Anger and Frustration

My Life of AngerA few weeks ago I came home from work and found my family gathered in the living room discussing the hot topic of the moment: The soap about my daughter’s driving license.

It all started months ago, when my daughter filled in a form on internet to declare she was physically fit to drive. Unfortunately she made a wrong selection on a question declaring she had a specific medical condition. Only after receiving a request for providing medical files we found out about the mistake. Calling the institution that takes care of these procedures learned we had to provide a declaration by our GP our daughter was fit to drive and that the question was erroneously set to Yes instead of No.

We asked the GP and we found a Physician willing to fill in the paperwork. Unfortunately she did her work according to her interpretation of ‘Doing it properly’ and stated my daughter has had a psychiatric treatment…

“A What?”, was my partner’s reaction after reading the statement. The physician mixed up psychiatric with psychological, not taking into account the second was an imposed ‘treatment’ after a rehabilitation and was irrelevant in the context of the question. The institution was puzzled by the answer and requested even more information. They contacted the physician who decided to give even more medical information, without notifying my daughter first and therefore breaking the privacy rules and causing an even greater confusion. To make the whole thing even worse, at the GP the head physician had told my daughter they were not willing to collaborate and not willing to provide any statements related to this case and driving licenses. Remember, it all started with a wrong click on an electronic form…

After these last developments I became angry and frustrated. In this mood I decided to write a letter to the GP office to set things straight.

That same evening I had a chat planned with my DIP buddy and discussed this point. I am glad we did! After a few minutes I could see I was into a huge reaction, not the best mood to work on a constructive solution.

Writing a letter in reaction, where the purpose was to blame the GP for not collaborating and telling them that they should take their responsibility for their actions seems right in the first place. But, if you realize it all started because of a mistake on your side… there is no point is starting to blame the other, even if their actions caused more troubles. The only commonsensical way to go from here is not to go into reaction, since it will decrease the chances of cooperation by others.

Since there is no way to go back and ‘correct’ the points that went wrong, the only way forward is to assess the actual situation and start from there.

Well, we did! We found another physician willing to check my daughter and declare her to be in good health. So, that hurdle is taken and the process can now go on.

End of story…eh, not really. Since this experience is perfect to have a look at my reactions, my buddy helped me through a series of points.

Why was I so angry when I learned the physician refused to cooperate? Winding back to the starting point:

Was I angry when I found out my daughter made a mistake while filling in the form? “No” was my first answer. My buddy pushed the point to make sure I was self-honest on this. I am glad he did. Going back to the very moment I learned about the mistake I see I was not allowing myself to react in anger or react at all. I suppressed any emotion in a split second and started thinking on a (quick) solution to the problem.

While analyzing this very point I learned I was dealing with fear, very obvious fear about the possibility my daughter wasn’t able to get a driving license and all the consequences, not only her not being able to travel on her own but also self-interest while having to drive her to her appointments.

All this in a split second! But it was there and if I am not dealing with it, the possibility is high I will go through a same kind of experience the next time something similar comes up.

So, my anger was a consequence of fear resulting in frustration. What to do about it?

The answer is self forgiveness. By forgiving myself to have accepted and allowed myself to accept all related dimensions I am able to pinpoint the source of my emotions, understand the triggers and stop the consequences. The next time I am in a similar trigger situation it will be easier to see how and why I react and eventually suppress feeling and emotions so I can direct myself in a more effective way and avoid going into a loop and repeating my experiences again and again.

In my next blog post I am going to write out the self forgiveness points related to this story.

Time is money, money is time

It is now more than a month ago that I left my home Imagein Italy to go to the Netherlands to look for a job. It is over a month now that I am working hard to get work, not only by doing many job applications but also working on myself since being without a job, living in someone else’s house without being able to tell for how long implies also that you have to face yourself.

Reality can hit hard and I need all my energy to keep myself standing and go through everyday’s life. Life in my conditions is at the same time boring and nerve wrecking. Since you have no job you tend to feel useless and even a burden to those that offer you help. The odd part of all this is that it can change suddenly into another situation. At least that is what the mind suggests. The mind keeps saying that as soon as I have a job everything will be ok. This is only partially true since life will go on with or without job. That what gets different is the way you can organize yourself with or without money.

Nevertheless, getting a job will be an important step in the process of getting back into the system. I am very well aware that becoming an employee will limit my freedom, but what freedom is it when you have the time to do anything you like without having the money to do so. There is no freedom in our society. We are all enslaved to money and if we do not have it we simply will die (or in developed countries live a very limited life without many opportunities to change that situation).

In a movie I watched today there was a sentence that says: “If you are with the system you will be rewarded, if you oppose it you will be punished”. That is exactly what I see when looking back to my own life. I refused to adapt to the system and was therefore expelled from it in a slow process that ended into the situation I am in now, left with no money and fighting to get back into the system just to be able to survive.

It took quite some time to try to get loose from the system and now I see that getting back into it is not an immediate process either. I have to be patient and it is quite challenging to patiently walk the path back since the lack of money (= time) is a high pressure factor. I need to buy time (ask for money) directly or indirectly for every day that goes by. This adds up to the debt I am so trying to avoid but which is so nicely fitting into the monetary system of our planet.

This brings me to the next point, is resisting the fact to have debt not again me fighting the system? Am I supposed to go along with it and accept I have debts I will never be able to pay back? Does it make sense to try to pay back your debt when you know the actual money system is designed to make it impossible to pay it back? Governments are trying to get rid of debt by moving it to the people and very few are aware of the fact this is narrowing more and more our possibilities and making us more dependent and controllable by these governments.

Having said this, it is with an uneasy feeling that I am getting my position back into society. Life will not get easier for anyone with the difference I have already walked through experiences that allow me to see things for what they are and to act accordingly as much as I can in the moment, breath by breath. Therefore I see my whole experience I lived over the last couple of years as something very useful and in no way a waste of time (or money).

Tomorrow is a milestone day since I will know if the day after tomorrow will be one of still searching for a job or making a next step forward and while having a new job taking care of finding a place to live with my family and organize everything so I can move my family from Italy to the Netherlands and live again as a united family.

PS. Many friends and family members are crossing their fingers for tomorrow… I am sure it will help (lol). And the fun part is, do they really know why they are crossing their fingers? What is their real starting point?

No sugar diet

Since a couple of days I am on a no sugar, no yeast and no wheat diet. The reason for that is that my partner S. recently did some research due to health problems she had. Checking and rechecking the symptoms and all information she could find on the internet the diagnosis was Candida albicans. She started with giving me a list of symptoms that potentially could be related to Candida. Since there are really a lot of them that could apply I started to investigate for myself. The main reason for me considering I also might have a Candida infection is the simple fact this fungus lives in almost everybody and since we are sexually active there was no chance for me not to be infected.

On the list of symptoms I could easily pick a couple that sounded very familiar and giving me some health problems for quite a while. Dizziness and respiratory problems are the main ones but a series of other symptoms were enough to convince me a diet was the least I could to for a healthier body. I am not addicted to sugar, however, if I could, every day by mid morning I was looking forward to a cup of coffee with honey and some cookies to still my hunger since by then the fruit breakfast was almost forgotten. Both the fruit (melon, banana, grapes) and the chocolate cookies were a real sugar and wheat bomb. If you consider all the bread I was eating over a week (sandwich, pizza, slices) there was a lot of yeast too in my diet. And yeast converts into sugar and the same applies to wheat and most fruit.

Looking at the list of what I should not eat for the coming months I realized there was not much left. With a little creativity and a lot of money we spend doing groceries at the local bio-food store we managed to produce some nice meals (mainly thanks to S. who likes to cook and is not afraid of some new challenges).

A diet is nice but gets complicated when you have to eat somewhere else. My challenge started yesterday where I was helping a friend photographer shooting photo’s and making video’s of a real Italian wedding. Already at our first stop at the brooms house we were offered bread with local dry meat, sausages and salami with a glass of wine (!). It was not even ten o’ clock in the morning. I managed to keep a low profile so nobody noticed i did not take anything. I was less lucky at the bride’s house where I took something that at least was not containing any sugar. By the end of a log day I could conclude it did not go too bad. I had no sweet things (except one thing that I took as something else) and managed to eat raw vegetables, onions and some risotto.

A while ago our diet was actually quite healthy, we even had a period we ate mostly raw vegetables, something we let go when S. cleared her starting point for following that diet and also for practical reasons connected to a chronic  money shortage. Although we can afford ourselves to spend a little more on food we kept on with our cheap food until a couple of days ago.

While looking at the food you eat while trying to skip everything that contains sugars (even honey, cane sugar, sugars in fruit), wheat and yeast you come to the conclusion almost all processed foods contain either all or a couple of these elements. Even among the natural foods there is plenty of stuff containing sugar in some form and yeast even when the wheat is replaced by something else.

I have a long period with no fruit (except oranges and grapefruit) coffee, ice-cream, bread and cookies ahead. No problems with that, not even longing to any of those things. No hunger either (which helps a lot) due to a good cereal with yoghurt breakfast and well balanced lunches and dinners.

Useless memories

Since it was a nice day my partner S and I decided to go for a walk after lunch. We chose to take the road that starts next to our house and leads to an old travertine quarry. We use these walks to discuss and exchange experiences we normally have no occasion for to properly address. At a certain point the paved road becomes a dirt road and suddenly I had a memory that I immediately shared with S. It reminded me how I climbed this same road on my mountain bike. I could still tell the fatigue I felt and started immediately to draw conclusions stating it was probably better to walk this road than doing it by bike.

S. asked me if I could see the starting point of this memory. The fatigue? No, it was the gravel. Fascinating to see that the mind makes an association with a picture (gravel) and seems to grab randomly a memory out of the big box. Happy with the memory your mind starts elaborating it and very quickly you are in the mind fantasizing about whatever, all triggered by this memory that apparently made a lot of sense in the context of your thoughts.

Wait… I missed something. I thought I was walking in nature enjoying fresh air and the nice weather. The split second in which an association was made sucked me into my mind and before I knew it I was thinking about the memory I had and trying to make sense out of the memory since there should have been some good reason for this memory to pop up, right?

No. All this memory did was spoil a part of the walk. I was not anymore one with nature, with the road, the stones, the trees, the air, the insects, the first early spring flowers, the mountains, the views. I was in the mind thinking of a previous experience that was not giving me any added value in that specific moment since I was not on a bike, climbing up the hill. Even worse, I was drawing  conclusions and making statements about an experience I had in the past without knowing how I would experience a same kind of experience if I was going to do it again.