Dealing with Shame: No Excuses


"If you're doing nothing wrong, you have nothing to fear or be ashamed of."

That is a principle I've always kept close to my heart. In the last few days, there are a lot of things that have happened that just made me feel constricted and stressed out. Therefore, I was not able to control my smoking. In fact, it has gotten worst. I am back to smoking 1 pack a day and I'm not making this an excuse. I'm writing this because, I feel weak at having broken my goal.

It all started when a man tresspassed in our fenced and gated land. I have had to confront him. He was carrying a jungle bolo (a small sword), he walked about like it was his property, took a look left and right, thereaways and sideaways then that's the time he went to me to ask for some bamboo.

I was seething with anger even though I know this man, because he was not really a friend, just a neighbor. A neighbor who walked inside our fenced and gated property, without declaring his intentions first and who was carrying a bolo.

When I was face to face with him, I first took a look at the bolo, sheethed at his side. I glanced at his hands whether its movements or intentions were directed at reaching out for it. I stared at him for a whole 5 minutes, mustering up all my strength to control my anger and you know what I did?

Nothing. I said nothing and did nothing. I just stared at him so he knows that I'm angry at what he had just done. 

If this was in another place, maybe in the cities, I would have acted differently. But this was a unique place. I am surrounded by a clan with a history of violence.

I have daughters of my own. 

To top it all off, he seemed unaware of his transgression. He feels that he has done nothing wrong and it was his right to just barge in, walk about and count the things that he would like to get.

He said to me,

"Danny are you angry?"

I stared at him.

"Danny, why are you angry? I've done nothing wrong."

I let out a deep breath. 

2 minutes passed and I was still staring at him. 

He was a big man, about 40 to 50 years old, taller than me and I've heard stories about him. They said that he was the "Barako" or bull of this small town back during the times when here was still wild. That if his brothers were still alive, he would have been the "King" of this place way back when.

Finally he said,

"Danny, I am weak and old."

Something in my adrenaline infused mind, clicked. Just like that, my anger meter suddenly went down to about 10%. 

I let out a deep breath and sighed.

With a harried and annoyed tone I gave way, "Ok, ok, what do you need?"

The story ended with me hauling 8 bamboo poles to this man's house and me buying him 4 cans of corned beef. I am still angry and indignant, but I believe that I have done the right thing.

Other people would just have brought a gun to the equation. Simple solution, though it has its own demerits.

Make him feel that what he did was wrong and at the same time, send a message to the overall community that I don't mean harm.

I'm just demanding a little respect. 

Since then, there has been another instant of tresspassing. This was last week.

I know that we need to have the fence fixed. They've created holes in it.

So, what do I do after an adrenaline infused situation?

I smoked more since then.

What else could I have done to calm myself? 

Image credit: Flickr cod_gabriel

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