Everything happens for you, not to you.
This is a quote from Byron Katie. I really admire her work helping people to move beyond their suffering by changing their thoughts and she promotes a philosophy of “loving what is” i.e. being totally accepting of and loving all that comes into your life, both good and bad. I write about this in my book Spiritual Intelligence in Business and I call it our ability to really accept the “is-ness” of every situation we find ourselves in. This is something though that can be challenging for us when we find ourselves in situations that are not to our liking, and this is what happened to me!
I wrote in my last blog that it seemed that on my flight to Tanzania, I may have got a blood clot in my left lung which was very painful at night. The lovely paramedic in our group diagnosed this and told me that as I seemed to be all right with the climbing, the clot would probably dissolve on its own. I did some inner work on the painful area and what it was showing me about myself, and this seemed to ease it and I presumed that it had indeed dissolved.
However I found when I came home, I still seemed to be very breathless after a small amount of exertion, almost like I was still at altitude. After a week of this, a close friend suggested that it would be good for me to go and get this checked by a doctor. I found this hard as I do not normally go to a doctor, primarily because I am very healthy and because I place my faith in homeopathy and the healing power of God rather than using the medical profession. I was conscious though, that maybe I should have an accurate diagnosis, so I phoned the health centre and got an appointment 20 minutes later. On examining me, the doctor told me that he wanted to send me to hospital immediately for a full examination as he suspected I might still have a blood clot, and I should be driven there, as I should not even be driving myself (something I chose to ignore!).
On arrival at the hospital, to my horror, I was taken into a ward full of very elderly ladies, two of whom were on oxygen. I was given a bed and a gown and wired up to some sort of heart machine and had a huge needle stuck in my arm. I was told I was not allowed to move except in a wheel chair and given a bag of hospital food! Both my daughter Joni and I did not know what on earth was going on, as I thought I was only there for a quick check up, blood test and chest x-ray! Suddenly it all seemed really alarming with this machine I was attached to bleeping away at me!
I am very aware that in this situation, it is very easy to lose control over what is being done to your body. When the doctor told me I would be staying till the next day for various scans, and that I would be given injections to dye my blood and also to thin it, I began to say no. I explained to her that I did not take drugs unless I intuitively felt that I really needed them (which is just about never) and I was not prepared to have these injections. Luckily she seemed to understand my point of view and we agreed that if the two blood tests, x-rays and other tests were fine, that I could avoid these injections and more importantly, go home!
Eventually all the tests were done and I just had to wait for the results. A kind friend had come and picked up Joni, so I was there all on my own. Intuitively, I knew that I did not have a blood clot, but also intuitively I knew I owed it to Joni to have this verified by these tests. The problem for me was that I hated being in this hospital ward; I didn’t like being left to wait for hours while the results came and I didn’t want to listen to old ladies repeatedly asking for bed pans or groaning and snoring as they slept! “Loving what is” was proving extremely difficult! It was another one of those situations where I had to radically change my perceptions and accept that this was happening for me and not to me.
After a while, I began to talk to some of the ladies who were around me and awake and they were really sweet. I unplugged myself from the heart machine when no one was looking and helped one of them into her bed and adjusted her bed levels so she could be more comfy. The lady opposite me was concerned about the cold so I wrapped her up in my blanket and gave her my pillow so that she could be more upright. She was worried about her cat that she had left with the neighbours and I started to see what a difficult position she was in, unable to get home to find out about her cat.
At about midnight, everyone was asleep except me. I stayed awake hoping my results would come soon, as I had told the doctor that I did not want to spend the night there. I had done my meditation as best as I could in that environment and even tried bargaining with God: “if you can get the results of my tests quickly so I can go home, I will be very good and kind and send lots healing vibrations and prayers to everyone in this hospital.“ God didn’t seem to want to accept my bargain, and I sent the healing vibrations and was left to wait until 4.30am! I heard the doctor talking to a new patient who had just arrived in the ward, so when she had finished I went after her and pleaded to be allowed to go. She checked all my results and told me that there was no sign of a blood clot and I could go if I wanted to…which I did!
Looking back, I see that I was very lucky to have been checked out so thoroughly and that the doctor herself was conscientious enough to want to do every test available on me, all of course, free of charge. The staff in the ward were lovely and I saw some amazingly patient and kind nurses in action, all of whom work such long hours. There was one sweet nurse called Nick Alexander who was really kind to Joni. He spent time explaining to Joni about everything that was being done for me and what the heart machine was monitoring. He took her to the coffee shop and helped her buy some (decent) food for us both.
The hospital environment is totally alien to me, having only been to hospital a few times after riding accidents, and I have never been in a ward before. If I am honest I have always thought of hospitals as rather unpleasant, slightly dirty, germy places that I would never want to go in. Actually the hospital was really clean and not unpleasant at all. In fact, it opened my awareness to how lucky we are that if something really does go wrong with us, we do have this incredible system that will take care of us and make us better. I know now that time spent in hospital can be extremely valuable and healing, albeit by methods that are different to the ones I have my faith in. I look at it as yet another change in my perspective for the better! It did indeed happen for me!