This year has been full of tumult. I have a feeling that the next year will challenge me in new ways, before things get better. But in this year, I have grown more than I had hoped from the beginning. And I am proud of myself.
It is amazing how you set your intent to learn and to grow, and how you never end up in exactly the place you assumed you would be in. Learning is an ever-changing snake-like path that you will continue to ride as long as you chose to move forward. Getting off is an option, but I think that that would be the only way to not move towards your goal of growth.
This year, I have stumbled upon the reality that my wife and I have paid tribute to, and received the benefits from the bounty of the God Shiva. The common understanding of Shiva is as the Hindu God of Death and Rebirth. But, my realization this year has been that Shiva is not only for the Death and Rebirth of a person or spirit, but that of ideas, and habits… Shiva is also the God of changing intention, and attitude. Shiva is a proponent to change and growth.
Without the death of something, the growth of another cannot occur. Since the beginning of my marriage, my wife and I have chosen each other every morning. We do not assume that we will be together forever because we took vows. We continually come to one another with our challenges, fears, happiness’s, inspirations, efforts, confusions, you name it. And with each new conversation, we speak, we think, we accept our initial emotions, then we think about each other, and how sometimes the person that needs to change in a hard time is us and not them. We make the choice to grow, and with each time we chose a harder path for the other, we grow closer together. We change.Let me come up with a clear example.Let us say she came to me with the idea of wanting another partner. (Male or female is irrelevant for this situation, but pick which over works for you)10 years ago, my mindset put me in a place that would make me angerly say, “No.”But if I inspect that emotion, why it is so strong, I would have seen that I was reacting to the idea of, “but that is my body, and I don’t want to share it with anyone else.” The concept of, “Mine.” The concept of ownership and property. And although I would have definitely felt it strongly, it would be hard to admit that that is what it was. Because even in my 10 year younger mind, the concept of “Mine” was strong, but, I didn’t believe on ownership of a partner. (Yes, I know this conflicts, but it is amazing what you can reason past)
(I realize that for some of you, there is a religious concern, but when you think hard about that, you might also see that the idea of property is involved. And if you have a religious concern, continue reading anyway, this does not end in judgement on you or your religion.)
And when I think about what it means to me, and why I react so strongly, there are a lot of questions that come up.
Do I own her body?
Do I own her emotion?
Does she owe anything to me to listen to my concerns?
What needs am I not meeting?
Are there needs I am unable to meet?
What are her needs that drive this interest?
What about another partner is she looking for?
And it comes back to, this question was posed to me, not asked of me. She is a wonderful strong individual, completely independent of me. This is why I love her so much. So, if there is nothing owed either way, what reason would I have to say no to her about this?
The only answer I could say, that is true, and not ego-centric about this, would be the answer to another question than we have been talking about.
Is this idea, an idea that is worth driving us apart?
I personally feel that, as a strong individual, she has complete ownership of her own mind, body, and spirit. I am grateful for the amount of those three things she is willing to share with me. And I enjoy making choices that cause her to chose to allow me to be part of her. But what is the limit?So, is it worth driving us apart?You could say, “No, it is not worth driving us apart.” Or, you could say, “You are a wonderful person, but, I cannot say yes to this. But, you may make the choice to chose another person, instead of me.”I think the Sex Columnist, Dan Savage, said it best, “What is your cost of admission?”I specifically chose an example that I thought could pose some personal introspection to many people. I can’t tell you for sure how I would answer the question above if it were posed me. But, this process that I followed here, is a tribute to Shiva. It is looking at my mindset, thinking hard about different perspectives, and challenging each thought to shape itself into it’s best appearance.Death of an old concept, rebirth of a new concept (formed loosely on the old)In so many small decisions, and most of the big decisions, Shiva has been the code to help us continue to chose the decision that was right, even when it required challenging growth.In the upcoming year, I hope to continue to hold favor with this God, and also hope that the challenges and decisions I need to make are smaller and less challenging, but, I am confident I have the tools to move forward either way.