Simple Truth – don’t bite the first worm that swims by you

Recently, I met a couple of people who have come to me regarding marital issues. While I make it amply clear that I am not a professional councillor, I do lend a pastor’s ear. Listening is a good thing; it allows the other to speak freely especially when you are approached because you are trusted. Make no mistake, listening attentively is also emotionally draining for the one who listens because you inadvertently enter into the suffering and pain of the one pouring out their heart.

But listening also means that one has to make sense of several emotions and slot the many incidents ranging from rage to fear into a clear storyline. By doing this one begins to realize that most people have similar storylines. While the number of villains may vary in each life story the plot seems similar. In all of this a pattern of fault lines begin to emerge. Like all fault lines they are dormant till one day the earth begins to shake beneath your feet and one is swallowed in an abyss of misery.

One such fault line that I have begun to notice is a desperation that seeks solace in any arm. Many people that I have met these days narrate a litany of woes, many of them related to their growing up years; years of abuse or rejection or lack of self-esteem. Some of it may be self-inflicted but it exists in some form or the other. Depending on circumstances these feelings of rejection may be transitory or those that hover above like a dreary dark cloud on a stormy day. Often, the only ‘apparent solution’ for those who feel this way is to escape from it all, to run away from the four uncomfortable walls that they call home in the hope that some other person will be their matrimonial angel with a happy ever after by line.

The first worm that wriggles in these murky waters of fear and frustration often seem to be the most tempting bite. The apparent solution for many is that it is better to risk biting any worm that floats by (even though there is a deadly hook that might kill you) than to continue in choppy and tempestuous waters of family strife. Here is the simple truth; the solution rarely works and mostly you end up with a hook in your throat.

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