Sri Lanka, Surfing, Stiches and Forgiveness
November 24, 2021
Author: Hannah Hokarari - Social Ambassador for Snaffle. Click here to follow her on Instagram for more fascinating stories.
“The island adventure begun, burning the midnight oil with late flights and good hours’ drive into Colombo city where Papa had arranged a very comfortable place for us to stay and reset the clock briefly before a crack of dawn take-off to get the train. Dads’ meticulous ways are always impressive to witness, with his attention to detail, extensive planning and packing for every potential outcome and activity! An exciting time ahead for us given our different styles of travel and different needs to a certain extent, but the most important thing really was spending quality time together! We enjoyed a beautiful introduction to the tropical island with a coastal train ride, taking in the sights, sounds and sensations of the surroundings. Also, a great time for general catch-up chats which was super lovely, especially to see Papa wind down a bit too, given the long voyage already from Australia, followed by early starts and uncertainty of train seat success, so voila… a relief to be seated and headed in the right direction, albeit backwards 😊
Dad and I embracing the local transport options from trains to tuk tuks!
Great vibes and first impressions of our home base for the next two weeks, Plantation Surf Inn… Lovely and quiet, super friendly and attentive staff and awesome fellow guests from all over the world. Very comfortable accommodation with spacious room and balcony, again well-done Papa. Excited to explore the new area and get out into the surf of course, as it had been 6 months since an ocean dip! Some new systems to nut out such as strapping surf boards to tuk-tuks, jumping into warm waters requiring no wetsuit, and embracing the colourful crowds! Some good first sessions in the surf shaking out the cobwebs and going for the white water runs to maximise wave count and consistency 😉 Dad educating beginners wherever possible on surfboard etiquette and safety, such as how to dismount a wave without danger of dislodging parts of the human anatomy! Hilarity high!
Dad and our new French friend Nicco cracking the classic post surf stoked smiles!
Saturday afternoon had a surprise in store for the holiday when I collided in an unfortunate manner with my surfboard fin – resulting in a slicing open of my once fractured ankle metalware. Not good, despite the ‘it’s okay’ mantra running through my mind! Dads handy ‘chux’ wipe came to the rescue to tie around the wound, as did his Surfing First Aid kit, under verbal instructions from the doctor sisters back home. A hospital run was in order, after referral from the local medical centre who did not have sterile facilities to stich me up! Nerves in full swing going under local anaesthetic, but I fortunately had full confidence in the doctor’s professionalism and competence! Focusing on my breath was essential to ease the nerves and relax the body - Papa was also luckily there for support and asking all the right questions, as he does so well. Sadly, my vivid imagination caused me the most trouble, as although I could not actually feel pain, any sensation was recreated in my mind! Again, great confirmation I could never be a doctor like my sisters, all I could possibly manage would be laughing therapy 😉
Making the most of the unexpected down time with a book and well needed stillness.
Our dear taxi driver had patiently waited that whole time! He also has wonderfully curious questions and would listen so intently to your response… Mr Mick and Miss Hannah he would say! Of note, Dad officially gets the most helpful and considerate bedside 24hr medical assistant award… He went into complete selfless service mode, bless! He even went as far as setting an alarm for 4am every morning to be sure I would get up and take my antibiotics! I am slowly learning and realising Dad does not think any less of my abilities or anyone else’s for that matter, he just genuinely wants to help people he cares about. He can also selflessly put his personal needs aside to do everything he can to be of assistance to others in need! The surfing accident was a poignant experience, and sure cloud with a silver lining, as it catalysed a stronger connection, understanding and appreciation between Dad and me. It was not exactly how I envisaged this process unravelling, but hey, it so rarely is! My Dad is a natural teacher, leader, imparter of information, and I now realise for many years I resisted his well-meaning offerings, unable to fully appreciate and encourage his strengths. Instead, I was allowing his strengths to reaffirm my own limiting beliefs, which made me feel insecure and incompetent. These feelings have previously fuelled my sub-conscious striving to prove myself, my worthiness and my strength in various ways to my dad.”
Time in nature has always helped me process difficult emotions and situations with greater ease and clarity. This change of scenery can breathe fresh life, ideas, and perspectives into our being.
As I am now learning a few years later, the limiting belief systems we carry with us were formed in childhood during our egocentric stage (~2- 7yrs old). This is where we can only see situations through our own eyes, we make everything about us, and personalise people’s reactions around us – as an example, we attribute our caregiver lashing out after a long day at work to something we have done. We then form beliefs such as ‘I am not worthy’, ‘I am not loveable’, ‘I am not good enough’, ‘I should be more like …’, and so on. No doubt these are sounding like familiar inner dialogues to most of you, as we all carry inner child wounds and conditioning to various degrees. Empathy of course develops with time (~age 7 onwards) however, our egocentric conditioned beliefs and reactions remain and can surface when we are triggered by a person, comment or if our emotional resources are low. So, our challenge now as a fully functional adult is to become aware of our conditioned habits, coping mechanisms, and limiting beliefs systems. Acknowledging they once served us, then removing our attention from them, and compassionately reframing the dialogue. This process of re-parenting ourselves is important to generate a foundation of peace, love, and compassion from within, as what we put out into this world is what will be reflected to us and passed onto the generations that follow!
A little reminder we are not responsible for the events that happened to us as children, but now as adults we are responsible for who we are becoming.
I am so grateful for this transformative time to fully see my dad in the present moment as the man who he is today, not who he was coloured by past thoughts, interactions, or experiences. I am so grateful to have access to this heart-warming acknowledgement and acceptance of his full human magnificence. I am so grateful for this silver lined cloud that established a newfound appreciation for each other, smoothing out the rocky road of misunderstandings that had settled in over the years before. I am so grateful for you Papa <3
Thank you, Dad, for the ultimate gift of life, and all the learnings and lessons you continue to impart.
I share this story to ignite a spark of inquiry into your own relationships with poignant people in your life. Understanding that we can all be blinded by past hurts or misconceptions, yet essentially seek the freedom offered through forgiveness. This does not mean we need to welcome everyone back into our lives to forgive them. Rather forgiveness is something offered from within yourself, to release the weight that comes from heavy feelings of resentment, ill will, anger and so on. Try considering someone who is most troubling or triggering for you and reflect on the following questions:
Through what lens or filter do I experience this person?
Are these perceptions coloured by past experiences or the present moment?
What belief systems did I form in childhood and am now triggered by?
Is there space to compassionately forgive myself and this person?
How can I breathe more curiosity and acceptance into these interactions?
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