In 1972, Gay Talese, author of a book about Sex in America, sat for an interview with Playboy Magazine. Not surprisingly, Sandstone, John and I came up during the conversation, and Gay tagged me “the most liberated woman in America.” That was one accolade all my slaving away in capitalism could not win for me. Liberated…that sounds like freedom, right? As in freedom from growing up in Rural America, as in freedom from buying and selling, and—dare I say it—freedom from puritanical slavery to the traditional Western dictatorship of shame? Now there is a plaque I would be proud to hang on my wall!
I didn’t realize it at the time, but liberated describes me and our forty seven year marriage. Yes, you heard me—I did say “liberated” and “marriage” in one sentence that did not refer to divorce! Don’t laugh, folks, it’s possible. I’ve made it my mission in life to show you how and why.
To me, real liberation means individual freedom to make choices and decisions in life that are responsible, considerate, respectful, and caring. Not only for myself, but for maintaining the planet, and the effect on people I love, as well as the ones that love me. There I go messing with your mind again…I did say freedom and responsibility in the same sentence. If you’re wondering what I’ve been drinking, it’s iced tea, thank you very much, and you’re welcome to join me in a glass. Freedom and responsibility are not natural enemies. In fact, the key word is “natural”, and when you strive to put the nature back in human nature, not only do freedom and responsibility get along, so do marriage and liberation.
Along with a new lifestyle, I found it necessary to examine and adopt a new attitude and belief system. When the centuries old traditions, social attitudes, and perspectives fail to produce happiness and well being, it’s time for a change. Our lives have a limited time on earth so it is with a sense of urgency that we discover happiness, joy, and a positive attitude. The brain is the culprit that is interfering with the ability for us to enjoy living in a positive space. Actually, the brain feeds the “Ego” which gives us a false personality. It’s the brain that sends us out on shopping expeditions, travel, and seeking sex to distract us from fulfilling our spirit and soul needs.
Discovering the power path to the heart is the pathway to our true self. The heart has a magnetic field 500 times more powerful than our brain. We can trust our heart to show us our real self.
Entering a new lifestyle brings into question the outdated vocabulary we use to describe elements of our relationships. Example: Referring to our partner as a piece of property, this is “my husband or my wife”, is just plain wrong. Why not say the individuals name or if more of a label is necessary, say this is “my life partner or significant other.” That allows each person to maintain the dignity of being an individual. You can carry this ownership further: my house, my car, my furniture, my kids, etc. is used continually. Since it is impossible to literally own another person, why not trade it in for more positive descriptions. Otherwise, that mindset leads to negative feelings of alienation, jealousy, possessiveness, unhappiness, and distrust of one another.
The Sandstone membership marveled at the relationship John and I had built, and said they wished to have one like it. I told them it was possible and would simply take a strong commitment on their part to hang in there through the hard times. We worked hard to build trust, love, compassion, and equality into our relationship every day. We felt so confident and secure in our relationship that it was then easy for us to open our marriage and bring others into our bond. Our dream interdependent relationship allowed us complete freedom of choice and a healthy lifestyle. What could be better for a couple than to desire love and happiness for one another?