I came to New Hampshire full of anger. Anger towards corporations, anger about war and politics, anger regarding our patriarchal society, anger towards the rich, and hidden anger about my mom's suicide. I sported an anarchist cape, listened to a lot of System of a Down and Rage Against the Machine, and had no stability or plans for the future. I felt guilty everytime I put gas in my car and refused to buy new shoes even though my only pair were full of holes!
I have changed.
I first learned to live in more joy through my friends and co-workers. I put my anger on the back burner and used my "crazy dancing lady" as a sort of self therapy. I enjoyed the scenery of a new area and appreciated making enough money to stop worrying about mere survival. I saw the rich in a new light through my customers and I was surrounded by people who were genuinely happy...what a concept! I eased up a bit, but still held a lot of strong opinions and beliefs regarding society and especially men. I was still angry, but covering it up with certain substances and a lot of activity.
Then I met Ben...my greatest spiritual teacher to date. I have studied different spiritual principles on and off for 10 years. I have practiced yoga and meditation, read many Buddhist texts, practiced visualization techniques and made vision boards, taken Oprah classes, meditated with prisoners, and even walked on fire! My parents raised me to be open to the occult and I have been a constant seeker of answers. Who would have thought that a 25-year-old republican sporting a Steeler's hat and drinking a beer would be my number one guru? :)
I had a strong concept of men in general, but especially men who watched sports and voted for GW! Ben also had his own concepts about liberal, tattoo-covered hippy chicks! We still opened up enough to let one another into our minds, and eventually, our hearts. The more we got to know eachother and the more in-depth our conversations became, the more we realized our similarities at a core level. We were both stubborn and true to ourselves. We were both extremely loyal and simultaneously independent. We both loved games and friendly competition. We were both real and valued truth above all other values. We both loved snickers and hated onions!! So there we were, the anarchist and the patriot, in love.
Not that it was always easy. We disagreed on most subjects and debated often. Ben was the first man I had ever met who could actually debate with me to the point where I would see his perspective...and sometimes even change my own. He was strong enough to change me and to change himself as neccesary. Over the course of just one year, we both changed greatly...and for the better.
Then came the day of the big fight. The debate of all debates that would either make us or break us. I was pregnant and had to give up all of my vices. I had to face emotions that I had been hiding for over a year. He had recently quit smoking cigarretes and was "on edge" to say the least. We had both reached the maximum of our stress levels. Our anger rose to the surface...and we let it out on eachother. I will not get into the details of the confrontation, because they are unimportant. Hurtful words were spoken, material objects were broken, and we were both arrested. Yes, this was a bad one. We were forced into a restraining order although neither of us wanted it and we had some time to think.
By the next day we had decided that we wanted to make our relationship work. We already missed eachother and knew that we had allowed things to get out of control. Our egos had come out full force and then been shattered to pieces. All that was left now was a deep, unconditional, and genuine love for one another. The anger was gone.
After that our love became stronger and more beautiful than ever. Our insecurities and fears had dropped. We both knew that the other loved us for who we were and we could make it through anything. We experienced a slowing down of time and a true togetherness like I had never felt before. Our egos were no longer running the show and the anger had dissapated. Only real love was present. This is how we spent the last weeks of Ben's life.
Now, when my mind goes into anger and frustration, I am able to forgive and replace it with love. When someone is vastly different from me, I am able to see the world from their perspective, or at least let it go. I am no longer angry toward society or corporations...as I have received a great deal of support from these institutions. I no longer believe that humanity is generally shallow. I have a renewed faith in and love for the human race. I am not saying that everything is perfect in the world. I know that there are numerous problems and a great deal that needs to change, but I do not believe that anger will change anything for the better. The only energy which can create great and lasting change is love. True, genuine, unconditional love and forgiveness towards everyone and all things. This is where our true power resides. My mother was right!
Also, by the way, I now have a few pairs of shoes ;)
Thank you Ben....I love you forever.