When my young son Andrew developed asthma, as some children often do, he would panic every time he had an attack. As Andrew grew older, the asthma worsened. The panic attacks became very serious. The most serious was when he was in a coma in hospital on a cortisone drip when he was 17 years old. Increasingly worried about this, I took Andrew to a doctor who taught him a technique to relax and release stress very quickly.
Andrew used this when he was having an asthma attack. This technique did not cure the asthma, but as soon as he felt an asthma attack coming, it allowed Andrew to control and stop the downward spiral of panic that made his asthma attacks much worse. Andrew was then able to control his asthma attacks, only sometimes using his inhaler.
Very soon after being in a coma in hospital for asthma, Andrew was in a serious motor cycle accident where his leg was so badly broken and crushed that the doctors advised amputation. They advised this because Andrew had to be on cortisone to keep the infection down and unfortunately cortisone impedes the growth of bone marrow, thus restricting his immune system’s healing capacity.
I asked the doctor who had taught Andrew the meditation techniques for help. The doctor helped Andrew by teaching him meditation skills to control and promote healing, keep the infection down and to assist with handling pain. The doctors reduced the dose of cortisone, performed the operation and his leg was saved.
I was so impressed that I asked Andrew to teach me the mind techniques he was using. I started using the mind techniques on a daily basis and they helped me relax and lower my blood pressure. I also shed 22 kilos of weight.
I had developed the daily habit of starting early in the morning with meditation and also studied the mind.
The worse thing possible happened….
On 23 January 1987, my three daughters and their friend were all murdered in their home by an intruder. I was numb, then enraged, then filled with thoughts of hatred, vengeance and self-pity. I realised just in time that the murderous and hate-filled thoughts were beginning to destroy me.
I again turned to meditation and to my friends, who helped me to talk about the tragedy instead of bottling it up. I found meditation, positive self-talk, reading and talking helped me to learn as much as I could about the process of healing. With the mind-opening powers of meditation I learnt to help myself and in time to build the habits of acceptance, unconditional love and forgiveness, to counter the terrible self-destructive thoughts of hate, revenge, anger, resentment and regrets that had threatened to destroy my life. Eventually I was able to come to terms with the deaths of my three daughters, take responsibility for myself and support and care for my wife and other children.
I applied the techniques described in this book to overcome my own personal tragedy.