Let me begin by saying that my hero is an 18-year-old woman. I wonder what kind of person I would be today if I were anywhere near as self-aware at the tender age of 18.
Let me continue by saying that while I have been practicing patience and acceptance and breathing through anger, sending positive energy to people with whom I have not seen eye to eye, sometimes I just need to feel the anger and let it out in order to fully let go and move on.
This afternoon, this is exactly what I did thanks to guidance my hero.
I couldn’t sleep last night after several frustrated and failed attempts to resolve a dispute I had made for a charge on my Bank of America card. This dispute had originally been found in my favor, months ago. Suddenly, I received a letter asking for more information to support my claim. The same day I received the letter was the day the information was due. Call me crazy, but this did not seem reasonable.
I then received a notice that I was now required to pay the fee and if I didn’t I would also be charged additional interest.
After waiting on hold, being transferred several times without success, and disconnected, I spoke with five different customer “service” representatives before speaking with Julian, manager of billing for the entire nation of Bank of America (at least, he told me there was no one else in all the company that I could speak with).
Julian was direct, unyielding, and did not seem to possess the ability to listen or make a choice that would advocate for a long-time customer.
I was so frustrated by the time I got off the phone that I walked into the house and started screaming expletives toward Bank of America and Julian.
It was then that my hero came to my aid.
I just want to scream and break things, I told her.
Well, I think it’s time to break some plates, she said.
Really? We can do that?
We took out six plates, and I used a large, black, permanent marker to write the name of each of the people (all stereotypical men) who had ripped me off financially or caused me emotional harm in the past several years.
On the final plate, I wrote the words: prayer to Shiva the destroyer and drew several squiggle lines around the edge. All plates were stacked and placed into a small backpack.
We then put on shoes, attached a leash to the dog, walked across a creek (carrying the dog, who was afraid of the water), and out to a rocky outcropping.
Go for it, my hero said.
Oh shiva, I apologize for feeling so angry. Rather than sending out negative energy into the universe, we are going to break some plates.
To the plates, I whispered the words, I’m sorry, plates. Thank you for your sacrifice.
We threw the plates. The first throw was not very successful, but we found that if we threw them like a Frisbee, they broke into many small pieces and made very satisfying breaking sounds.
We walked down to throw the larger pieces that remained and then ran back up to the top of the rocks.
We screamed, high fived with both hands several times, and screamed some more.
Then we returned across the river, washing away all the negative energy, and emerged radiant on the other side.
Hallelujah, we called out.
After we had both taken cold showers, my hero brought a burning bundle of sage and waved it over me.
You’re ok, she said. You’re done.
And even though I could feel some residual shaking inside of me, I really was done. I was and I am ok.
And now, I can rest a little easier. I couldn’t beat them. And I know that there really are no victors in this kind of battle anyway. I only hope that they realize someday that they are causing harm to people and find the strength to create a new path.