The 3 Things I Learned After Being Arrested
I was arrested by the Czech Foreign Police in August and given 30 days to leave the EU for 1 year. It’s now December and I’m still here. I’m awaiting decision on my second appeal, this time to the court system. My first appeal was filed within the allotted five days after the arrest. Though filed by a private attorney, the appeal was to the same police who decreed me to leave in the first place. Not surprisingly they said no a second time. My attorney says the court system has up to 60 days to decide upon this second appeal which was submitted 22 October. So I expect an answer somewhere just before Christmas.
I knew at the time of my arrest, though completely distraught and freaked out, that the directive – my sentence so to speak – for me to leave was overly harsh. I fully accept responsibility for the misstep that caused me to let my visa lapse for eight months. But having me leave is not the answer. I try not to let my fearful ego get in the way here, because there is nowhere else in the world at this point I can imagine living. Many of my fellow American expats that reside here agree that moving back stateside just doesn’t seem like an option these days. I need to be open to the best possible opportunity in this odd twist in my journey. But my flat is flowing into a really cool place to be (all the feathers I’ve accumulated for my nest since starting with a mattress on the floor have literally cost me nothing), and my cat and I have deepened our relationship to serious snuggle time (I adopted her 9 months ago at 6yo and it’s been a warming process) – testaments I believe for my continued abiding here.
So in the continuing campaign to stay positive, I’ve become pointedly aware of 3 life basics brought to me, so simple and yet the 3 things I learned after being arrested:
1) Do Not Take Life for Granted
I’ve mentioned this in my past two posts about getting arrested and the follow-up. I believe that this whole situation was and still is a huge cosmic kick in the butt! I was spinning my wheels in the States before the idea of moving to Prague was presented to me. It was an out-of-the-blue prospect that proved to be an amazing answer to my situation. But after arriving and then after the honeymoon glow faded, I became complacent…again. I fell into complacency a couple years ago and even wrote about it. But I obviously didn’t quite get it then, so I got cosmically bitch-slapped even harder. (Not that I’m a bitch, nor the Universe – it just sounds like how it felt to me.) I’m prone to depression all my life anyway – in the US I was on up to seven pills a day of two different prescriptions before weaning myself off, not wanting to be dependent on such things when I moved abroad. But that means I have to be diligent, remembering to take my mental temperature from time to time and do what needs to be done to waylay the sad wolves at the door.
I didn’t do that. I got lazy and took my sweet European life for granted. I’m lucky that the Universe didn’t kick me harder. I could have had a major health issue or even landed literally in the street somehow. Life is incredibly odd and amazing. Anything can happen. But I think I’m here for some positive reason yet and I need to keep moving towards that each day after I open my eyes.
2) Be Grateful for Everything
Yes, I’m grateful for being arrested. I’m thankful for the whole situation in my morning meditations. I pray for Officer T, the hot corrupt cop who processed my arrest. Getting arrested was one of the most disturbing and shocking life events I had experienced to date. I’ve learned that the way to face the most fearful things in life is to embrace them. Love vs. Fear. If something is not one, it is the other. And Fear is a familiar phantom of my mind. I’ve done meditations where I think of the thing I fear the most, allow myself to fully experience the emotion, then love and appreciate it, like giving it a mind hug I guess. I think it’s wrong to push fearful things away. It’s a human balance inside like the yin and yang of life. My fear is just as much a part of me as my compassion and sense of humor. It’s just a sad faulty part that I embrace until it melts. I’m grateful for my fears because they teach me that I can overcome them.
3) The Positivity Posse Works
When I wrote my initial post about this, I named and summoned the Positivity Posse. I wanted to gather like-minded people to simply think the same as I do – that I will stay in Prague. It seems more articles are out every week about the power of positive thinking – how positive thought can reflect in water crystals and cause plants to thrive, studies about affecting physical health with thought. I had a lush outpouring of support from friends and acquaintances around the world (thank you internet) who joined the Positivity Posse. Even my attorney has read these posts and is part of the Posse (so thankful for her and her services). I had some people come to me privately and ask for positivity for personal issues they were facing, which I was happy help with, remembering them specifically even now in my morning meditations. It’s something that makes us feel good, thinking loving thoughts towards another. Positivity begets positivity.
But now it’s been almost four months since I was initially told to leave the EU. That’s something substantial. My attorney is handling the case of another non-European woman who had received the same decree and left the EU during the appeal process. Her visa had been illegal for five years. And she is now being allowed to return after only six months away. I accept that positivity. And I need to let the Positivity Posse know that my journey thus far is irrevocable proof the the Power of Positive Thinking – The Positivity Posse – works!
A musician friend I met a couple months ago when he was playing in town wrote me recently that they’re coming back to play in March and what a victory it will be when I’m still here. Indeed my friends, indeed.
I love you all. I am so grateful. When this is dusted, I wonder what our next mission will entail?