Ben Best In Another Nutshell

by Gael A nutshell is an appropriate container in which to place the tender personage of my friend Ben. His surface is often tough to crack but once you get inside it is worth the effort. Of all the people I know, Ben presents the most interesting set of opposing characteristics. He is shy and forward, defensive but open, critical but highly responsive and sensitive. He is incredibly smart on an intellectual level, and loves nothing more than a good debate (that is, providing the sparring partner doesn't get so caught up in the intellect that it excludes other forms of discussion, contact and connection). He is also interested in sharing the emotional side of himself. He can wallow in pain and self-pity but also be honest and accountable in what he's doing. Honesty is his number one value. The expression 'honest to a fault' might apply here. It sometimes feels like he is rubbing his honesty in your face to get some kind of reaction. It usually feels like a test of some kind. Most likely it is just his hypervigilant BS detector at work. The type of childhood in which "people beat you for entertainment" hardly provides the kind of modeling that leads one to believe in the usual set of sacrosanct institutions that most people hold near and dear. His work in personal development has been courageous and beneficial for him. It has laid some healthy groundwork through which he can approach communication and connection with others. His lifetime mission seems to be the quest for love that is based on honest intimate communication. His idea of intimacy sometimes scares away the very people he is attracted to. Go figure, everybody has a little baggage they may not be willing to trot out at the drop of a hat! When it comes to honest communication, I absolutely trust Ben's sincerity. He is so sensitive that he will spend hours raking himself over the coals for an uncensored remark that got taken out of context. He has a delightful quirky humor that works just as easily when he looks at himself as at life in general. His commitment to longevity is very revealing. Most people with painful backgrounds want to run away from them and can't imagine extending their lives. Ben revels in his life, all of it - the pain, the roller coaster ride of playing the stock market, the ups and downs of everyday existence. One thing he is making sure of is that he lives long enough to heal himself fully to appreciate the multidimensional aspects of living an authentic life. It may take a little time to get to know him, and you may find your dark secrets being challenged by his inquisitor's mind, but if you rise to the occasion, you will come to know a rare and lovable person.