Okay, I admit it. I am somewhat addicted to the latest news/gossip about Tiger Woods and his beleaguered marriage. I am fascinated by his cheating ways and the lengths to which he went to cover up for himself. Woods certainly has enough money and sycophants on his payroll that covering up for him was done automatically without a care for its morality or legitimacy within the context of a marriage with two young children or the bounds of what comprises an appropriate business relationship.
Really, was the pay so good that the legions of lawyers, managers and agents were able to engage in the cover-ups without feeling any sense of distaste that was strong enough to cause them to declare, "Enough," and refuse to do the deeds anymore? How did they face Woods' wife, knowing what they knew? Is this what "work" and "professionalism" are supposed to be like?
Now I have some experience with this subject of cheating. The sense of betrayal is like a first degree burn received in your burning house, from which you think you're not going to escape. Just like in a fire, you find yourself struggling for the next breath, and the sense of panic rises as the taste of bile in your throat threatens to suffocate you. You are paralyzed as to which way to go, how to get out of the burning house to safety. From where you stand, you can see no safety, no higher ground where the flames won't pursue you.
Somehow though, miraculously, you get out of the house, you get out of the marriage, you get on with your life, but you're not the same person you were before the fire consumed your home, your relationship or your sanity.
Even after the burns have scabbed over and the scabs have fallen off, years later, the pain and the sensation of being burned remain, vivid as the darkened patches of skin where the scabs once marred your body. Because of the children, you don't talk about the betrayal in your marriage. It smoulders within your psyche, and you find yourself sensitized to cheaters.
Let me be clear, I know of wives who have cheated as well as husbands. So, it's an equal opportunity transgression, not limited to a gender.
For me, things changed and my life opened up again when one St. Andrew's Day at church, amidst the congregants all dressed in red and plaids, amidst the bagpipes and the singing of Amazing Grace as we filed out of the church nave, forgiveness for my ex flooded my being. It was a gift from God, an invitation to live again in hope and in reconciliation.
I had not known how to forgive. It was beyond my ability to reach that level of generosity to my ex. Now, years after that fateful St. Andrew's Day, I am so very grateful for the forgiveness that entered my life, because reconciliation has been a wonderful building up of familial relationships that bless us all.
What once was lost was found, a willingness to be vulnerable and to trust another person, to allow another person close enough to have the power to burn me again. The difference is that this time, I know that cheating is about the cheater and not about the one who's been cheated on. This time, I can see the woundedness in the cheater, the hole in his soul that gapes and yearns for filling up.
I am so profoundly sorry for billionaire golfing genius Tiger Woods, who feels so unloved and unlovable that he has to lie to himself about his marriage in order to lie about cheating with other women. I pray that he and his wife Elin and their children Sam and Charlie find forgivness and wholeness in the days and months and years to come. It will be a tough journey since it will be traversed in the glaring spotlight of celebrity, money and excess. Pray for them, because they need our prayers.