Randall posted a quote from Henri Nouwen on Joy. Actually it is more about our choices in life that let us choose joy over bitterness and how those choices shape our lives. Not unlike choosing to live through the bitter bits of life managing the bad taste by flavouring them with a deep sense of the safety of God’s love or letting the bitterness sour all the rest of life still to be tasted.
I deal with a lot of fear. Sometimes I have a lot of fear. I think that how we choose to deal with our fear can also shape us. There are likely other emotions that one could say the same about but I have seen patients who manage their fears and those who let their fears incapacitiate them. There just are some things that arouse fear in us – heights, dentists, needles, the dark, being alone. Most of these we learn to deal with since we can’t avoid all the situations where we have to face the things that cause us to fear.
I can remember when I learned not to be afraid of lightning. I am not saying that I don’t respect lightning but I learned not to go hide in the bedroom with my head under the covers. When I had children that needed a strong person there when they cried at the crack of the lightning, it was time for me to leave that fear behind. I guess we could have all run and hid under the bed together. But you can see how choices change us and those around us too. Now, my children have learned a great respect for lightning but they also enjoy watching the storm.
So, I am having a bit of surgery on Thursday. And as I wait for the approaching day, I realize that I am a bit afraid. There are always the unknowns and because they are unknown, they are easily blown up in my mind to become something to fear. Local anesthetic is the safest but in some sense i would like to be asleep – just wake up and it would be done. Since this is something I need but also something I chose to have corrected, I guess I had also better choose not to fear it. I’m not sure how successful I will be at that.
This fear kind of sits on my chest. It is a bit weird, letting it sit there, experiencing it, feeling it but choosing not to let it incapacitate me.
I feel it just the same.
Just as one really does taste the bitterness of life at times.
It is real. It is no fun. But what we do with it makes a huge difference.