This past winter my soulscape mirrored the darkness of the season. I saw my almost 30-year marriage falling apart,
piece by piece, and yet I could not find the way either to end it or make it better. All the while, we were in
couples’ counseling together, sometimes feeling like we had regained a little ground but for the most part
experiencing the slow death of a relationship in need of transformation.
Finally, in January, I resolved to go on a 40-day quest to discern the meaning of this tortured attachment. I
gathered inspirational writings from the Bible to Scott Peck’s A Road Less Traveled, wrote in my journal daily,
and prayed for assistance. The answer came slowly, almost imperceptibly. The quest for discernment changed me, gave me
back myself, and thus I was able to meet myself, and then my husband, as a whole person rather than a part waiting to
be completed. And, most surprisingly, I came to understand that being a part of something greater than me did not have
to mean losing myself, but rather, completed me in ways that I never dreamed possible.
Barbara Wauters was raised in Argentina and Germany. She now lives in the Sierra foothills with her husband and two
children, where she keeps books, tends goats, sings in a choir, and is treasurer for Live Oak Waldorf School as well as
Faith Lutheran Church.