The processes of rebalancing, recalibrating, rectifying and reducing stress when life drifts off course often detract from the main plan …as is my case …
Since my last blog, I’ve strived to adhere to my personal doctrine to embrace my passions and create meaning from them. Nonetheless, my passion for soccer achieved me a double break of my nose and a major concussion; my dog care business saw me make a poor judgment call and sustain a major bite, both incidents sending me to urgent care and subsequent doctors appointments.
When these types of events force us off course, anger and frustration typically blend together establishing a negative disposition from which it is usually difficult to be productive and profitable. Over the years, I’ve tried to manage these life events in ways that are different from my past ways or patterned behaviours so that I can grow forward and ideally change my own DNA. Part of this process involves stepping away from the emotion of circumstances. For example, in the case of the soccer nose crunch and concussion, I managed the moment of the incident without retribution. I extracted myself from the game and attended to the trauma immediately by going to the hospital. In earlier days, I likely would have placed a stop measure on my bloody nose, ignored my ringing head and sought revenge. After all, right before the ball smashed in my face, I’d made a very poor decision to encroach illegally the regulation space between the free kicker and the space I was to block.
As for the dog bit, again I took responsibility for my own poor decision: normally when I bring a visiting dog into my home, I bring it through the side gate to the back yard so as not to place Sadie (my full-time care dog) into defence mode. On this particular day, I was in a rush and decided to bring Naja (a husky-shepherd pup) through the laundry room door directly from the garage after I went to pick her up. As I entered the house, Sadie greeted us both and decided she was not in the mood to host Naja this particular day and growled and lunged at Naja. Naja returned the favour and the two dogs began their war. Thinking I might be able to break them up with a knee chop beneath their snoots, I jammed my leg in between their snarling snoots and Sadie chewed right into my inner thigh. It required stitches and it’s been more than a month and my leg still shows bruising and a lump beneath the surface.
I’ll admit my first instinct was to take Naja back home and to punish Sadie for what she’d done to me, but truly the result of this incident was a fault of mine alone. I left the two dogs alone for a couple of hours while I went to urgent care to rectify my new wound and when I returned home again the two dogs were habituating happily together.
The next part of this process of change for me (after I excepted blame for both incidents) was to forgive myself in order not to feel stress or anger. I will attest that it is much easier to forgive myself than it is to forgive others, so that was a fairly easy process.
I returned to soccer this week after the headaches subsided just a couple days ago. The plastic surgeon suggested that due to my age I should consider surrendering the sport I love so much. I will admit I actually contemplating his advice ….for a couple days at least …before realizing that my life without soccer would be like driving through life with the spare tire on my vehicle. The first game back was filled with apprehension, but I stuck to my promise to not head the ball and not block free kicks. These new rules I’ve instilled in my future games will not be easy as my nature is more aggressive, but I also know that “at my age” if I don’t make these subtle (or huge) transitions into healthier ways, I might be left wounded, angry, unforgiving and essentially stuck in my own vacuum.