There are times when confrontation of something frightening is the only option.
Lists could be drawn up from here to moon filled with things that make me anxious, afraid, nervous, or uncomfortable. Real things that have a serious impact on my life. Don't be surprised, many of the things on my lists are probably on yours and Jim-Bob's, over there.
Fear of rejection. Fear of physical, emotional, social, or spiritual pain. Fear of being alone. Fear of hurting someone else physically, emotionally, socially, or spiritually. Fear of nasty spiders. Fear of losing a friend. Fear of not quite meeting the potential of which I ought to be capable. Fear of the unknown.
I've done several things in the last 48 hours that have scared me.
Like, a lot.
And you know what?
I'm still alive.
In fact, I'm more alive now than I was 48 hours ago. This is because in chipping away at some of my deepest set fears, a little bit of Light has been let in and I can see why these things terrify. I can also see the beauty behind the fear. Respect replaces trepidation.
Just a little.
The best part is: everything turned out better than could be imagined. New avenues for growth and understanding have been opened.
Just a little.
While my lists of aversions is still quite lengthy and detailed -- because that's the sort of person I am -- it may be that I am learning to have a sort of courage about accepting that they exist and probably always will.
There are some things that I never want to be complacent over.
Working in a plasma center provides a seemingly endless stream of interesting people and opportunities for things to mess up or otherwise go wrong.
On Saturday it felt as though we were on the downswing of Murphy's Law: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
I was involved in a particularly hairy operation that left me doubting my capabilities just a tad.
Moving on to the next person, trying to clear my head a little, my genial greeting was met with a startlingly negative response. The gentleman in the bed physically recoiled from me and declared in no uncertian terms that I was not to touch him. Backing off immediately, I found the next person on the list and continued with my duties. However, this affected me quite deeply and I had a difficult time even looking in the region of that particular donor.
It just so happened that I was the only unoccupied phlebotomist available when that man needed to be disconnected. I moved slowly, trying to will someone else to respond before me, but to no avail. My number was up. I sighed and walked over to the bed with great trepidation, sure that this man hated me forever and always.
Timidly, I inquired whether it would alright for me to do the procedure.
I wasn't exactly pleased when he told me it would ok. Five whole minutes with the guy didn't really seem like a reward. A negative resonse, like his first, would probably have been more welcome, in fact.
As I began diconnecting the man from his plasma machine, he elaborated on his initial response to me. He had just suffered through two terrible infiltrations and painful bruises the previous week. There was no way he wanted a newbie like me taking a stab at it. Literally. He went on to share several stories from his life, even showing me a scar on his shoulder from a motorcycle accident. We parted on good terms and as he left I realized that the those five minutes were probably the most valuable of my day.
I can do hard things.