As I have said in a previous article, my father had to go into hospital in the middle of 2011, and this was a time when I was under a lot of stress. My mother had had a stroke the previous year and soon my life would change once again.
During the time that my father was in hospital, I would help to run our family guest house when I wasn’t at work. I had a lot going on at this time, and this helped to keep my mind off what was taking place.
At Other Times
And when I wasn’t at work or helping out at home, I would often be out socialising or doing some kind of exercise. I was doing Yoga, Pilates, Kung Fu, Salsa Dancing and swimming, amongst other things.
I found that while the exercise allowed me to let off steam, socialising with others had a positive effect on my wellbeing. I enjoyed meeting new people and speaking to the people I already knew.
This was also a time when I was buying a lot of music, and this was because it had a positive effect on my mood. I had bought albums before, but not as many as I bought at this stage of my life.
I was also working with someone called Vincenzo Santiglia, who I had met on a course that I did in Antwerp, Belgium. Through working with him, my ability to observe my thoughts, emotions and sensations dramatically improved.
A Big Difference
This time in my life would have been a lot harder if he wasn’t around, and I would have found it a lot harder to observe my inner world. Another person who made a big difference, during this challenging time in my life, was a friend called Ben.
There were moments when I needed to speak about what was going on, and he would listen and offer his support. I had only known him for under a year, but it seemed as though I had known him for ages.
When I look back on this time in my life, there are a number of things that stand out, and one of the things that stand out is what happened after I came home from work one evening. There were three people staying that night who wanted to use the Jacuzzi; however, for some reason it didn’t work.
I said to one of them that the only person who knew how to fix it was my father, but he wouldn’t be able to do anything as he was in hospital. This was not something that they had paid for, though, so it wasn’t as if they were missing out.
The Unexpected Happened
I then apologised and said that I would see what I could do to get it working. If I remember rightly, this person was able to find the instructions online, and this then allowed them to get it working.
After this, I spoke to the same person again, and towards the end of the conversation they said something like “I don’t care if your father is in hospital!” I couldn’t believe what had just come out of their mouth.
So, although my lower brain would have loved to have taken over at this point, another part of me had more than enough to deal with already without getting caught up in what had just been said. And, as this was a time when I was under a lot of stress, I wasn’t looking to create more.
Still, I did wonder how someone could say something like this. And even though I’m not religious, what did come to mind was the following saying: “forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
If I had allowed the lower part of me to take over and I attacked this person, I might have felt better for a short while. But after I had settled down, I would have felt disgusted with myself.
Perhaps this person found it hard to empathise with others; they might even have had something wrong with their brain, who knows. What I do know is that responding in a violent manner wouldn’t have solved anything.