My Little Brother.
This is not an easy story to tell, but I am full of love right now. Just to set the scene, a year ago, I was driving to meet with my Nanny and received a call from my Mother who was very distraught. As I managed to calm her down she proceeded to tell me that my brother had just been arrested for armed robbery.
My brother at that time was 17 years old, a talented musician and a rugby league player with a contract to play professionally. But, little did we know how lost he was, with many unknown pains and conflicts. In short, even with all his talents, he was a bomb ready to explode. He had a disagreement with my mum and I told him over the phone to go for a walk, then go home and finish the discussion. While on his walk, a group of guys he knew drove passed and asked him to go for a ride, and well, the rest is history.
The few things I knew about my brother was that he is caring, loyal and gentle and therefore confusion hit me very hard. As I was driving down to the courthouse in Hamilton, I was full of anger and all I could feel was violence. To add to that was a failure as a brother! As I pull up to the courthouse, my sister, who was always happy, was obviously very upset which further upset me. Soon after, my brother got released and all I could feel once I saw him was love and sadness.
We then went home to our Grandfather’s house and proceeded in a very Māori way. As Māori, we sit down as a Whānau (family, extended family and friends), and he proceeds to tell the full story of what happened. Having lawyers in the family, they are all there via Skype or phone. They proceed to tell us the blatant truth. Regardless of his age he was looking at a minimum 2 years of prison time, which at the time, I was all for. But then I looked at my brother and felt so much sadness. I could see his regret. He just kept saying that he wanted to go and apologise to the person. He said “As it was happening I went into shock, I couldn’t believe what I was doing”, and so he walked out.
I then thought that there are many things going on with my brother including his outlook. I then told him, you need to face the consequences of what you have done, but it doesn’t have to be in a negative way. If you go into prison that is because you have a debt to pay, if you don’t go, you still have a debt to pay to the person, his family and to all of us. So, I am going to start you on learning The Secret, but you have to trust me. He then agreed with me and we started. Along with learning The Secret there was also counselling and meditation. I told my whole family that we all have to do this together because our outlook on life is always quite negative so we will do this as a family.
I taught them how to practice gratitude, my mum taught us how to meditate and we spoke every night. My brother purchased The Secret video and watched it every day. And every day he heard something different that resonated with him. Also, we managed to deal with the many issues that were plaguing my brother and there were many, but I could feel his intensity easing with passing time. Although the situation had been very sad, it was the most amazing thing to witness a person’s outlook change right in front of you.
Our outlook as a family changed completely, we were quite the positive bunch! The last court hearing was 6 months later. My brother was unable to meet the victim, but wrote him a letter. He received a letter of forgiveness from the victim which made him smile. We were all prepared for whatever would happen but everything fell into place in an unbelievable way. The lawyer he was given through Legal Aid, was the lawyer we were originally going to pay for. The Judge we had was not a fan of sending young, first time offenders to prison, especially when she realised that the whole courtroom was filled with our supportive family. He was the only one who stuck to the rules and accepted everything that was offered which pleased the judge.
It was very surreal, we are in a room and my brothers future was in the hands of one person who we had not met. As she was speaking, I started crying uncontrollably as was my sister. I couldn’t see mum but could see my grandfather who gave me a very confident look, which then made me just say thank you. I could see my brother mouthing thank you also. The Judge’s voice then came through and said “Mr Te Wiata, I am not prepared to send you away to prison but this will be your one and only chance”. Everyone together let out a huge sigh of relief. He received 11 months home detention but was able to keep up with his course he had joined.
My brother started a Barbers course, which he completes in two weeks time on my birthday. For the last 6 weeks he has been working which is still restricted to his hours for home detention. He is a completely changed person and one who is positive and feels like he has direction. He is also very aware of how fortunate he is, which for me was so important.
The change in my brother’s life before and after sentencing is nothing short of amazing and I think he is actually experiencing who he is in a positive light. My family is also experiencing this positivity and gratitude. I am so thankful to my darling who introduced The Secret into my life and that I was able to teach my Whānau about the teachings I have learned so far. Our relationships have strengthened so much which is more than any of us can ask for!
Again I have so much still to learn but I want give thanks to Rhonda Byrne for sharing these teachings and helping me realise more of my potential and that has gone on to my brother! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!