Approaching the first Christmas after Jim died in 2005, I wrote an essay imagining what it must have been like for the wise men. They packed up to follow an unknown star to an undisclosed destination hoping to find…the Son of God? Really? I wonder what their families thought of them. I wonder who whispered behind their backs (or to their faces) “They must be crazy!” I can only imagine what a journey into the unknown was like for them…
Yet, like Columbus setting out for the New World, believing that the earth was round, not flat, the wise men traveled for months without any confirmation (that we know of) that their mission would end in success. Do you think they dreamed of being famous? Do you think they may have had moments of doubt, or discouragement, or down-right defeat and wanted to turn around and go back to what was familiar and safe?
My Own Journey Into the Unknown
When I wrote that essay, life as I thought it would be had splintered into a thousand pieces. My husband Jim was dead. Our dream of teaching together for many more years was dead. All I knew for sure was that I just wanted to get into a vehicle and drive. I didn’t know where, for how long, or where the journey would end. Whatever I had left of life was a huge, gaping black tunnel in front of me. What could possibly take the place of the love of my life? What would I do now that our Life Mission was over? Would I ever be happy again? Or feel useful again? Or be convinced that my work was purposeful? Valuable? Without him?
So, I set off in my motorhome. I didn’t have a star to follow. I only wandered, stopping when I felt like it. Enjoying the ocean. Going for walks. Keeping in touch with my kids and a few close friends by email and cell phone. My trip across my own personal desert lasted six months. When I came home, Jim was still gone. My life still empty. The way ahead still dark.
Other Journeys Into the Unknown
Life being it’s own journey into the unknown, we all have times where the way seems dark, the destination unclear. Sometimes it’s the loss of a career, the difficulty with a troubled child. Other times it’s an unexpected illness, or an accident that derails what you thought was a secure path.
My journey with Jim Landrum began with such joy, as do most marriages. We were so in love! So happy to have found each other after the deaths of our first partners. We never expected to gradually be embroiled in severe conflict. The daily fights became permeated with the darkness of blame, anger and hopelessness. It took time and desperation for us to admit that we needed help to find our way through to the destination we longed for…peace, love and reclaimed happiness.
From Darkness to Light
The Wise Men followed the star in spite of whatever doubts, confusion or exhaustion they may have felt until they arrived at the promised destination. Jim and I tenatiously hung onto our dream of a happy marriage until we found a guide who taught us better communication and anger management skills. Then we began a new journey. It was our passion to teach others the skills that helped us create marriage we desired. Soon others were learning from us the skills that would produce for them the happy, loving marriage they also wanted.
Since Jim’s death, there have been, truthfully, many times of darkness, but also times of inspiration, growth and clarity. I’ve written several books sharing the wisdom learned on these journeys. A few years ago I launched an online streaming course that teaches these amazing skills. Recently I added an edition to Millionaire Marriage Club that also shares research validated strategies that help stepfamilies succeed. Journeys that may begin in the dark, with persistence and a good guide can end up in the Light.
What Journey Are You on Now?
Is your current journey through the darkness of an unhappy marriage? Maybe the book that is the story of our journey might help: How to Stay Married & Love It! Solving the Puzzle of a SoulMate Marriage. The offer of a 7 day free trial membership in Millionaire Marriage Club or the Stepping TwoGether Edition would give you a chance to see if one of these programs could bring the light for which you are longing. Are you drowning in conflict with a troubled child? Perhaps Pungent Boundaries could give you some practical help. In it I share the things I learned while dealing with a drug addicted son. Are you sinking under the weight of depression or anxiety? You may find hope in, Your Inner Child: a Path to Healing and Freedom. In addition there are fifty two hour long TV programs where I talk about all of these topics as well as interview amazing guests who share their journeys into the light.
There are many sources of guidance. My life examples and resources are not the only source, of course! But there is a lot of help available at NancyLandrum.com! The journeys on which we find ourselves in life are not meant to keep us in darkness. They are designed to give us opportunities to grow, expand…and break out into the light!
You have my love and support,