OF PAIN - article by Alistair Plint,
exerpt from "Getting the ball through the post - making life
lovable" - unreleased as at December 2005
Ali and I bumped into eachother
the other night at a function and did some serious catching up and
chin wagging. One of the things that came up (doesn't it always??)
was how I was coping with a new leg, an old leg, pain, yada yada
yada. He said "you know Ally, your phantom pain taught me a
serious life lesson". Huh? I had to know more. So he sent me
this article he had written, and kindly gave me permission to post
it here. It belongs to him in its entirety - if you want to know
About Alistair Plint...
2001 Alistair Plint registered “The Comedy Shop” and
the past four years have been dedicated to the production of stand
up comedy shows. The shows have received, rave reviews and have
performed on stages around South Africa. Perhaps the most well known
and recent shows have been, “Stand Up for Sundays" at
The Liberty Life theatre on the Square in Sandton, “A load
of Bull” at The Bull Review Bar in Alberton, “Funny
Wednesday, with Wackhead” at Riviera on The Vaal and “5
Funny Guys” at The Sound stage in Midrand.
has been involved in the entertainment industry in one way or another
for the last 17 years. He is a well known and loved comedian and
Phantom of the Pain…
I recently had an
opportunity to reflect upon things I had learnt through personal
experience. Often we as survivors of society, explorers of intelligence
and developers of the financial security of South Africa forget
that how we got here was through our personal experiences and our
abilities to apply our natural knowledge…
I carefully use
the words “Natural Knowledge” because I believe that
we all live and breathe by our ability to apply what we have learnt
over time. The better we are at applying our techniques, the better
our life works, and the more successful the standard of living the
universe will allow us to receive.
This has proved
very useful to me. I have managed to accept life tools that other
people have taught me, and in most cases without their knowledge
of the training they have passed on to me. Furthermore, in many
cases the people that I have “stolen” education from
were trying to teach me something far more frivolous at the time.
During my reflection
on these lessons, I realised that among these lessons is one so
valuable that it needed documenting and meditation to consider the
implications of accepting the training. I was taught this particular
lesson from a place so unlikely that it would make most people lift
their noses and reply with “what utter nonsense”. I
would understand your need to do that. However I would recommend
that you read the lesson, because you see, the lesson has made my
life easier and a lot more fun to live. In fact it is directly responsible
for dynamic changes in my career, financial and love life.
It all started during
a relationship, a relationship I hold very dear to my heart. I met
a woman who was fun! Who sparkled in every way that intrigued me.
She is a multi talented being with a divine voice and an uncanny
ability to do solid and profitable business in a cut throat industry.
The company she represents by the way, has one employee, HER - She
did everything herself. So to my embarrassment - I need three people
to do her job. I’ll never forget the first time I found out
she owned and rode a horse; I was flabbergasted, only because my
friend is an amputee. That’s right; she does this stuff with
one real leg and a prosthetic leg in place of the other. So lesson
number one “What do you mean you can’t?”
That lesson turned out to be the smaller lesson I would learn.
One evening my friend's
face changed to a face of absolute pain and suffering. I remember
my emotions going mad, I didn’t know what to do, and in short
I panicked. I had a heart of fear, I am unable to tell you what
I did, or the reaction I chose to express during this time because
I was so scared, that I don’t actually remember my reactions.
It didn’t last long though. After all this was over and everything
settled down, I asked what all this was about. She told me it was
called “phantom pain”. In short, this is a pain in the
area of the leg that is no longer there. The nerve endings react
and pain ambushes the leg in a non existent place.
I realised that the only realistic way to deal with this unexpected
event would be to calm myself to mediocre panic and then to pass
the calming effect on to my friend. Breath, relax and calm down,
“look, there’s nothing anyone is going to do about this
After a couple of
months, I had become a master of the calming process; I became more
relaxed than a sleeping cat. Before I knew it, I didn’t panic.
I wasn’t even remotely scared anymore. One day, out of the
blue and unexpected, she had a panic attack! (This was unrelated
to the pain.) But guess what, I calmed down; sat with her, spoke
to her and it left at the same speed it arrived.
A year, later I
was trying to negotiate a rather large business arrangement and
it was not going well at all, in fact, quite the opposite. Everything
that could go wrong did. I sat at my desk, and whilst listening
to five people telling me what was wrong at the same time, my mind
started to relax. I breathed, relaxed, calmed down and said, “There’s
nothing, anyone is going to do about this right now.” Two
months later I closed the file on the negotiation and in a very
relaxed manner wrote “PAID IN FULL”-We did it! across
the front of my file.
There was the important
lesson, Calm down, Breathe, Relax; and achieve something
- 'cause you can!
Thanks for sharing Ali! (((hugs)))