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Blog #11: Is it an R or a V?

I have always been an optimistic person and not only after following a personal development traject. Actually, I am seldom grumpy and I always try to see the positive side of everything. But to be honest, I had a very hard time until a few days ago because I just couldn’t be positive anymore. I spoke to many people in the Netherlands and my brother in Peru and everything they told me about what happed in their countries touched me deeply.

Do you know the book ‘The Magic’ by Rhonda Byrne? This book brings back the magic in your life that impressed you as a child. It teaches you what brings magic by age-old secret lessons, revelations and scientific laws. For twenty-eight days you do exercises, especially in gratitude, to reach a level of happiness that you never thought would be possible. I absolutely recommend this book and after twenty-eight days Peter and I have not stopped with the exercises. We practice them daily. I still mention at least ten things I am grateful for every day. That is normally not a problem. But a few days ago I just couldn’t get it done. I was only thinking about the coronavirus and the people who are sick and even die, live in isolation, children who do not go to school while this is a fundamental right, all our bookings of our chalets have been canceled for the coming months, the tourism industry is not functioning here anymore which means that we can not give training and beside that Peter was in the Netherlands and could get infected and take the virus home… Pfff my energy became very low thinking about this and trying to empathize with the whole world.

I told Peter I couldn’t manage to be thankful anymore. His response was: “Could it be possible to be thankful for the virus too?”. Uhhhh yes maybe. And I succeeded, I managed to be thankful for ten things because of the virus….

Thank you, thank you, thank you coronavirus for / because:

  1. the togetherness that arises
  2. the smog that disappears and people can see stars and blue sky again
  3. so many lovely messages we get from so many people asking if everything is going well with us
  4. the almost daily calling with my brother and the care we have for each other
  5. being able to be in self-quarantine in one of the most beautiful places in the world at our Phazama Farm.
  6. the fact that Peter and I are both healthy and have no symptoms of contamination
  7. I feel much calmer
  8. I have time every day for a long walk of gratitude with the dogs
  9. there are no known cases in Botswana
  10. that we even get new bookings for our cottages later this year

And really, I can go on for a while because I have been doing this for a few days now. I can tell you that despite everything, I feel super fine and that it proves again, no matter how difficult it is… and yes I may have an easy talk, it is a choice how to deal with shitty things. I always think of my dear friend Gerdien, when I was worried about something. She asked me, “What letter is on your forehead, an R or a V?” Uhhh what, an R or a V? “Yes, she said, you can always choose whether to write the V of victim or the R of responsible person imaginary on your forehead.” So now I have chosen the R again! And you? What choice do you make today? Which letter do you write on your forehead?

If you want to read more about making choices, I recommend the book “The Choice” by Edith Eve Eger. She always chose for live during the horrors she encountered in the concentration camp….