by Frank Tybislawski, Brisbane, Australia
A NEW EXPERIENCE
Recently my wife and I visited Vietnam to attend a Universal Medicine Retreat and also to explore the country a little. The first location we stayed was Hanoi in the northern part of the country. We made a few trips from our hotel into the main center of town to experience the Vietnamese shopping culture, and of course noticed the chaotic (by our standards) road traffic. Most roads are filled with bicycles, motorcycles, cars, taxis, buses and trucks, with the bicycles and motorcycles making up the majority. There was also a lot of horn beeping, not as an indication of aggression, but it seems more of a courtesy to say ‘beware, I am passing beside you’.
On our last day in Hanoi our hotel booked a taxi to convey us to the airport. About halfway to the airport we were looking out the window from the back seat of the taxi as we crossed over a large bridge. The next moment I heard a loud crashing sound followed instantly by a sudden jolt across my lap, shoulder, and through my neck. After a moment or two I looked forward and realised the taxi had been in a car accident.
A quick check revealed that we had no major injuries, the taxi driver was ok, and the front of the taxi had the bonnet bent up. Now, I should stress that this was not a high speed collision. I do recall the traffic on the main road to the airport was heavy, and had slowed slightly for some reason. I don’t know how fast we were travelling but it must have been less than 40kph, perhaps about 30kph or even less. I saw that I had a graze to the shoulder and waist from the seatbelt, otherwise there was nothing visible, but I felt generally sore and shocked from the sudden jolt. My wife was in a similar condition, but with the addition of a bruised knee. The taxi could not continue; after the taxi driver checked on our well-being, he flagged down another taxi to continue our journey to the airport.
REALISING HOW FRAGILE THE MALE BODY ACTUALLY IS
Thankfully this whole event had no serious physical outcomes, but it did give me much time to ponder on the accident. I decided to take it easy for a few days, with plenty of rest to allow my body to heal, and was greatly supported during this healing process by my Universal Medicine practitioner. Even though I knew my injuries were minor with just some bruising and aching muscles being the result of what I call a ‘slow speed car accident’, the physical discomfort I experienced was not something I felt to brush off. I realised there and then just how fragile the human body is… just how fragile my body is. Any faint image I had of men being tough and able to withstand physical punishment and pain were now surely gone.
STRENGTH IN FRAGILITY
The world presents to us that men should be strong, not show pain, not show fear, not show emotion, but that is just a false façade I and many others have created to fit in with everybody else. I cannot understand how or why anybody would intentionally do something to their body that negatively affects it, or has a significant potential to affect it physically.
With my clarity of just how fragile the human body is also came a great sense that it is therefore absolutely necessary to take care of my body, and to not subject it to anything which can damage it. Even if I think my body will be able to repair the damage, I don’t want to damage it in the first place.
I have a new found recognition of the fragility of my body and therefore a new found respect for my body. With that respect comes a stronger desire to be more nurturing and supportive of my body. That concept isn’t new to me and it is exactly what I have discovered when working with Universal Medicine and its practitioners over the last few years. They have helped me discover the need for respect and self-care for my body, and also the awareness to feel and take note of what is going on within my body.
While I have already been experiencing that with my sleep patterns, food and diet, it now extends more to other aspects I sometimes overlooked:
- Care of my skin by using protective clothing and by looking after my skin with quality products which both clean and nurture it.
- Care of my muscles by not over-exerting them and honouring when they feel tired by stopping and resting.
- Careful choices of clothing to ensure I’m not subjected to cold or wet conditions at any point during the day.
- Careful choices in what I’m doing and how I’m doing it to ensure there are no physical implications, long term or short term.
Although it was unfortunate to be involved in that car accident, the end result is that I have a much higher regard for my body, its fragility and tenderness. I have gained a strengthened desire to care for and nurture myself in every way possible, which is a beautiful result from an initially bad situation.
Inspiration can come in the most unexpected ways.