A number of years ago, I gave a few treatments to a client in unusual circumstances. He had cancer, and his family was hoping that the reiki treatments would help him deal with the effects of the treatment and that he would feel better. What was unusual was that they all wanted to be in the treatment room at the same time. I’m not sure why exactly. Perhaps to make sure he was safe and comfortable, and to support him. It was maybe to act as translators if necessary, as he didn’t speak much English. But they all sat together on the sofa in the reiki room, a mother, a brother, a wife and an adorable child, and they were all perfectly quiet during the treatment. As I usually only have a client in the room with me, or very occasionally a partner or family member, to have so many people in the small room was strange.
I think for the third treatment, the brother had sent an enquiry about a date and time and I thought had confirmed it, so I put it in my calendar. It was before my practice really took off, because of my Google listing and the online booking system (Bookwell, and now Fresha), and before I was giving treatments pretty much every day, as I do now. I’d had a few occasions of clients not showing up and it did, honestly, make me angry, that I had blocked off my time for them to come, that I’d prepared the room for the treatment, and probably made tea for them. And that they didn’t call in advance to cancel or rebook. And because I didn’t have many clients then, it felt more significant than it was.
So when the family didn’t show up, I was annoyed. Not as angry as the first no-shows, but I still wanted to make a point. I texted the brother and asked if they were coming, and he said no. So, I sent a text that said ‘If you can’t come to a treatment, you really need to let the person know beforehand’. His response was immediate, and he said something like ‘Why are you being so angry? I don’t have time for this.’
I’m ashamed to say that I continued the argument, saying that I wasn’t angry, I was just making a point. It got worse with each text exchanged and I ended up saying that his brother could come for treatments still but I’d prefer that he not come along. I never saw any of them again.
I’m ashamed of my behaviour. It’s not a big thing for someone to miss a treatment. These days, I can just brush it aside and see it as an opportunity to use the time in another way. And who knows what stress and pain the brother was going through, worrying about his brother with a serious form of cancer?
By sharing this story, I want to say that we can always, on a daily basis, do better, be better, and be compassionate and kind. Just because I do healing on others doesn’t mean that I don’t need healing myself.
It actually wasn’t until a few years later that I realised I was even more wrong in the situation than I’d thought. That emoji above: for some reason, I thought it meant ‘yes’ until it finally dawned on me that the praying hands or folded hands emoji, as it is known, is a depiction of the Japanese gesture for saying ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and is most often used as thanks. So, the brother was not confirming the appointment. He was simply thanking me for letting him know that the time he mentioned was available.
So, some big lessons for me, which are the same as the reiki precepts:
Be kind and compassionate to yourself and others
Do not anger
And I would also add: Know your emojis.