Lessons learned …

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The magic of letting go and the end of the Dolphin Bay saga.

When I left Dolphin Bay I had asked for my money back for the time I would no longer be staying at the property.  I had to leave due to the actions and behaviours of the owner and I let him know the reasons for my departure face to face; he said he understood and would return the money to me as soon as possible.  I held out hope that this man, somewhere in his deeply addicted mind, would stay true to his word.  I believed that underneath the addiction there was a heart of a decent man.  Six weeks went by with many emails, many condescending comments, many undelivered promises and many gaps in communication but I was persistent.  I wanted justice, I wanted fairness, I wanted him to make things right.  It was not about the money but more about doing the right thing.

It was a long road with many twists and turns much going back and forth in my mind.  How can I  let this go? My strong need for justice, for fairness, for doing the right thing held me prisoner. I simply had no control although I wanted to believe that I did.  I held on for 6 weeks allowing this injustice to be a part of my thoughts although losing power and momentum as the weeks ticked by.  It was still badgering me; thoughts occasionally floating in, pausing long enough for the feelings to re-emerge then floating back out.  I have always had a strong need for justice and defending people’s rights.  It seems that whenever an injustice is served to me I have a need to make it right, not only for myself, but for the other’s left in its wake.  In this case, Bianca, the super hostess of Dolphin Bay, continued to be in my thoughts and prayers as she had to deal with this man and his excuses for non-payment of her salary on a regular basis. 

I chose not to put a review on Air B & B pending the outcome this litigation, figuratively speaking.  I spent a considerable amount of time thinking about the right thing to do for everyone involved, not just me.  Part of me thought it was my duty as a traveler to tell the truth so that other travellers would not have to experience what I had just experienced, the other part of me thought that this was my experience and perhaps other people would not see it from the same perspective.  It seemed to me, at the time, that everyone was keenly aware of his alcoholism and maybe a few could see the drugs but most people where happy enough to grab a drink and join him, no harm done. 

For me it was a completely different story.  Aware that my perspective come from a different lens because of my past history with alcoholism on so many levels, alcoholic violence witnessed as a child, generations upon generation of alcoholism and even death.  The whole scene brought up vivid memories of the death my former husband, Patrick Paul Mangold.  The memories of watching a man, I once loved, continue be swallowed up by addiction and him taking more and more chances with his own life.  As I watched this man get into his boat with reckless abandon disregarding any responsibility for himself, his guests, his family, the complete foolhardiness of climbing aboard a vessel and roaring across the Ocean putting other innocent people in the cross hairs all out of the complete desperation for another fix flooded my mind with all the memories, the sadness and the heavy heartiness of Pat’s death. 

At the very same time, I felt deep compassion for this man and his suffering and the thought writing an honest review and how it could affect his business which was ultimately the only thing he seemed to have left.  So based on all of that I did not write a review but came to realize that he wrote a review about me.  It was untrue and dripping with malice.  I did not reciprocate.  Many times I typed out a response, read and re-read it but chose instead to hold down the delete button deleting my response, close my computer and choosing instead to sit with the hurt and anger his untrue review brought up inside me.  I did not reciprocate. 

As it continued to fester one evening I spoke to a close friend about the situation and consulted her about letting it go, keeping in mind my needs for justice and fairness coupled with my need for peace and serenity.  After a lengthy conversation weighing all the information at hand and feeling a strong sense in my gut that if letting it go meant allowing the thoughts to dissipate forever this was the right thing to do, for everyone.  I had made the decision that night to let go of the injustice, the unfairness and the vision of the bad guy walking away seemingly unharmed with a seedy grin spreading across his face in victory.  My thoughts were just thoughts and my intuition was the guiding light,  I have learned that I must listen no my intuition no matter how much I want something else.  This I have learned the hard way on many occasions.

As the universe would have it direct results were coming my way, the very next day I had an email notice that he had deposited the money into my account.  I simply looked up and smiled knowing that when you chose to do the right thing that supports everyone, the pay off is always in your favour.  It is not always the case that the rewards of making such a decision show up right away but time and time again I have been shown that they will eventually come. 

Karma is the friend that is always waiting on the other side to make things right, we all know that for each and every action in this lifetime we create a karmic reaction, this karma, if not made right in this lifetime will carry over for us to face in our next lifetime.  The more we can make the right decision in our life in this moment, one that is right for everyone, one that is not made out of personal desire,  greed or malice but instead taking into account everyone involved we are rewarded with a good karmic outcome.

Experiences are something we all must go through perhaps we have been given this experience in order to clean up our past karma, to invoke further healing and/or move closer and closer to what we have come to learn this time around, to follow our path, to fulfill our purpose and move closer to the life we have intended to live. 

Experiments are the tests that are continually put before us to either ensure we have learnt the lesson or to continue giving us the same experiment with slightly different packaging until we learn the lesson.  Both the experiences as well as the experiments are part of life’s learning process.  If the lesson is not learnt, it remains unlearned, and we keep undergoing the same experiments until we get the lesson.

This little experiment had many experiences all wrapped up into one for me.  I don’t know that we consciously set up the experiments but the universe has a hand in co-creating these experiments for us to learn through our experiences. 

One of the lessons that became clear to me was the acknowledgement of my wounds from being the child of an alcoholic, from being in a marriage for 25 years with alcoholic, facing the shame I still carry around from my own years of drinking, facing the fact the my child followed in the very same footsteps into drug addiction and that all of these experiences were just below the surface, ready for another layer of healing. 

A realization that throughout this lifetime experiences will continue to show up in order to take the healing to another level. 

This experiment showing me clearly that I have so much more work to do at the body level, these memories are still so shallow and so alive, scraping them off layer by layer is the only way to complete the healing process.  I believe that each experiment, each experience is an opportunity to take the healing process one layer at a time.  Sometimes I feel defeated when these wounds show up again, I get easily caught up in the delusion that all the healing has been done. 

The reality of such trauma is that we are served more experiments which turn in to experiences one layer at a time, whatever we can handle in the conscious state that we have reached.  There is always another layer underneath, another layer yet to discover, yet to heal, yet to transform. 

A lesson is in forgiveness, a deeper layer of forgiveness.  Forgiveness for myself and the shame I have carried around for so long, as the child of an alcoholic, as the wife of an alcoholic, as the alcoholic herself, (in recovery) and as the mother of a drug addict (in recovery).  Forgiveness for the father, the husband, the daughter, the self.

A lesson in compassion for this man deep in addiction and a knowing the pain and trauma he is swirling around in each and every day.  The realization that I cannot fix every addict who comes across my path. 

An ultimate learning is that things don’t always work out as planned, the ability to see the experience for what it is and watch it unfold from a witnessing perspective, being able to offer kindness, help and support, sharing my story while offering heartfelt compassion to the sufferer, not being offended when the receiver does not take the offering, speaking my truth, settling clear boundaries, asking for what I want/need, and moving forward with my journey. 

I send out prayers to this suffering man and I thank the universe for yet another exhilarating experiment!

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