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Sometimes knowledge has a bitterswet taste.   #Bittersweet Moments

Image courtesy of http://www.ankuanand.com

“Finishing a book is bittersweet. You spend days getting to know the characters. Learning their nuances, their faults, their loves, their lives. They become your friends, acquaintances, enemies. And after the story ends, you miss them. You look for them in your own life, wonder where they’ve gone, you forget that they aren’t real. You fall in love with the hero and dream of him at night. The strange girl becomes your best friend. Their heartaches become your heartaches. You laugh when they laugh. And cry when they die. Eventually you realise they aren’t a part of your world, you were just briefly visiting theirs.”

Whimsical Enlightenment

Love, life, time, all have a way of taking you unawares at times. People too have a remarkable knack for tripping you up, but the best of all is memory.  We have a wonderful capacity to remember the wonderful moments and, if not forgetting, then at least “greying out” the not so wonderful times.  It’s a safety mechanism – I’m absolutely convinced of that.

Being in  a situation where you have a lot of time on your hands, after all the minutiae of each day has been finished, can allow you to review, not only your day, but your life, or at least the larger events in your life. This isn’t a bad thing, in fact it can be an invaluable tool of transformation. If there is one thing I have learned it’s that you can never stop learning. There is always something, some way in which I can be better, do something better, help someone more….. I’m sure you get the idea.

Being static is a form of ‘death’. If we are unable to continually, even in small increments, move along and be all we can be, then we are wasting our lives and our opportunities to grow. It may sound ridiculous to say that, as an adult I wasn’t to continue to grow, but what is the other option available? Stagnation – I really don’t think so.  It makes me think of mould and mildew and fungus and spores, and whilst I love certain types of fungus, I’m not overly enamoured of becoming one.  So the idea is to continue to grow and evolve.

#Bittersweet Moments

Evolution – setting the spirit inside free. Image courtesy of http://www.the-universal-link.com

Evolve, what a wonderful word that is and how much it can conjure up. When I take a look at life, from the very beginning, we can see how much life has evolved, changed and the miraculous things which have eventuated as a result of the evolution. Granted, there have been some best forgotten ways in which things have changed, but like all children, we have to make mistakes in order to learn.

This, is ultimately what I believe we are here for. We are here, on this beautiful planet, our home, to learn. We are here to grow and become all that we can be, so that as evolved beings we can go onward and create better things, better places, be better beings than we have been thus far.  Once again, it may sound far-fetched, but it is the only sound, dare I say it, even logical reason for some of the horrendous and the magical things we see happening around us.

We see people broken by events who take their own lives and sometimes those of others.  We see people spending days trying to coax stranded whales and dolphins back into the ocean.  We can see people who carelessly speed and cripple or maim themselves and others and we also see those angels who walk the earth. The people who rush in where “mere mortals fear to tread” and help care for the hurt and injured, the trapped and fearful in their hour of need, without thought for their own safety.  When you pause to consider the depth and breadth of possibilities, you have to acknowledge that it truly is inexplicable.

#Bittersweet Moments

Earth Angels. Image courtesy of Josephine wall art.com

“Happiness. Simple as a glass of chocolate or tortuous as the heart. Bitter. Sweet. Alive.”
Joanne Harris, Chocolat

I recently returned to my doctor who I have known for several decades. In fact, I think of him more like a friend than just my doctor. He knows me, my family and he has cared for me through some of the worst times in my life.  I knew he had been involved in an accident, but was totally unprepared for the sight that met my eyes when I saw him. A dog had tripped him whilst running and as he fell, awkwardly, as he put it, his thigh “exploded”. The x-ray on show bore testament to the agony he must have suffered.

His hip had to be replaced and his thigh is wired and bolted and screwed together. His shoulder is also bolted and screwed into place. Yet he was there, in his surgery, tending to his patients.  A true earth angel.  My heart clenched in sympathy to see him struggling around. My stomach knotted up with anguish as I instinctively moved to help him to get up from his chair. The irony, if I helped him we would both need help, to get back off the floor!  Yet there I was with a person I care for and could not help. I sent him Reiki, and am continuing to do so. It’s a small offering for someone who cares so much for others.

Dying Zoo Worker Gets Goodbye Kiss From Giraffe – Image courtesy of ABC News abcnews.go.com

What has this to do with “Bittersweet Moments”? Nothing and yet everything. It was a moment in time which was bitter in the knowledge that I was unable to really help another human being. It was, also a sweet moment as I realised that I cared for someone, enough to feel their pain and send them healing, as much as I could. It gave me the hope that, if we two could feel and support each other in this small way, then there is much greater hope for the larger scope of humanity.  There is the belief that, rather than annihilating ourselves and the world we live in, we may evolve and share the beauty of this world with future generations to come.

So, despite the doom sayers, I will continue to do what I can, where I can, and say a prayer of thanks for all those who do the same, in the knowledge that we are all working towards evolving into more evolved spirits, who will shine with a light and purity that will make a difference to all. This, to me, is at the core of “Bittersweet Moments”.

“When Life is Well say THANK YOU & CELEBRATE, and when life is Bitter say THANK YOU & GROW.”
Shauna Niequist, Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way

 

Blessings, Susan ♥

© Susan Jamieson July 2014

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image from edition.channel5belize.com

“Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity.”
W. Clement Stone

The more I write about the things which happened when I left the Police Force, the more I’ve come to realise how much really happened throughout my time in uniform. It still seems incredible that so much can happen in short amounts of time, yet it is the nature of the job.  However, this is another small yet poignant episode from after I had officially stopped being a police officer.

It was a dark and drizzling night in the middle of winter, cold and bleak when all you wanted was to get back home and into the warmth again. I had been with my daughter at her dancing lesson and we were just leaving. Another class for the adults was about to start.

I was going to say that there are few things which make your blood run cold other than….. but that is wrong. There are many things which make your blood run cold when you wear a police uniform and you carry that feeling with you. So, as we walked along the driveway towards the very busy main road at Sunnybank, the sound of squealing brakes and a solid thunk made my stomach drop. I knew there had been an accident.

It was dark, peak hour, cars were rushing to get home and all six lanes were full.  A bus had just pulled up at the bus stop in front of the church. I’m not a ghoul, but I needed to see if I could help, so I rushed my daughter along. There was a body lying directly along the lane line marking in the road, between the first and second lane. The bus was about to depart and cars were sailing blithely past the prone body. In the dark and rain he was almost impossible to see. No-one was making an effort to get out to the body.

I told my daughter to wait at the bus shelter and as soon as a small break appeared in the traffic I dashed into the road. The old man looked to be in a bad way. I yelled for someone to call police and ambulance and to divert traffic. It was at times like this that I was thankful I had kept up with my first aid. I checked for vitals and gently for injuries. He was so frail I knew there had to be some damage there, even though I couldn’t see much blood in the poor light.

Thankfully, the instructor from the dance class came out with some able bodies and they made a cordon to divert traffic away from the body, at least ensuring our safety. One of the women from the dance class had arrived to keep my daughter company. Someone appeared with a blanket and the message that the ambulance was coming but traffic was holding them up because of the peak hour traffic.

I had my doubts the old gentleman would last long. It was cold on the road and I could feel bones moving under my fingers so I wouldn’t take the chance to move him. He didn’t regain consciousness so I kept him in the recovery position and kept talking to him. There was little else I could do. Then the moment arrived I was dreading, I could no longer feel a pulse. Easing him onto his back I started CPR. Whether it was my ministrations or prayers I don’t know but he began breathing again and I felt a thready pulse once more.

Time seemed drawn out like spun candy, and the ambulance seemed to take forever to arrive. I was performing CPR again as they pulled up and thankfully let the experts take over. They took all the information they needed and carefully placed him on the gurney.  As I rushed back across the road and collected my daughter I thought it might be the last I heard about it, apart from my husband who was not impressed that I had performed CPR on an unknown man, who might have AIDS or anything at all. It was, after all, very difficult to disguise the fact that I was an hour late home and covered in blood!

However, one of the ambulance officers had given me his card and I called to find out if the old fellow had made it. Unfortunately he hadn’t, his frail body hadn’t been able to withstand the car or the effect of the road on him and he passed away at the hospital. It was there I thought this story had ended.

Several days later my son arrived home from school looking very uncomfortable. He asked me if I remembered a good friend of his, someone he had known since Preschool. I did, he was a nice young boy.  He then asked me if I had known the name of the old gentleman I had helped a few nights ago. That was something I had been unable to find out as he had never regained consciousness.

He told me that the old fellow was in fact his friends grandfather. He had been trying to run across the six lanes of traffic to catch the bus home that night but hadn’t made it. The family wanted to thank the unknown lady who had stayed with their father and grandfather until the ambulance had arrived, but she hadn’t left her name. He thought they must have been talking about me since there had been no other accidents reported since then.

I was grateful for the thought but I didn’t need thanks. The thanks I received were in being able to help someone who needed another person to be with them in their last moments and let them know they were not alone.  What more could I really want?

It brought home to me how, a simple act such as mine, could have far-reaching consequences. My son could not have known that I would be there that night or that his friends grandfather would be in an accident. Yet all these individuals were drawn together, unknown and yet joined by lines of connectedness we hadn’t known. “Six degrees of separation” at play for us to see.

Compassion is a very powerful force.

May love and compassion find you always.  Susan x

“for there is nothing heavier than compassion. Not even one’s own pain weighs so heavy as the pain one feels with someone, for someone, a pain intensified by the imagination and prolonged by a hundred echoes.”
Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

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