How Dharma and Greg Changed My Life

Two characters that taught me how to love. Both life, and myself.

When I was about 13 years old, I was smack in the middle of a phase where I spent all of my time alone, taping TV shows and watching them repeatedly, playing video games, and staying up all night. During this time, I discovered a show that really had a profound impact on me; it taught me not only the value of appreciating the world around us, but it helped me to love myself, and it helped me to feel free, at a time when I was just beginning to feel the full mental effect of a lot of traumatic things that happened to me as a young child. The show I’m talking about is called Dharma and Greg.
The show centers around the marriage of a young woman who was raised by hippie parents and her husband, a high-powered attourney who grew up in a rich society family. On the surface, it sounds like a typical sitcom formula, putting two opposites together and watching the hilarity ensue. That’s actually very true, but this show is truly about so many things. This show truly helped to shape who I was at that time in my life, and who I wanted to be. In truth, I was a scared, lonely person, but somehow I found solace in being alone, and I spent a good few years of my life with virtually little contact with the outside world. Most of my time was spent on the internet, playing video games, and otherwise hanging out in my own imagination.
This show taught me so many things about life, and most importantly about the perception of life. I’d never really been shown anything other than fundamentalist Christianity, and I’d been taught by my family and society that free-spirited thinking was unnaceptable. But I looked at this character, Dharma, and I saw in her such radiance, such life. She emitted love and peace. She wasn’t hoakey or silly, she was an embodiment of the spirit of freedom. At this point, I was a little obsessed with the Madonna song Like a Virgin, and I found myself finding meaning in the lyrics, and relating them to Dharma: “You make me strong, yeah you make me bold.”
And I thought, “That’s it exactly, she makes me bold.” Because Dharma was a character who boldly spoke to people with love and kindness and friendship, but most importantly, with truth. There was no social stigma that kept her from being exactly who she was. And I learned so much about the love of the universe, loving the Earth and appreciating it, and appreciating humanity, and just having peace, because of Dharma and her family.
Greg was a fantastic character too. There was such love between them, they might be the most believable couple I’ve ever seen on television, the characters just felt like they were in love. Greg was not what he appeared to be, he was very deep and beautiful, just like Dharma. They were perfect for one another, and they weren’t quite so different as they seemed.
There were many aspects of this show that I loved, but the central message of the show, for me at least, was freedom. Sexual, social, and spiritual freedom. I loved the portrayal of sex, and especially Dharma and Greg’s sex life. It was so simple, so beautiful. Sex wasn’t treated as something dirty and secret, but as a beautiful expression of love, and as a wonderful part of life. Dharma’s family didn’t have a problem being themselves in any situation, and social rules didn’t apply to them, because they were who they were. And then there was the spiritual aspect of it. It showed me that being free, and being spiritual, and not being a Bible-thumping fundamentalist Christian was not only okay but preferable, better, and beautiful. Being free, being open to all things, taking in the love of the universe, giving love to others, and preserving harmony between all life, these are the messages that this show taught me.
Dharma was my role model. I would find myself in situations at school or at home, dealing with my mother, and I would think, “What would Dharma do in this situation?” I’d smile, feeling that joy, that freedom. I’d say something quirky or unusual, something true and unfiltered by society, and I loved myself for it. In fact, that was really what Dharma taught me: to love myself.

Honestly, how can anyone say no to that face?

In the present, there is another person who is like my modern-day Dharma, a YouTuber called Davey Wavey. He’s a person who believes in the power of love, and who I paraphrase as saying that the world is infinity beautiful, and if you can just see one tiny fraction of how truly beautiful life and the world are, the sheer power and infinite beauty of it would overcome you. He ends every blog by telling the viewer that he loves them, and he says that he wants to share his love with the world. There’s something so beautiful, so refreshing about that. He’s truly inspiring.
In fact, I think he was the one who got me thinking about Dharma, because on his birthday he made a video saying that what he would like for his birthday is for everyone to commit a random act of kindness. That is just beyond beautiful. Imagine if everyone who saw the video went out and did something kind for someone, for no reason other than to spread love? Imagine how at that one moment, the world would be filled with so much positivity and warmth. Just beautiful.
This reminded me of Dharma because there is an episode that begins with Dharma walking along a row of cars and putting quarters in their meters, as a random act of kindness, and getting in trouble with the Meter Maid, but it presents a puzzling situation because really, how can it be wrong to put quarters in someone elses meter? It’s a simple example of how powerful the show is, and the messages and themes of true love and togetherness behind it.
As I was saying, Davey Wavey has his own blog, called Break The, and in a recent entry he talked about one of YouTube’s recent sensations, a video called Double Rainbow, in which a man sees two rainbows overlapping one another in the sky, and is so overcome by the beauty and the sheer magnificence of nature and creation and life, that he just bursts into tears. Davey found this video both inspirational, and moving, and he wishes that he could approach the world like the man seeing the rainbows had: falling to his knees and bursting into tears at the sight of the magnificence of the world around him. (He also did a cute parody of the video in good humor called Double Starbucks, that is guaranteed to make you smile.)
I honestly think Davey might be a Godsend for me, and I mean that seriously. He seems to be the embodiment of everything I want to progress forward to become: along with being a spiritualist and lover of life, people, the world, and the very universe that supports and loves us all, he’s also a fitness instructor, and has videos on working out and eating healthy. It’s not that I want to be exactly like Davey, but there is something so true, fresh, and innocent about him. He sees the world with what we might call the heart of child, but really, isn’t what we term the heart of a child really the heart of anyone who sees hope and light in this world, so filled with fear?

You have to see Immi as a human being, just doing everyday things, to really get an understanding of how special she is

This is also a great time to mention another inspirational person, someone who is truly a free spirit and whose talent and warmth has touched me, Imogen Heap. I popped over to her website after seeing an advertisement for Everything In-Between: The Story of Ellipse, a DVD about the growth of the album, filmed by her close friend Justine Pearsal who filmed all 40 of her vBlog entries.

One possible interpretation is that the fluid side is organic instruments, while the stone represents technology, and Immi is melding the two in her music

I took a look at the shop section, and found quite a few goodies I’d like. First, there are lot of new T-shirts, and good ol’ Immi, they’re all in beautiful colors, not plain violet or red but eggplant and cranberry, and most of them have really beautiful artwork printed on them. There’s also a seriously beautiful poster I want, featuring Immi touching two walls: one appears to be water, reflective, and the other is brick. It’s just so moving and meaningful. Right now, listening to Wait it Out again, and hearing the spirit of Ellipse, I’m reminded of the way this album made me feel, and the way it makes me feel now, so free, new, and creative. This is what I need, this is my therapy, Imogen Heap. I just can’t help but smile.
On the website, I noticed a new feature which allows to view the albums gorgeous packaging and booklet in 3D, and I listened to a good bit of the album’s second track, Wait it Out, while taking a look at the packaging. I found myself surprised at how beautiful the song was and how much it reminded of a time that was only months ago, but feels like such a different era of my life. And therein lies the concept, and the power, of this blog: I have truly captured a moment in my life. I can look back to January, and read my thoughts, remember my feelings, the environment, the music, the ideas soaring through my head. I’m feeling a little like I did then, creative and new.
In honor of Wait it Out, and Imogen Heap, who helped me to begin this blog in the first place, I’ve finally thought of a name for this blog: One Street Level Miracle, with a subtitle from Earth: Get only what you give back.
I’ve also given some thought to another concept. I hope and plan for a future with my boyfriend, and if we should find ourselves in our own house, building our lives together, I think I would be alright with the concept of our sex life not being monogamous.
Let me explain. I’m not trying to shove details about sex, or what sex is like between my boyfriend and myself at you. I wouldn’t do that both because you don’t want to hear it and because that’s special, and between the two of us. However, what I am talking about is the concept of having a few good friends, whom we trust, with which we could have sex if we so chose. Not as a big event, not necessarily as something planned, but if my boyfriend were home and I weren’t, and he had a friend over who we knew well and trusted, and the two of them wanted to have sex, why should that really be such a problem? It won’t make him love me any less, and if we can all really be true to ourselves and one another, there won’t be any jealousy. I can see the problems this could cause, but I also absolutely love the idea of this kind of freedom. Having your cake and eating it too. Sex between two people for the rest of eternity is bound to get slightly less interesting over time. Why not be able to have sex with a few more friends, without it causing any harm to your relationship? Why not be able to have sex with one another?
I love the idea, and I love freedom, and my boyfriend agrees with me completely on this.

Isn't he just perfect?

Today’s final bit of news is that we have a new puppy! My boyfriend’s dad got him today, and his name is Maximillion. Over the phone I was told he was part Dachsund (one of my favorite breeds) and at least some part Chihuahua, so I was expecting a tiny dog with Chihuahua features. I actually don’t really like Chihuahuas, they’re sweet dogs of course, but in genereal not my favorite. As it turns out, I was wrong, and as you can see Max is absolutely perfect, he looks almost like my vision of the perfect dog, and since he has so much teacup breeding in him, he actually won’t get much bigger than that, which is absolutely perfect.

3 thoughts on “How Dharma and Greg Changed My Life

  1. Dharma and Greg is a great show. I loved it, too. I used to work with a woman who was a lot like Dharma. She was spiritual, a real earth mother, a hold over hippie and a tad flaky. I absolutely loved her. She taught me to be a better person and to make different medicinal teas from growing your own herbs.

    I think there are some major problems with Christianity. I used to be a very hardcore Christian and even attended two years at a Christian college before I was kind of driven insane. The idea of preaching love and tolerance while practicing exclusivity bothers me. A lot of it is due to homosexuality, or in my case, bisexuality (or pansexuality, depending). I think a person’s sexual preference is predetermined but how they express that sexuality (through their way of dressing, aggressiveness of flirtation) is a choice. If that makes sense. So I don’t believe that God would make people (in his image) homosexual just to exclude them for something they have no control over. Nor do I think that a person’s sexual preference hinders their spiritual experience if they don’t want it to.

    I still believe in Christ, and I have several tattoos of a religious/spiritual nature. And I don’t regret any of them. But I also believe in karma and past lives. I also believe that we have more impact on our lives and our life paths than the churches would like us to believe. I’m not comfortable with the idea that were are merely pieces on a chess board being moved for the amusement of a higher power.

    • It’s funny how much something as simple as a sitcom can deeply impact your life, but when I was 13 years old, and I was surrounded by people and places who acted so bland and uninspired, Dharma gave me hope, and made me feel like I was a special person with love to give. Often when I think about having children of my own, I immediately go to Dharma’s family and all the times when they talk about raising her, and how she had a trampoline in her bedroom and everything. When I was 13, she made me feel free emotionally, spritiually, and sexually. I honeslty felt free, and a good deal was thanks to her character.

      Yep, most of us who know how silly Christianity is feel that way because we’ve seen and experienced it for ourselves. I love Christ, Christ has been in my life and truly a part of my existance, but it’s so sad that I can’t say “he’s in my heart,” because I know that’s an overused phrase that carries little meaning. With all real meaning, Christ is in my heart, and he loves me, and would never condemn me. Christ has no problem with spirituality, there are spiritual energies all around us, and they impact our lives whether we like it or not. I know that God, in his purest form, is love, and love for this creation that is humanity and this world. One cannot look at God and feel condemnation, one is in awe of his love, not destructive power. At least I think that’s the way it should be.

  2. First of all, the pupper is absolutely adorable. My dog was once that small. He’s a terrier so he got a bit bigger.

    I like what you’re saying about an open relationship vs. a monogamous one. I’m more in favor of monogamy personally but I see nothing wrong with open relationships as long as both people are TRULY ok with it and even then all lines of communication stay open. But you and your significant other seem to have great communication, seeing as how that was your advice to me. 🙂

    I’m definitely going to have to check out davey wavey. I’ve never heard of him. Also, I love Imogen Heap. She is loverly. But then I think most indie musicians are loverly.

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