When shit hits the fan how do you react? Or more importantly, going forward, how has a bad experience affected your life?
Perhaps the answer lies with the tens of thousands of individuals who today are sitting in doctor’s surgeries around the UK hoping that their GP will prescribe them some magic potion that will ease their hidden pains; pains that were fostered by their minds apparent inability to let bad experiences go. And millions will continue to struggle, seriously struggle until their dying days, because of this complete fuck up by Mother Nature.
Nassar Kurdy’s story demonstrates the psychological benefits of letting go.
Recently I wrote a blog entitled “what you hide will destroy you”…the premise was based on a book I read some time ago “Power v Force” which focuses on kinesiology and discussed the relationship between energy and human emotions.
From data produced through intensive research the author not only illustrated how positive and negative feelings influenced our energy levels but also placed an order between the heavily energy sucking emotions and those that were up-lifting and sources for energy.
At the very bottom of the list are emotions like shame, guilt , apathy and anger whilst at the top end were acceptance, love, joy and peace; the one which caught my eye because it was so relevant to the situation I found myself in at the time…’acceptance’.
I was really angry.
Circumstances were happening in my work-place, which I had little control of, but nonetheless they were seriously affecting my thoughts and associated behaviours. As a result, I became seriously STRESSED to the point that I just wanted to run away from it all. But where to? I had huge financial commitments and a family I adored so leaving was never an option but staying meant I would have to deal with my demons…alone and in silence.
Then everything changed. I remember it distinctly. It was a beautiful spring morning and I was out in the garden building something (I am always building ‘something’); being creative was probably the only thing at the time that kept me sane. Anyway, as I beavered, the pains in the depth of my abdomen were raging as they had been for many months; I suddenly stopped. “What the fuck is going on here?” I asked our bewildered cat who was lazing in the warm sunshine…he ignored me!! “I’m doing something I loved doing; in a beautiful peaceful environment; surrounding by my wonderful family… and yet I felt absolute shit. “Jesus” or more in keeping with the moment “Halle..FUCKING..lujah in a stroke I found the missing piece of the jigsaw to my life’s struggles.
In that isolated timeframe I suddenly realised that the only person responsible for the excruciating painful feelings that were flooding through my body was ME…and it became clear very quickly that unless I changed, nothing in my life would change and the demons would continue to drive my emotions downhill. And that is when I started to research this stuff and why the term ‘acceptance’ became a major tool in my quest to take back control.
Firstly I started to adopt it with work… I accepted that I couldn’t win the battle so stop trying…yep it was as easy as that…furthermore I embraced and supported the new regime and as I did so two things happened…the fire in my abdomen started to extinguish and my relationship with the new management changed completely…for the good.
So armed with this valuable knowledge I started applying it to all aspects of my life and BINGO it worked…so today I don’t fight battles I can’t win; I navigate around potential conflicts that in the past would have caused me pain; I have a much greater synergy to others and I try to find the good in people, not the bad.
So anyway, last week I was listening to Nicky Campbell’s phone in show on radio 5, when he received a call from a consultant surgeon called Nassar Kurdy.
As it transpired Nassar was one of hundreds of respondents to the call for medical aid that went out immediately after the Manchester Arena bombing atrocity. As a surgeon Nassar was to undertake a number of life-saving operations on some terribly injured children and adults that were ferried to his particular hospital in the North West. Now Nassar did not call the show to talk about that evening and when Nicky Campbell tried to commend him on his life saving work, he would have none of it. All he kept saying is “I was one of many”.
God “what an incredibly humble man” I thought. But it got better.
The reason why Nassar called was to talk about prisoner reforms that the government are currently considering. So why did he have an opinion? On Sunday 24th September while walking to his place of worship a complete stranger plunged a knife into his neck. Nassar was attacked because he was a Muslim. As luck would have it the blade missed Nassar’s vital arteries and after intense medical care he recovered to tell his story. Surprisingly it was not the attack that he wanted to talk about though…it was the perpetrator, Ian Rook.
Nassar explained with amazing compassion that when he looked at Ian during the court case all he could feel was great sadness. He said there was simply no anger and went on to explain that one day, he hoped that he might be able to offer some help to this greatly troubled young man.
Then Nicky Campbell asked “Have you forgiven the attacker?”
“Yes” came his immediate and emphatic reply to which Campbell continued “how are you able to do that?” Nassar’s reply was something akin to “because I can’t allow this horror to influence my future happiness, so I have to draw a line under it for my own and the sake of those around me who I love”.
Ten years ago, I would not have understood this and would have probably thought that this man is an raving idiot.
And yet today I get it BIG time.
For over 50 years I allowed unpleasant events in the past to influence my thoughts and behaviour. Teachers said I was stupid so I did stupid things…teachers said I was thick so I didn’t bother learning…and these were two critical factors that were to mould the confused and screwed up person I was to become. ‘Acceptance’ changed all of that because in the case of the teachers opinion I simply thought “yep” they were probably right at the time but that was then, this is now. Indeed without the shackles of an educational system that had no answers for a spirited but struggling student, unbeknown to me I really blossomed in the adult world…but it was the negative programmes in my sub-conscious that continued to sabotage my ability to celebrate my successes…and it was them that chastise me when things went wrong.
The way we learn is through habit so in the case of any bad experience, in the first instant a protective reaction (fight or flee) will follow as the mind senses a threat. All perfectly logical… someone attacks us…we respond aggressively. End of?? Well no. Once the mind has established a pattern, then regardless of how minimal that bad experience was, if confronted by an event that mirrors that experience, then we will react in exactly the same manner, regardless of how inappropriate that might be. Lamping your boss is never a good idea unless you are planning an immediate career move.
But it doesn’t have to be like this.
Nassar has shown that humans do have the ability to control their thoughts and reactions even after a horrendous life threatening attack and this has enabled him to choose the course he wishes to navigate through life; a course that will allow him to enjoy the fruits rather than be saddled, had he not chosen, with the toxic waste that would have consumed his body; systematically destroying everything that is precious to this remarkable man.
There can be few who read Nasser’s story who would find it easy to understand his reasoning even if we admired him for his strength of conviction. Indeed, if we were to learn that this man is now going to spend the rest of his life having specialist therapy and taking a shed-load of antidepressant pills to ease the memory, then I doubt few would be surprised. And here lies the crux. Nasser has chosen not to allow the attack to ruin his life, by adopting a stance that prevents the event from becoming ingrained into his subconscious, from where all the negative habits and reactions would have been triggered.
It’s a stance that we at MANSTRESS will wholeheartedly embrace and one that we would urge you to adopt…because the alternative is destroying lives…and families…and filling doctor’s surgeries.
Please share your views or experiences on this safe non-judgemental platform.