I did it again. Pre-empting a night of ho-hum with my 83 year old mum out celebrating an early Christmas dinner with all her tennis chums, I assumed a night of conversation that would consist of the latest thrashing such and such gave to someone else, and how they got them in the final set would be the highlight of the night. Little did I know that the foreign gentleman across the table from me was going to fire a rocket across my bow and make me sit up and really take note of a truth from an unexpected quarter.
A general polite conversation had begun about the use of statin’s as a cholesterol lowering drug and the uproar that had hit Australian television a couple of weeks ago after a very respectable scientific show called Catalyst (Part 1: Heart of the matter, Dietary Villian’s, Part 2: Heart of the matter, Cholesterol Drug War), had done some serious research to show that the cholesterol came after heart disease, not before it. And the research that had determined that cholesterol was the culprit, was seriously flawed. As you could imagine that caused a sensation that is still reverberating around the country now. (By the way, I am not suggesting throwing your statin’s out the door, speak with your Doctor first, then do what I did and flushed the con job that they are down the toilet).
Anyway, this, believe it or not, wasn’t what threw me. The gentleman with the smile and twinkle in his eye quietly let the hubbub die down and he proceeded to tell us of his heart condition that he was going through at that moment. They had inserted a stent to try to repair the vein to the heart and reduce the strain on the heart wall muscle that, he had been told, the statin’s appear to have weakened. That went well, but his heart condition still left him quite weak. They also said that in his weakened condition they would not be able to operate again because he would not survive it. And he was still smiling.
A lady next to me said it must have been a terrible ordeal, to which he thought about for a moment and then said ‘Yes, it was. But while I was hovering above the surgeon watching him operate on me, it really didn’t matter, I couldn’t feel anything’. You could have dropped a pin, in the middle of a restaurant seating 150 people, and heard it roll over the floor. We all sat there stunned, myself included, by this admission from someone from the old school who usually kept those things to themselves. He went on to say it was peaceful and he could see exactly what they were wearing, what they were saying to each other and what everything looked like in the room. Even how they were doing the operation on him.
To say the least, he had all our attention. And finally spirit gave me a nudge (I was still sitting there in a daze), and gently got me to ask him, ‘after being a part of that, how do you feel towards life now?’. To which he replied, ‘everything has changed, things that were important, no longer are. Other things that didn’t seem to matter, now do. Life has changed’. (And where have I heard that before!). And as we all sat there nodding our heads and seeing the truth in his words, we all realised our lives were very artificial. Very keep up with the Jones’s. And full of stress for all the wrong reasons.
As I write this I even think that where I am coming from can still use a lot more changes. Changes in what I feel is important to me, and those things that I really don’t need. My attitude to a lot of things can still do with a lot of tweaking for the simple reason I still allow many things to come into them that in reality have no meaning. Yes, I need to learn those things but more to the point is in having the attitude of giving from a place that has meaning and truth. And I realise that I still have things that need to be expressed and let go to heal so that I can actually live the truth that I am, not the version that is giving, but with a layer of fear wrapped around my heart for protection so that my attitude is restricted by this layer getting in the way of everything.
So at the end of the evening, we could see that this gentleman was becoming quite tired, and even I was beginning to feel he was actually in quite a bit of pain, so with a little nod of his head to his wife they bid their good nights to one and all and made their way home.
I went out with the expectation of a dull evening, and spirit being spirit decided to show me what life was really all about. In the most unexpected place, from the most ordinary circumstances, life is alive and well. And from a place that seemed lifeless and coming to an end. He had a smile and a twinkle in his eye, and I know why. I now even feel that within myself because he was able to express his truth to us all. Life is what we make it. So what do you really want out of life? What really is important? This life is really but a brief sojourn, and in reality it is to those we love, ourselves included, that we should give from a place of truth and feel from our heart within. Too soon time has come and gone before we realise that maybe we should have done this or that. Now is the only time…forgive (for you may not be able to later), let go (for pain is the only thing you hold), hug (for it cares from within), say ‘I love you’ (for most of all, it means everything). Namaste