On the day of departure from Sydney my seven year old started throwing up. He came right for a wee while as we headed to the airport. On arrival at the airport things started to deteriorate. As we went through all the check points and ended up on the air bridge of the plane he got very very ill. The advice of the air crew was for us to get off the plane and we shouldn’t travel. Then everything became a blur. Our bags unloaded, fire emergency services first then paramedics. Airport staff, machines, blood tests, tears, a whirl of illness and people. Finally after 12 hours his condition stabilised and we were reversed all the way out of the airport and then to a hotel. We were taking the not so scenic route home.
We all seek pleasure and avoid pain, not wanting to take a wrong turn on our life journey we try to optimise conditions to avoid anything that might leave a salty taste in our mouth.
When an uncontrollable event happens, it is just happening, not happening to us. How we view these events is the difference between how we will react in any given situation.
To become more authentic in our life and to take the sharp edge off our normal reactive patterns starts with the realisation that things can change back, and the situation you are in, although unpleasant, is temporary.
I was on a course as a woman started to unveil all her sorrows and suffering, her losses, grief and pain. She could see no way out of the tapestry of betrayal.One of the other students asked her ‘was you life different before these events?’ When she answered ‘yes of course,’ he replied, ‘well surely, if your situation has changed once it can change again.’
Life taking wrong turns is universal. These events are not a sign you have done something wrong or deserve them, it is just a life event.
As a mother, the pain of your child suffering is a difficult message to bear witness to. But knowing (and hoping) that it would change for the better can take the edge off any situation, paving the way to reduce our own stress, fear or tension.
Practice for Today: Take a moment to consider your relationship to life events that have changed for you. What is your relationship to life when things don’t go as you planned? In what ways do you only seek pleasure? How can you encompass these polar opposites of discomfort and pleasure as part of the normal play of your life?