It’s been eleven fabulous years of wild adventures, wonderful people and whimsical endeavours. But nothing has even come close to the feelings I had when the plane landed last week at Johannesburg International Airport. I was overcome with emotion, shedding more than a couple of tears as the customs official stamped my passport. The preceding two weeks had been beyond stressful, with me digging deep to not completely lose my composure at every turn and read someone the riot act. It’s what I wanted to do since my employers changed the terms of my contract in the final week of work, which came as a complete surprise and quite honestly meant that my final week in Saudi Arabia was nothing short of devastating. To be honest I did not stay calm and centred at every encounter, with frustration levels off the charts.
It really wasn’t about the money, rather about the fact that I had worked the entire academic year under the premise that I was going to be remunerated in a certain way and that didn’t materialise. Integrity is a core value for me and I felt like I’d been misled and exploited. Be that as it may, I decided that when
I arrived home I would not dwell on the situation, because as Buddha says “holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die”! There is really no point in letting the events in our past (near or far) taint the endless promise of a new day. The truth is that if we choose to do this then there is no one else to blame for the malignancy of hate that grows within us than ourselves. I answered a couple of questions about the situation, expressed that I was unhappy about the events and have let it go so that I can move into the next chapter of my life unhindered by the events of the past.
As someone in long-term recovery I have learned that it’s essential to not harbour grudges, to let go of misfortune and look unencumbered by heartbreak towards the horizon. I don’t necessarily subscribe to the idea that there is a lesson in every disappointment that befalls us, but I do believe that these occurrences make us stronger and more determined, even if it feels like we are gargling scorpions at the time. After this “little incident” I am more determined than ever to work for myself and make a success of my own business, so that I am not beholden to anyone for my professional setbacks. I’d rather be independently accountable for my successes and failures than relying on someone else to determine where my work takes me. It’s liberating to think that my gains and losses will be relative to the amount of effort and heart I put into my enterprise and that when success does come it will be due to what I have done.
So as I sit here with the Highveld sun warming my winter fingers, enveloped by sound and colour, I am drawn back to Eckhart Tolle’s teachings that everything that we have done in our past has brought us to this exact point in life. This particular one is like the soft glow of a slow-burning fire and for that I am extremely grateful. However, I’m enough of a realist to appreciate that there will be times in the coming months that I may not feel quite so nurtured by The Universe, but I will continue to practice the “Habit of Gratitude”, strive to remain present-focused and remember that I was given this life because I am strong enough to live it.
‘Til next time