasy of married women was that their husband’s die. NOT that they wished their husbands to die, NOT that they had ill will or were planning their demise… The emphasis of the fantasy was on having a perceived clean break, to be able to start over without guilt or baggage of any kind. The more I have explored this with women in my sphere, the need for that trapdoor way out of relationships holds quite true. Traditionally, women have often been hostage in their own marriages, emotionally, financially, or otherwise. I bring this up to you because although your fear of your husband’s death in Iraq is real, your personal desperation on the home front is more pressing. I do not have a sense that his death will be there, or that it won’t. I do not have access to that information as it should be at this time. What your guides are telling me is that you have to have the courage and self respect to make the choices you know you need to for yourself, which means to make them in spite of the unknown. This part of your life is not about what will or will not happen to your husband, but about what level of creative control you are willing to have over your life.

It concerns me that you do not feel your children will lead happy lives. The reality is, the likelihood that they will is very small if their parents don’t. This you can change. This you have control over. Your husband may not be able to do that, but you can. You can not make him; that is his choice and part of what his ego must work out with his soul in this lifetime. I have a very strong sense that your children are teaching him about this inner conflict on some level, even if he does not remain an active part of their lives. In its own way, that is ok. Within healthy reason, let him interact as he will with them. Forcing him to be “father” may actually make things worse. While that distance from him will create karma for all of you to deal with, the significance must be on balancing it, and not recreating it by making demands on your husband that he genuinely at this point in his life is just not up to fulfilling.. There is definitely a block in him around family roles. The thing is, you and the children can balance your karmic ties to what your husband is dealing with, such that you give back to him what is his to deal with and not take it on yourself any further. I’m not suggesting that you not be angry or not express your feelings about his conduct, but that you find the way to flow with it, rather than against it. Realize the point that he cannot hear you, and that you redirect that energy in a way that helps YOU. That will help your stress level and your children more than anything. They are still young enough that they have not forgotten their spiritual natures. Help them hold it. You can learn a lot about how to honor your own from just observing them. They have come into your life intentionally. They CHOSE you. Honor their excellent choice by giving yourself the care and happiness that you need, they will do the same for themselves.

Please seek out the supports you need in making the changes in your life right now. Whatever counseling or legal advice you need, get those supports in place so that you can release stress. If you know energy workers, that type of release is priceless. I know that your nerves are quite frazzled right now, and it is paramount that you reach into your community or family for support. This gesture is going to give not just you, but your children also, more support. I see that there is a network for you to access, but you must make the opening for it to come. Along with that habit of sacrifice, you have developed the habit of not allowing others to be close to you. This distance is a way of recreating the cycle of sacrifice. In short, it has become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You no longer have to make choices in your life based on fear. You are powerful, and you have powerful spiritual allies. At least two of them are living in your own home. As with every spiritual undertaking, find the means that you communicate with your soul. When you act, speak and live fully in what your soul needs, you have the foundation to create change based in wellbeing and balance. You truly do have everything you need to make the transition to freedom. You are deeply intuitive and aware. Manifest that awareness in positive change. That is the only step you are not taking. My thoughts are with you and your family, Julie.