so a little background...
I was married for over 20 years and to borrow a phrase from my Buddhist experience, causes and conditions did not manifest to keep me married. In the tradition of not engaging in Lashon Hara, or using the Buddhist language, in honor of Right Speech, I will spare you all and won’t go into the details.
Yet the end of my marriage after such a long time ushered in a period of personal deconstruction the intensity of which I could never had predicted. The reexamining of every aspect of my life, the exile from my home town, (due to complicated financial reasons, and emotional distress I ended up being the one who moved…..) and an extreme change in my standard of living caused for many a personal earthquake.
As all the dust began to settle, I tried to date….(at some point I may write about my E-Harmony experiences and dating gone wrong, but not now….) but changed my mind and decided to just get to know the reemerging me. I decided to go to a divorce group. I wanted to meet some divorced women to hang with. Although my married friends were still there, I had so much more free time than they could ever imagine, and bluntly I was just not the same person I had been before.
Where to find a divorce group became the goal….I have experiencing finding help for others…being a social worker by profession. Yet when I tried to find help for me it became clear that there were three types of groups.
1) Born Again Christian Groups
2) Private Psychotherapy Groups
2) JCC Groups
Well the first two types were unacceptable to me. I didn't need psychotherapy, I had engaged in seeking help during this time period, and was psychologically healing, and no comment on the Born Again option! So the JCC was it. This was not as bizarre a choice for me the Buddhist –UU as it may first appear because my ex-husband is Jewish. A non-practicing Jew, but Jewish non-the less. I experienced holidays with his family and feebly attempted to provide a nominal Jewish understanding for my now grown child while I was married.
So there I was at the JCC the only non-Jew in a group of many women and two men. It was while in this group that I realized not only was I mourning all the losses I experienced, I also was deeply feeling the loss of my "Jewish family." I expressed this often in the group.I was "de-Jewed!" I lost the cycle of the year, and a sense of continuity. This was the sprouting of the seeds of my eventual conversion.
for more background see the side bar...Question #22...