“Sorry I’m late, Miss. The budgie died.”
That’s the second best excuse I remember a student giving me when I was a high school teacher many years ago. I taught biology and general science for two years, which makes the best excuse I ever received quite interesting:
“Please excuse Mark for missing his lesson this week. He sprained his tendril.”
It was hard to keep a straight face when I read Mark’s Mum’s note, but I did. Mark hobbled a bit getting to his seat, whether for real or for show, so I’m guessing his Achilles tendon was the tendril in question.
I didn’t receive a note when another student missed classes for a few weeks because he was in court, accused of shooting his mate in the neck. Fortunately for his mate, the bullet just grazed the surface, destroying a butterfly tattoo but leaving the spinal cord and windpipe intact. The mate had wronged my student’s girlfriend in some way. “I went home and got my Dad’s gun and aimed at his heart,” my student reportedly said in court.
So much for my biology lessons then. Though no doubt my student felt his heart was very much in his throat that day.
This all came to mind when a dream client alerted me to The great Aussie sickie rort, a segment on A Current Affair (Australian television, Channel 9) this week. A sickie is Australian (Aussie) for a sick day off work, for which you sometimes need a medical certificate from a doctor stating that you are indeed sick and not fit for work that day. The segment claimed that Australians take more sick days off work than any other country in the world, and that people who are not genuinely sick – who just want a day off – often get certificates from doctors who sidestep their professional ethics in these circumstances.
The segment showed journalists fitted out with hidden cameras fronting up to a number of doctors, asking for a medical certificate for a sickie. In some cases they said they were perfectly healthy and just wanted a day off. In other cases they gave what they regarded as lame excuses. One was, “I had a bad dream last night”. (Apart from one doctor who said it was unethical and that his practice would be at risk, the others all gave certificates.)
I’m not saying that having a bad dream is a valid excuse to take a sickie the next day, although a bad dream can be extremely distressing until you understand why you had it and how this insight can help you.
Dreams, once understood, help us to see beneath the surface excuses we often rely on to save us from facing our fears or accepting life’s invitations to evolve.
What excuses do you hear yourself give, either in speaking aloud to others, or in that tiny voice at the back of your mind that says, “I can’t do that because ….”?
Make a list of your excuses – those you know about and those you notice over the next few days.
Then look to your dreams for deeper insight.
What lies beneath your excuses?
How can this deeper insight free you to move forward – with no excuses?
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