Examine what you fear. And know that the worse that you imagine often never really happens.
I don’t relish hospitals. Who does, in fact? Yet, they are great institutions at the service of people looking for crucial, urgent solutions at most times. And so, in a sense, are both indispensible and laudable!
I had my own brush with what, in medical terms, is a simple, out-patient procedure yesterday. An abscess in my right ankle had become very painful. It required what they call ‘Incision and Discharge’. All day I kept thinking about how painful it will be when they finally ‘nicked’ the abscess. The doctor had reassured me, the previous evening, that it would be a simple procedure and painless. Yet, when the hour dawned, I was mortally challenged. I can’t say I was scared of the procedure itself. But I guess I feared the physical pain and did not know if I would be able to handle it.
So, there I was. I lay coiled up on the hospital bed. As the nurse applied some, I presume antiseptic, solution around the abscess, I realized I was clinging on to my shirt with one hand and the railing of the hospital bed with another. I must have looked quite a sight. Then the doctor asked for my name, and he seemed to be touching and feeling the abscess. There were a few shards of intense pain that went through my body. I must have squealed “Ouch!” more than a couple of times. But I soon realized I was not howling. I was not writhing in pain. It was painful but not the unbearable type. In a few minutes it was all done. And the wound was dressed up. I opened my eyes and felt a lone tear drop.
As I sat up and listened to the doctor explain how he wanted me to look after the wound over the next few days, I could reflect on a key learning. And I share it here with you today: Much of what we imagine is, well simply, our imagination. The worse really never happens.
This is so true about Life. When we face up to Life, to situations, to people, to events, we do always find that the fear of having to face the unimaginable is what is gruesome. In reality, every situation can be faced. Each of us has been equipped with the ability__call it courage__to face Life as it happens to us. Because courage is NOT the absence of fear. It is the ability that fear delivers unto you when you face up to it.
Invariably, for almost all of us, things don’t always go to a plan. But such is Life. The dark eventualities we conjure up in our myriad ‘if and but’ situations in our mind never really pan out as bad as we have feared them. Look back at your own Life. Every horrible, fearful situation has been met by you, has been lived through and that ability to ‘face up to Life’ is what has brought you to this moment. And it will be so in future too.
So, sit back. Relax. Face Life as it is, for what it is. The worse never really happens!