Monday, April 19, 2004

Attendant Spirits

My sister wrote an entry in her blog the other day about feeling someone hold her hand as she went to sleep. She told about ghosts and guardian angels and that got me to thinking about my guardian angel.

Oh, yes, I have a guardian angel and he has kept me out of trouble, helped me heal, and he has spoken to me. I mean that in a litteral sense. I have heard his voice with my own ears. His messages are simple but carry more meaning than the thickest novel ever written. Let me tell you about it...

The first time Stanley spoke to me... Oh, I forgot to tell you. His name is Stanley. At least, that's what I call him. I asked him his name once and that's what he whispered to me. Anyway, the first time he spoke to me, I was a freshman in college. There was this dumb-jock-type living on my same floor in the residence hall and I didn't have much use for him most of the time but he was pretty harmless.

At the end of a particularly harrowing day, I returned from class ot find him in my room chatting it up with my roommate and a couple of other guys. To blow off some steam, I fired up my computer and challenged any comers to a game of "Way of the Exploding Fist." I was pretty much impossible to beat because I was "attuned" to the joystick I used and I was really the only one used ot viewing output on a five-inch color monitor (it was a Commodore SX-64 portable computer).

At any rate, everything was going well and I was unstressing when the jock did something that utterly disgusted me. (I remember what it was but I'll spare you the details) I told him what I though of his gesture and politely and with a bit of revulsion asked him not to do that again... which he promptly ignored and repeated his action.

Those that have known me a while know that I can have a really nasty temper and it's easiest to set off when I'm tired, stressed and/or cranky. I have worked hard over the past thirty years to keep the monster at bay but he sneaks out once in a while... That day, he leaped out.

In one fluid motion, I threw my joystick on the desk, stood up, kicked my chair half way across the room and slammed into the jock's midriff before he knew what hit him. I shoved him against the far wall of the room and onto my roommates bed. When we landed, I was in the absolute perfect position to start slamming my fist repeatedly into his... manhood. I had an absolutely unobstructed shot and I'm sure he was in such shock that he would not have been able to stop me. With just a few blows, I could have easily put this oxygen thief in the hospital and removed his particular sequence from the gene pool.

I drew my right arm back, made a fist, shifted my weight to begin my first strike and heard someone say, loudly and firmly, "DON'T!"

In that instant, I knew that the beast had taken full control of me and, for the first time in my life, I was about to do serious bodily harm to another human being. Satisfied that I had proven my point, I stepped away and put the beast back in his cage.

The jock didn't get it.

As I stepped away, he grabbed me in a bear-hug from behind, pinning my arms, and lifted me off my feet. He carried me across the room and, thinking he was going to body-slam me into the floor, I threw my weight toward my bed as he let me go.

Now, the good thing about having a temper is, when you need it, you can fake it. You can let the beast roar his loudest, fiercest roar and still keep him in his cage... and that's exactly what I did.

When I hit the bed, I used it as a springboard to bounce myself back to my feet. I stepped within centimeters of this mouth-breathing neanderthal, who stood a good three inches taller than me and outweighed me by at least fifty pounds, looked straight into his eyes and hollered with as much rage as I could muster (which was quite a lot, I assure you) and proceeded to explain to him, in a very graphic manner, what I was going to do to him if he ever touched me again. I recall his expression being a mixture of mild fear and amazement that anyone would dare stand up to him like that. I left him standing there, wide-eyed, as I left the room to cool off.

When I returned, my roommate quitely said to me, "Remind me never to piss you off."

I was convinced that someone in the room had hollered at me to stop but my roommate said he hadn't heard it. I blew it off as divergent recollections... until I heard him the second time. I was alone the second time.

It was a couple of years after the first incident. I had been dating a girl I met in high school for almost three years. She was my first love and she played with my mind the whole time. Some of the things she did were nothing short of evil and manipulative. For this reason, when we finally broke up, I hated her. I had said I hated people before this but I had only strongly disliked them. Her... I hated. I hated what she had done to me, I hated that I had wasted three years on her, and I hated what I had become because of her. I spent the entire summer sitting in my bedroom reading after we broke up.

I don't recall what book I was reading but I was sitting alone on my bed in my room. The radio was not on and I was lost in the world created on the pages in front of me. Without any warning, I heard a voice quietly say to me, "Let it go."

I looked up. No one had entered and the door was closed. I remember thinking, "What?" then returned to my book. Before I could find my spot on the page I again heard the voice say, "Let it go."

With no further words and no further thought, I realized that the hatred I carried so close to my heart had tainted and discolored every experience I'd had since allowing it to enter me. It wasn't living there, it wasn't holding on. I had picked it up and held onto it with all my strength letting it steel me against... against nothing. It was hurting me with its subtle but suffocating pressure and I never realized it. In my mind, I saw a hand release and let something just fall away.

I was at peace. I was at peace with myself and I was at peace with my experiences and I forgave her. I forgave her absolutely and completely.

It was then that I realized the voice must be a guardian angel. In that moment I experienced a forgiveness that could only come from God. He forgave me for my hatred. I released my hatred and forgave myself for carrying it. Most importantly, I forgave someone else without regard to whether or not they would forgive me.

That moment is as close to God as I have ever been.

Do I believe in spirits? Yes. Do I believe in guardian angels? You bet I do.

No comments: