A while ago I skipped my high school reunion. Life is full of choices, and what I’m going to spend my time on is one of those. What I ended up doing that specific weekend I don’t even recall, but I do remember clearly what the main reason for not wanting to go was.
It started with imagining walking into a room filled with people I haven’t seen for such a long period of time. It doesn’t really matter whether I used to like them or be friends with them or not. The reason is, it’s just too confrontational.
Every conversation will start with one simple question: How are you?
What I will usually do when confronted with such a situation is to focus on the other person. That works like a charm! Most people seem to love it when you ask them that question and will enjoy it even more if you elaborate on it. That’s suits me just fine! But it does happen that people genuinely want to know and expect an answer to that question: How are you?
Sometimes I just can’t be bothered and I will play it the easy way. A casual ‘yeah, good’ will do. Truth is most people won’t ask you any further questions. Some will, and then the answer will mostly be: ‘Aah, can’t complain. Not good, not bad’. Since I’m very much aware of the power of words I express gratitude. ‘In fact, when I think of it I’m very lucky. After all, I could have been so much worse off. I could easily have been dead as well!’ Truth be told, that's exactly the way I think I should feel.
In reality, it’s not the case at all. After all, my life has become so much more complicated through no fault of my own. This is the point where I must be careful not to start wallowing around in self pity. I know I should be grateful but my words are often hollow. In fact, I still carry around a lot of anger.
Ofcourse I am happy to be still alive. I survived a cerebral haemorrhage without too much consequences. I can walk, I can talk. You can even look at me and wonder how it’s possible such a thing has happened to me without you being able to notice from the outside. But life has become so much more complicated. Fundamentally, I am a happy person but I’ve got a great deal more troubles. Sometimes I feel like I lost my innocence at a late age: only now life has showed me its true colours!
First thing I did was work very hard. Much harder then before. Working like a dog while hoping in vain I would one day wake up feeling like nothing had ever happened. Needless to say that never happened. In fact I wasn’t really working, I was putting up a figh instead. A fight with reality. I simply had to work so hard to keep up with tasks I had no trouble with before.
It was then that I realized I felt like my body had betrayed me. It left me feeling stuck. Stuck with a life that wasn’t supposed to be mine, almost like a favourite pair of clothes that has gotten out of shape. Stuck with a body that didn’t respond in the way I was used to or wanted it to. Stuck with a life that didn’t fit me anymore, almost like a pair of knickers that have become out of shape.
Then I started meditation. I have been doing quite a lot of that. My Monkey Mind kept on jumping out of my reach, so it took me a while until I had it under control. And still…
Nowadays, I meditate for Forgiveness. My body and I, we need to forgive one another. My body needs forgiveness for changing when I wasn’t ready for it at all. And I want it for being unable to accept the change and adapt to it..
From now onward, I won’t fight anymore for what I have no power over. From now on, I’ll only fight to grow.
Until then, I can’t wait for the day that I can truly be grateful for the experience. An experience that allowed me to grow.