‘Wankeros maxemosis’ is a common condition in Australia
Gratitude and grace are the opposites of ‘wankeros maxemosis.’
And to be in grace, I don’t need to be touched on the forehead by God, or sit in a church listening to a young, Christian rock band.
I don’t need to be standing in a circle with flowers in my hair, holding hands and chanting meaningless mantras that would bore the most ardent Buddhist.
And please, if that works for you, all power to you.
Truly, I’m not having a go….
You are merely more patient than I am, or more easily led (wink and a grimace).
When I find grace, it’s usually because I am being a wanker and I need to reach out to someone with more humility than I have at that exact point in time.
Now, for me, the onset of ‘wankeros maxemosis’ begins when I am doing well and I start believing the propaganda of success.
It may commence with me looking in the mirror and thinking ‘Wow, I’m a really humble guy’ and then quietly escalate to ‘I should be getting more positive feedback from family and workmates’ and finally end with ‘Don’t people know how important and effective I am!?’
As the self grandiosity grows, I become critical of loved ones. Start assessing others and their actions. Predicting outcomes if people don’t change. I become a seer and a cleric.
In other words, I morph into ‘wankeros maxemosis,’ which is Latin for a pejorative term of English origin common in Australia, Ireland and New Zealand, describing a contemptible person (used as a generalized term of abuse).
‘Wankeros maxemosis’ is a common condition and affects both male and female of the species. It can be seen occurring across Sydney but more common in the trendy suburbs of Bondi, Paddington, Mosman and Cremorne.
Individuals suffering the ailment can be heard saying;
‘The renovation is killing me’
‘Where do your children go to school?’
‘For his wife’s sake he should sell that Toyota!’
People in the grips of the ailment need to be avoided at all costs as it is highly contagious.
I slip into it on a regular basis and a luke warm piccolo served by my scarf clad barrista can often be a trigger.
Once caught, people have the illness for life so it must be treated on a daily basis.
Unfortunately for me, treatment is received as a spiritual baseball bat to the back of the head.
I call this spiritual cranium concussion ‘grace.’
Now, this is how grace works for me;
After a few days of wallowing in self importance and feeling sorry for myself, I will wake up in my bed at around three am in the morning full of self inflicted fear and anxiety.
My gut will be twisted in a knot of worry and my mind will be jumping into the regret and loss of the past.
I will be so full of self loathing the nerves in my feet will be jumping and jangling.
It becomes unbearable.
I will be forced to seek a remedy, and when you are alone in the dark, lying in a bed of sweat, the only remedy is honest, self reflection.
And if I have the sense to force myself into meditation, I will finally experience some peace and my God eventually will say to me;
‘All will be well my son.’
And I will let my self fall into a sea of silence and serenity, and I will go to the silence between the stimulus and behaviour, and there my God will show me an easier, softer way.
It doesn’t need a church, or a religion, or a holy man, or a chant.
All I need is to accept reality and I find gratitude in the silence.
And with that gratitude I will have the grace to get off my self and go out into the world and listen to others.
And when I listen to others, I open my arms and my heart and I find community.
And when I find community, I embrace humility.
And humility allows me to see through a person’s eyes and see their wrinkles and their flaws and their vulnerability.
I see the person behind their eyes and the frame of their face, and see my mortality.
And finally, I find love.
One day, one life.
And my God gives me grace.
And I listen to the greatest examples of gratitude under fire.
Gratitude when life is unfair.
Gratitude when you have been served up a big shit sandwich.
Gratitude from women and men of courage, bravery and plain old Aussie grit.
These heroes of mine will sit in front of me, vulnerable and emotionally honest, and talk about rejection and humiliation.
Gratitude, when they are sorely tested and knocked to the ground.
Gratitude when they want to give in and they are knocked down again.
When they are on their knees, ready to submit, and life kicks them in the guts.
Again and again.
But they get up!!
Human examples of finding gratitude when most people would be broken.
Finding solace in a new day, when a new day is the last thing they want to face.
And at last, I see how petty and petulant I am.
I realize I am whining about first world problems.
And I smile at my luke warm piccolo and enjoy it for what it delivers.
And I thank God I live by the ocean in a beautiful city, where the sun shines and the waves roll and the sand caresses my feet.
And I seek out my loved ones and tell them ‘I love you’ and all is well.
Just for today.