Sitting in this cushy lounge chair I glance at the gentleman next to me. He is trying to pretend he doesn’t notice me, so I quickly look away so he is not uncomfortable. Or maybe so I am not uncomfortable; either way I look away. I look at my arm instead, which is connected to a needle that is connected to a hose that is connected to a bag suspended from the ceiling. Same as the man next to me. Though I believe his bag might have different stuff in it cause his stuff is a different color than my stuff. As I wonder what his stuff is, another woman is escorted into the room and her bag is hooked into the ceiling. Her stuff is a different color than mine and the gentleman next to me. Wonder what her stuff is? I contemplate everyone’s stuff as I flush hot all over and my face feels like it is suddenly burning and compressing at the same time. My body tingles too now- but not in a good way. In a way that says- hey, I am here mutherf&*#* and doesn’t this hurt like hell? This must be that unpronounceable stuff in my bag the nurse warned me about. That is supposed to be good for my kidneys and liver but right now feels like my entire body is going to combust into flames while my head is compressed into a tampon sling. It is a f’ing good thing she warned me cause other wise I would be rushing around the room ripping needles out of everyone’s arms screaming at them to run because ‘they are pumping us full of gasoline!’. It passes. Finally. It was the longest 2 minutes of my life. Thirty-five more minutes later I am done as a smiling nurse removes all my stuff and tubes and I walk out into the bright Orange County sunshine.
I used to wonder why we had to have bad ‘times’ or challenges, or sickness, or even death in our lives. Why should that happen? What is the point? Why can’t we live a life that is damn near perfect with rainbows coming out of our arses all day long? I believe I have found two reasons;
- We only grow during trying or challenging times. It is easy to be complacent, have a fixed mindset and bored to freaking tears when life has no obstacles or issues. There is no test to our character. There is no strength built after we conquered something fearful or painful. There is just a slow ticking toward our own death. This isn’t to say I wish pain, death or sorrow on us. I don’t wish that for you, or me. But I have developed an appreciation for challenges, for pain, for sorrow. A shift in perception. An ability to process and surrender and then observe what I have learned and how I have grown.
- We can’t fully appreciate the good, amazing things in life, without experiencing the difficult. We become numb, immune and oblivious to our surroundings and blessings. For instance my home; I live on a gorgeous lake in Southern California. I can walk to my own dock and launch my paddle board anytime I want. I dreamed of this house, this location and the excitement was palpable when I moved here. Now, I drive around as if I have blinders on and take for granted that I can jump on our boat, right damn now, if I wanted to.
About an hour or so after leaving the clinic in Orange County, after my body was no longer being pumped with gasoline (it wasn’t, I don’t think) my brain fired up. My body came alive. My cells started dancing. I was feeling A-MAZING. A kind of amazing that makes you believe you could run a triathlon right that minute (cause the first catastrophe triathlon needs to be avenged you know). Yet, here is the thing, truthfully, I can only truly appreciate the amazing way I was feeling because of the way I previously felt. Tired. Drained. Dull.
There is a ying to all yang’s. This is also not to say, that we have to stay in the draining, painful, dull spaces. At all. As a matter of fact, I spend very little time there. But I am not angry in these spaces. Or frustrated. Or sad (much). I am grateful, appreciative and acknowledging of the growth, the beauty on the other side of the yang. Take the time to thank those challenging spaces. To look for the other side. To seek the growth, the lesson. Appreciate. Find gratitude. By incorporating this perspective you allow yourself to experience more peace in difficult times, more love in painful times, more strength in fearful times.
Here’s to gasoline in our veins!