Once upon a time, a Lady (named Clara T.) sat reflecting her life.  From her perspective, she could clearly look back in time and see when and how she had erred. She was able to witness her strengths and weaknesses, she recognized her loves and hates, and attempted to identify and categorize her successes and failures.  In doing so, however, Clara T. discovered that some of her greatest defeats had transformed into her grandest victories.

Tears filled Clara T.’s eyes as her mind filled with memories of her first love.  She had never lost anyone close to her, through death. As the relationship with her royal mate died, the grief consumed her. She was unprepared for the emptiness that felt as though it had eaten through the walls of her abdomen. A sinking feeling filled the pit of her stomach. She had never before felt such pain and remorse. Her heart physically hurt.

The Lady wanted to selflessly help humanity. She knew that there were countless reasons for divorce to occur. If she would share her story, then perhaps needless suffering could be avoided. Until this moment, she could not have conceived how she could help another, for helplessly and hopelessly, she’d been unable to help herself. In silence, she pondered and meditated upon the word, “faith.”  She didn’t know if she had any. She had lost what she perceived as faith in her mate, herself, and in what she had been told by others of a Greater Power. With courage, Clara T. found herself willing to recall the details of her life and lessons. In that moment, she was committed in service to mankind.

In a blinding flash of light and direct knowingness, Clara T. saw the invisible, heard the inaudible and knew the unknowable. She now consciously understood what faith truly meant. Confidently, she devised a Spiritual Workout, a way for others to exercise their faith. She, like so many others, had focused on her mate’s weaknesses rather than his strengths. The hour of awakening and forgiveness was at hand.

Through experience, Clara T. had discovered that until she became committed, her fears manifested as hesitancy, the choice to always draw back in retreat. Time and time again, she had been shown that once she definitely committed, Providence moved, also.

Synchronistically, miracles begin to unfold and occur in the outer world, assisting those who are willing to exercise their faith and beliefs that never would have otherwise occurred. Once one becomes committed to a cause, assisting in personal and planetary growth, material assistance and meetings, which no man or woman could have ever dreamt possible begins coming your way.

She also now fully understood that in all acts of creation, there is one elementary and primary truth, it is only fear and unawareness that kills splendid plans, ideas and dreams.

Clara T.’s favorite Goethe couplet had been memorized long ago, “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

Inspired by her own beliefs and feeling her inner strength, the Lady was aware that now was the time to reveal her past. To show others her fears and uncertainties, her pain and remorse, as well as her darkest shadows could stand forth as a shining example, lighting the way for others, preventing needless pain or to ultimately heal their lives.

Clara T. was a child bride, falling deeply in love with a warrior returning home from battle. The First Knight was grateful that his life was not lost in combat. He appreciated life in its fullness. Each event that made him feel alive drew him to experience it.

Fearlessly, he tasted life, partying and celebrating life in all forms. He rode the swift, rapid rivers and lived life to the fullest. Accidents occurred, breaking the Knight’s bones, but never his spirit. She was frightened beyond words for his safety.  She lost her confidence, becoming obsessed with the Knight.

Fearfully, Clara T. attempted to change the Knight. She questioned him often, wanting to know what he wanted her to change, within herself, those things that would make him happier. He always responded, “Nothing. You’re perfect the way you are.” Did he truly love her unconditionally? She felt guilt. She silently desired for him to ask the same question of her. She wanted to list the things she believed would make her happier, but he never gave her the chance.

The more involved away from home he became, the more Clara T. found herself absorbed within it. She, like most humans, tried to fix and alter the “outer,” rather than healing the fears of the “inner.” She erringly believed that perhaps if she cleaned more, he’d fully enjoy coming home to her. She slaved and toiled to make his castle a delight to enter. Alas, that wasn’t the answer.

The Knight didn’t want Clara T. to make herself more attractive. He said he liked her looking natural. However, those outside the home were painted up and he seemed to enjoy being with them. Clara T. thought, “Maybe if I look more like a woman, he’ll treat me like a woman.” But, alas, that wasn’t the answer either.

Clara T. felt she was losing her sanity and had tried everything to coerce her Knight to come home. She seemed to have only a few more options. Maybe if she prepared seven course meals, the Knight would want to be home. She soon discovered, however, that the smells of homemade bread and cookies only attracted more children to the home for her to care for.

Maybe, just maybe, if she was a more patient, nurturing, loving mother to their children, the Knight would want to be part of the family? Alas, this wasn’t the answer either.

She fantasized of having an affair. He would never know. He was never home. But, she would know. That wasn’t the answer either.

She had tried manipulation, control, and tears. Nothing worked. Nightly, she prayed that the Knight would come home and be part of her life.  Alas, her prayers were finally answered.

As time passed, she could speak from experience: “Be careful what you pray for, because you just might get it.” She had fully discovered, through experience, that when one prays for a human, desired outcome, it sets the Karmic Law into motion. Because she, nor others, could “see the whole plan,” nor knew what all lives and circumstances had or would be effected, she had witnessed the results of her own selfish desire.

Wishing and hoping he would change had occurred, but it still didn’t make her happy. Who was this man who sat quietly, no longer living life to the fullest? Nightly, he sat in the royal chambers with a cup of ale, merely existing.

Clara T. self-righteously bragged to her friends that she and the Knight never fought, but she wasn’t being fully honest. In reality, they never spoke either.

More years passed and Clara T. then knew: sin is living in a home without love. Sin, in her belief, only meant “error,” however, and she believed mistakes could be corrected. With faith, she opened herself, in silence, for the Greater Power to pour blessings out upon her. She would have no personal desires, but one: to live by the Word and Will of God.

It was nearing Easter time, and Clara T. found herself thinking of how symbolically this holiday was concerning the crucifixion of the relationship. With hope, she looked forward to the resurrection because she felt totally dead inside. Bravely, to the Knight, she replied, “I’m not happy and I know you’re not either.” He nodded his head in agreement, which broke her heart. She had known it for so very long. Until this moment, it had never been validated. It had lived secretly beneath denial and “let’s pretend.”

The night before they parted, Clara T. attempted to make love to the Knight in the hot springs beneath the stars. In a final attempt to force things to be as she dreamed they should be, she opened herself to receive him. The Knight sat stiffly.  Proudly, he remained closed to her love. In her mind, she screamed at him, “Please touch me, I’m starved for your love! Stroke me, kiss me, tell me I’m pretty even though I know I’m not.” Afraid to speak the words aloud, she knew the relationship was dead.

It would be many years later before she would understand the significance of her Silent Knight withholding his love from her. Had he given himself freely, in that moment under the stars, she would have never left. She needed to go. In a moment of the greatest sacrifice, the Knight had given Clara T. the greatest gift, her freedom.

The morning before she drove away with the children, the Knight said he had visualized the two of them as balloons. He untangled the strings and cut her free, watching in his mind as the two objects floated in different directions. He replied, “I set you free and if, one day, you don’t return to me, I’m going to kick myself in the royal derriere.”

Three months separated the Knight and Clara T. before the final divorce was granted. Once complete, the Knight hugged his Lady and whispered, “Come back to me in a long, white wedding gown.” Tears filled her eyes as she quietly said, “When I used to leave the children with you for an hour, you’d punish me for weeks. I’ve been gone for three months now. I fear that would mean a lifetime of punishment.” The Knight responded in an empty, ashamed, hushed whisper, “You’re probably right.”

The family of four broken hearts went their separate ways that day. To all outer appearances, it was better off broken. No one had the solution or human power, nor desire or strength to fix it.

Clara T. began processing the pain as the years passed. She had told the Knight she didn’t want to blame him, yet she had. Secretly, she felt hate which she was afraid to voice.  She feared hurting him and others if they knew of her inner rage. Why hadn’t someone taught them how to have a healthy, loving relationship? Where were the answers? What was wrong with her that he didn’t want to be part of her life?  Why couldn’t he love her the way she needed to be loved?

One afternoon, as she was feeling consumed with her past of what if’s and if only’s, the Voice of Spirit broke through the physical barrier of time and space. “What is the thing you liked best about the Knight? Before you ever part company, always remember to share these insights with one another. Always part in love, not in anger.”

Twenty years had been spent in a relationship with the Knight. He had provided for her and sired two heirs.  Surely he deserved to know what she enjoyed most about him. Thoughtfully, she sat in the golden silence of the afternoon. She remembered their lives with one another. Clara T. prepared a message for him.

It began…

Dear Sir,

Society says when people divorce, friends and family are expected to choose sides, to cut one another down, and to be angry, and mean for the sake of being mean. Both are encouraged to get even. My heart says otherwise.  

Without sounding sarcastic, I have seen you more since we divorced because we continually meet in my dreams. We both had so much to heal! I’ve been shown the error of my ways. I’m writing to you for several reasons:

(1) Our son has expressed a desire that we one day reunite. I guess it would be most children’s dream that their parents could love one another under the same roof. Would it be too much to ask, to be friends, for our sake as well as the children’s? I’m willing to try.

(2) Our daughter has confided that she doesn’t feel your love when you speak it.  I understand it’s difficult to be a parent across the miles. I attempt to reassure her, endeavoring to view our past from a new perspective and to believe that good truly does stand behind all appearances. Ironically, Sir, the very act of silencing our emotions over the years allowed them to control our lives.

(3) I apologize for being self righteous. Playing the role of the martyr was natural and easy. It was a comfortable place for me to be.

(4) I’m sorry for all the times I hurt or disappointed you.  For all the times you hurt me, I forgive you. I truly believe it was unintentional. I was angry because you wouldn’t support my dream. I never thought of asking if you had one. I was so busy talking, I couldn’t have heard you speak.

(5) I’m sorry I couldn’t trust you. My insecurities and fears controlled my thinking. If you cheated on me, I was an active participant for I constantly put worrisome energy into that creation through my fearful thoughts. If you were faithful, it’s only because you’re a strong man of mind and heart. Neither can no longer matter because we were both doing the best we could in a dysfunctional, pretentious relationship, having no awareness except to continue the roles we chose.

(6) I’m sorry I couldn’t be honest with you about my feelings and desires.  Fear of anger (my own or anothers), along with my fear of rejection made me a prisoner to the silence, also.

(7) I’m sorry for guilt-tripping you into being someone other than who I fell in love with.

(8) I’m sorry we both became so sad.

(9) I’m sorry I was too lazy and frightened to be a companion for you. Sorry you had to taste life’s experiences alone.

(10) I have never spoken badly of you to the children because I didn’t want my pain or judgments to color their feelings for you. However, I’m sorry that I have spoken critically with condemnation and judgment to others. Unknowingly, I was judging myself.

I ask your forgiveness. It can be given through thought, in the silence of dreams where we meet, or it can be withheld.  It’s your choice, but whether you give it or not — I must forgive you and myself.

People show love differently. You showed me, I’m now aware, in giving me “things” which you thought I wanted or that you believed would make me happy. You worked endlessly, without recognition (and usually with crisp, sarcastic remarks of being a workaholic) to provide for your family. I was spoiled and over-indulged, not recognizing or appreciating the real and true love that inspired you to do so.  If I had only been aware, we may have never become a statistic…

One of the things I liked most about you is your devotion to friends. I was envious. I wanted to be your friend, but I didn’t know how to be one to you. I also loved your smile and felt good whenever something I said or did was the cause for it.

I appreciate that you never once threatened me with divorce and understood my fear of it. I know now that we attract what we love, hate, and fear.

In closing, Sir, I make a vow to be honest concerning my emotions, knowing they are important parts of the totality of who I am. If I tend to become critical or self-righteous, I’ll remember that I wasn’t perfect either.

In deep respect, Clara T.

The Lady read and re-read the letter, wondering if she should destroy it or be courageous to send it. Perhaps she should rewrite it, making it sound poetic or more beautiful and she hesitated. It had been written from her heart with considerable emotion. It had flowed without effort onto paper.  She rested assured that the Knight deserved to see exactly what had unveiled from her heart and mind. Without regret, the letter was mailed.

Several months passed before a response came. Clara T. wasn’t really expecting one. She knew how difficult it was for the Knight to express his feelings.  The message brought tears to her eyes as she read his heartfelt words:

Dear Clara T.,

Please excuse the delay in a response to your letter. It has taken many hours of thought for me to process your words, viewing our relationship from your perspective.  To tell you the truth, I continued to be in confusion as to why you even left. It seemed so sudden, though, in truth, it had been coming on for years.

I understood. Finally. I have been able, because of your letter, to know for certain that I loved you, but that I didn’t love you in the way you felt you needed to be loved.

I remember back to a time when you were visiting your parents. Upon your return, you discovered a note from me on the Icebox that said, “I’m sorry it’s so empty, but it’s not half as empty as I am without you near me.” Another note, on the timepiece that sat near your pillow was discovered that stated, “Time seems to stand still when we’re apart.”

Until your letter arrived, I never realized that you wanted me to be more romantic. Though you oftentimes said, “If you can’t say it, let Hallmark say it for you,” I never realized how important it was to you.

I remember the evening you wore black velvet and I told you how beautiful you looked. You blushed. I am blushing now, embarrassed that I gave you only one compliment on your beauty in 20 years. Because you nurtured and complimented me and it was uncomfortable, I couldn’t respond. I didn’t know. I’m sorry.

I watched you be so loving to others and I saw how others loved you in return. I was envious. I wanted to put you in the corner, in a glass globe, and tell everyone, “You can look, but don’t touch, because she’s mine.” I couldn’t do that though, because of who you are.

There were times I didn’t feel I deserved your love. You had such a forgiving nature, which added to my guilt. Your nature is warm, tender, loving, and innocent. I didn’t understand.

I gave in the only way I knew how to give. I watched you.  I saw how easy it was for you to bring tears to the eyes of others, speaking your feelings aloud. I was afraid and I didn’t understand.

As a man of few words, this has been difficult for me, but I have pushed past my boundary of comfort, because you deserve to know this.

The thing I liked most about you…was everything. You were perfect as a wife and mother. Perfect in the sense of being pure and absolute in teaching and demonstrating love for me and others. All the rest is just part of the experience of growing, though sometimes painful.

We are both who we are today, because of those experiences. Good did stand behind the appearance. We’ll meet again, face-to-face, one day, Clara T.  Not as man and wife, but through the gift, as friends.

Sincerely, Your (not-so-Silent) Knight

The secret to a successful relationship is this: Speak your feelings, now — or — as in this case, years down the road. Assuming is a homewrecker. To assume another knows our needs, thoughts, desires, and feelings is guaranteed to make an ass of u and me.

(The Silent Knight, an excerpt from the title of the same name, reprinted with permission from Miracle Publishing Company. All rights reserved.)