When things go wrong … (part 3)
Following on from When things go wrong … Part 1 and Part 2 …
I slept for what seemed like only a few minutes. It was about 4:30am when I awoke.
Remembering that my hired car was parked where it shouldn’t be, I started worrying I would have to move it before about 8am if I was to avoid a run-in with the Spanish police. I didn’t want to go walking down dark streets at that time of the morning, even though I have never felt unsafe in Spain. Going back to sleep could be risky. I may or may not wake in time. The crazy thing about narcolepsy is my ability to sleep ‘on a washing line’, as long as it’s not at night when sleep is supposed to happen!
I got up and explored my room more thoroughly, as I hadn’t had a chance before flaking out after the events of last night. As I’ve come to expect in Spain, my room and en-suite shower room were immaculately clean. Wondering why my basement room would have curtains, I looked behind to discover an open patio door, leading out into a small courtyard, only about 2 metres square. At first I worried that the door had been open while I slept, then I realised my room was the only access to the courtyard, so I was safe. It added to the cuteness of my room.
I put on my coat and decided to go look for the kitchen up on the roof terrace I remembered vaguely being told about, and see if I could make a cup of tea. I grabbed my cigarettes, Kindle and headphones. I have some guided meditations stored on my Kindle, maybe one of those would help tame the negative thoughts I already felt creeping back.
Tea made, I found the roof terrace a quiet, serene place to sit. The sky was a blanket of stars, many more than I could ever possibly see over my cloudy hometown back in the North-East of England. One star in the East, right ahead of me, seemed to shine ten times brighter than all the rest. Something about it made me feel less alone.
The anger from the previous evening pushed into my thoughts now and again, but the serenity of the night helped my soul to tame it. I turned my attention to what I have learned, and what I would be advising someone else who described such a thing happening to them.
The first thing that came up was “You have to stop the anger”. My ego argued, “Why should I stop it, I have a right to be bloody angry?”. My soul returned, “you’ll only get more of it”. Of course this made sense to me: I knew that if I continued to carry this angry emotion around, my negative energy vibration would result in the attraction of more negative consequences to myself. It wouldn’t affect him one bit.
“Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.”
― Gautama Buddha
I thought of several other of my mantras I use when facing tough times:
- Everything happens for a reason.
- It always works out for me.
- Things don’t always work out as we planned, but they always work out right.
- I may not be where I expected to be, but I am where I’m meant to be.
- At the times when its hardest to think it, you have to remember there is a blessing in Everything
“How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”
― Wayne W. Dyer
Repeating these, and feeling the energy of the stars, the universe, and my guardian angels, really smoothed my frayed edges and blunted the spiky thoughts. I felt altogether more peaceful and sat there under the stars for a couple of hours. I played a meditation audio, I read some soothing words from one of my many Kindle books, smoked a few ciggies and had another cup of tea. I decided to check on a flight home later on when I could get a wifi connection.
Then I realised, I was awake early enough to watch a beautiful Nerja sunrise, a rarity for me. I’m not a morning person, and it had been many years since I had watched the sunrise from a beach here. What a treat! I headed down to the Balcon de Europa, just a 3-minute walk away, at about 6:30am.
Although the Balcon was deserted when I first arrived, I was surprised to see quite a few people arrive so soon after, a couple of obvious tourists – like me, with their cameras – and several Spanish people. How lovely, I thought, that they still make the effort to watch the sunrise, they don’t take it for granted, as many do of the beautiful scenes right at their doorsteps. It felt very spiritual, to see so many individuals, not talking to one another because each was absorbed in their own reason for being there, yet we were all connected in the soaking up of the energy of the morning. As the sun beamed “Good morning,” that bright star in the East whispered “Goodnight”.
There was a family there: they could have been grandparents, or they could have been mum and dad who had their two young sons later in life. The two adults were taking turns taking pictures of the family with the sun rising behind them. I thought, what a shame if they can’t all be in the same picture, so I walked over and gestured that I would take a picture of them all together with their camera. Happy with this, they returned the favour and took a photo of me with my phone. Language is no barrier to kindness, a smile speaks every language.
After moving my car to a better parking space, I returned to my room. I knew I needed to sleep and would not be checking out in time, so paid for another night. I would look for a flight home later. I slept all day.
When I awoke late in the afternoon, I looked for a flight. As it was such short notice, the flight prices were really quite high. I couldn’t change my existing flight, which was more than another week away, as I had already checked-in online and printed my boarding pass. I would have to pay for a new flight. It would take me way over my budget I’d saved for my holiday. After consideration, I thought if I was going to have to hit the credit card anyway for the flight, I could probably get a less expensive hostel over the other side of town, where it would be easier to park my car, and for the week it wouldn’t be too much more than the flight, add meals and spending money … Oh, blow it! The more I listened to my heart, the more I realised I HAD to stay. I hadn’t had a holiday in so long. I didn’t know when I would be able to afford or physically manage another. And my main reason was that I should not go home feeling like my holiday was ruined, not because I would blame him, but because I would blame MYSELF. I had options. While getting into debt is not something I would normally do for a holiday – being medically retired, unexpected expenses can be worrisome – it is something I felt I needed to do for peace of mind, and a week of straightening out my energy in such a lovely place. I decided I was not returning home full of regret, or blame for anyone, least of all myself.
After visiting a hotel just a couple of doors away from my favourite Irish bar, with plenty of free parking outside it, and getting a good deal on a week’s stay, I arranged to move in the following day as I’d already paid for the hostel.
I spent my last evening at the hostel focussing on the good things in my life: I was in a beautiful place. Several people had been helpful and caring in the last couple of days, this was the natural order of things. I was safe and as comfortable as I could be, despite the ongoing pain in my body which I have come to expect and manage the best I can. I was grateful to have hired the car, what would I have done without it? I was grateful that I had the emergency backup of a credit card. I decided this was going to be a lovely week ahead. I drifted into one of the most peaceful sleeps I had had in some time.
On arrival at the hotel the next day, I received a warm welcome by a young lady receptionist I had not met the previous day. She greeted me by my first name as I approached the desk as if I was an old friend. I appreciated the friendly informality.
I spent the week relaxing, chilling out, looking for things to appreciate and reasons to feel grateful, and I found them everywhere. The trauma of the event that brought me here faded into insignificance. I took walks along the beach, stopping at the regularly-placed wooden benches to sit and read a while, and to just watch the temperamental ocean.
“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”
― Wayne W. Dyer
I sat at a beach bar for a coffee and a group of three Englishmen at the next table invited me into their company by asking me about my Kindle. They were new to Nerja, and asked if I could recommend some good eating places. I mentioned a few restaurants, but assured them they couldn’t really go wrong: I had never had a bad meal here. Knowing I was in town on my own, they invited me to join them for dinner. I thanked them for the invite and graciously declined, happy to just float along in my own little world this week.
The next day, sat on a bench reading, I happened to look up just as two of the men from the day before passed by. “Hey Kindle lady”, they stopped to chat. I realised we had not introduced ourselves by name yesterday, so I introduced myself and held out a hand to shake with John and Mike. “We’re just going for some lunch. If you’re at a loose end, you’re very welcome to join us,” John offered. “That’s very kind of you. Really, I’m fine thank you”.
I continued to sit and focus on all the lovely, kind, friendly people in the world, and in my life. This is the best way to deal with the occasional unkind, unfriendly person, by realising that they are not the ‘norm’, we will bump into them occasionally for whatever reason, but to focus on unkindness will only attract more of that, so to counteract that negative energy, you look for the good in people.
The next day, after a short walk, of long duration with my many stops, I passed by a couple of familiar bars, but there was a big rugby match on the TV’s so I didn’t stop, I headed back to my hotel room. However, something made me stop at my Irish bar, despite the rugby projecting from the big screen on the terrace, and I ordered a pot of tea. I was reading my Kindle, and my attention was drawn to a lady sat at another table. She had a hat beside her on the table and it reminded me of my favourite aunt, a boho, hippie-style lady. After a few minutes, she turned and saw me, and said “What beautiful nails you have”. “Thank you”, I said, and we began chatting. As it turned out, Amanda had been travelling on her own around Spain for six months, and she was a writer/blogger. This connected us further, as it has long been a dream of mine to travel around Spain, and more of Europe. I don’t know how the subject came about so quickly, but she mentioned a couple of people had suggested she read ‘The Power of Now’. “Oh, Eckhart Tolle,” I said. “Yes,” she said, “now I know I must read it. I keep bumping into people who know of it”.
Amanda and I got along famously over the next few days. We had read many of the same or similar books, we held similar beliefs about the powers of the universe, we were on a similar life path. I said wasn’t it funny how I had stopped at the Irish bar even though I really wasn’t interested in the rugby. Amanda said the same: in the several weeks she had been in Nerja she had rarely been to that side of town, and she wasn’t interested in the rugby either. Amanda was going home next week too. It really felt like one of those ‘invisible threads’ I have read of, and have come to know to be true. Our souls really connected.
Amanda introduced me to an Italian restaurant I hadn’t been to before: delicious and a budget-traveller’s dream. We had some serious discussions about how our beliefs had pulled us through some tough times, and we had some right big laughs about the synchronicities and the fun games we had played with the universe and our angels.
I may not have ended up where I expected to be but I was in exactly the best place where I needed to be. I had not only made peace with where I was and how I had landed there, but I had made the conscious decision to attract the good world I wanted to see, and so it was.
“Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. Same world.”
― Wayne W. Dyer
Read – When things go wrong … Part 1 and Part 2
When things go wrong … (part 3)