Commit To Now & Contribute

Wednesday 16 January, 2002

06.30 E&M 65 mins. The exercises are going well and are proving to be beneficial both physically and mentally. Furthermore, I walked all the way to the house this morning for the first time since the operation. It took me 80 minutes, which is 20 minutes longer than normal. This gives me something quantifiable against which I can measure my progress. When I arrived here I felt tired – I slept for nearly two hours – but satisfied with my achievement. Having started the week feeling tired, in pain and demotivated, I had a very productive day yesterday and a gratifying morning of exercise today.

Karaj and Dev arrived after lunch and for the rest of the afternoon I sat talking to Dev. He had a very informative time with Karaj in Cambridge and returned with renewed enthusiasm and lots to think about. We talked about visions. All we need to do is to have a vision, focus on our vision and relax. Because I am focused on my vision I will recognise and be able to make the most of opportunities which come my way and which are congruent to the pursuit of my vision.

So does that mean I can relax fully? No. All the hard work is done in the here and now. I have my vision in focus all the time but I am fully present in the here and now. That way I am not bothered by how my vision will work, and it means I am fully committed to whatever I am doing in the present moment. Karaj later said that if I keep being side-tracked by how I will make it in Germany, then Germany will never happen for me. I have to be in the here and now. This helped me to see that all I need to do is what is in front of me. Get on with the job, be fully committed to it and be fully in the moment.

I talked to Dev about the goals I have had of working closely with someone and doing another apprenticeship in order to change my career to something more worthwhile. Thoughts about these goals have been around for the last ten years, and for the last two years they have been realised. But how? That is something I never considered because for me they were always nothing more than statements of intent. Eventually those visionary statements came true, but the circumstances are almost beyond belief. If someone had told me three years ago that what I needed to do was earn a pittance, find a house to live in rent-free and near to someone from whom I could learn about life, then I would have looked at them in disbelief.

And that is the point. I do not need to know how. I just have to state my intentions. Those goals took time to be realised because I was not focused on them and in fact I did not even realise the opportunity I have here until recently. I did not realise I had achieved my visions. Things are now very different. I am focused on my vision and because of that focus I will spot opportunities as they come my way – and they will come my way. All I have to do is commit myself to the present moment. It’s the same with the goals I brought to the first men’s group. I put them away, forgot about them and got on with sorting myself out. They are being realised without me even realising.

Talking to Dev also allowed me to release some of the frustrations I had about the accounts and the financial situation. It made me realise that, whatever emotions I experience during the accounts, I must not forget that it was the accounts which opened the door to this opportunity in the first place. Had Karaj not asked me to do the first set of accounts, then I may not have been here to worry about the third set or about how we will cope in the near future, or about how we will continue to work together or about how I will make it in Germany. So relax.

Dev talked to me about knowing your limitations because when you accept them and own them, and stop trying to be something you’re not, they cease to be an issue and then you can excel – paradox. What are my limitations? He also talked about the different therapies he has experienced and his conclusion was that it’s the commitment (of the therapist) which counts.

We talked about the contribution other men make to the group and to our lives. Out of this conversation came the realisation that my attitude can be different. At present, and for all my life so far, I have thought about people in the following way: If they want to be negative or spiteful then leave them to it; I remember their attitude or their words but I do not challenge them. In doing this I am spiting myself and isolating myself. I gain nothing. A better way would be to challenge people about their attitude. Tell them that in being negative or dismissive they are not contributing to my life.

One example was the way Robert described to Harriet and George how I put Sunil out when he caught fire. He told them I was the only one who could do anything because ‘the four of us were holding the very heavy girder and couldn’t just drop it’. That is absolute bollocks because firstly, the girder was not being used at all – it was a fence panel – and secondly, I cannot believe that, had he seen the flames, Robert would have just stood there without saying a word. This is typical of Robert’s attitude and behaviour. He undermines people and needs to be challenged about it. Instead of challenging him on this I have thought to myself, ‘Okay if that’s your attitude then so be it. I will not forget it’. I should challenge him to contribute to my life or leave.

At home there was a letter from my Granddad. It contained his normal explanation of the events in his life with the closing words that if I have a problem and there is anything they can do to help me then I should let them know. It was a mature letter which did not interfere with my process in any way. A contrast to the behaviour of my father who seems to be behaving like a spoilt child.


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