I saw a frightening photo this morning that made me reflect. It was of a woman bravely crossing a suspension bridge. You can see it here. It made me feel queasy and my legs felt weak, just looking at it. I would not be crossing a bridge like that unless I absolutely had to. I’m not confident in my physical ability and although I’m strong and healthy I shy away from anything that challenges me. I was always the last one picked for any team in Gym Class. Everyone knew if a ball came my way I would duck or run away.
The photo was a metaphor for crossing bridges in life. The caption read, “Because we all need to cross them once in a while”. I have crossed the hardest bridge a person can cross, according to some people. I lost a child. I’ve overcome grief, heartache, loss, anger, and other emotions. I didn’t fall apart. I’ve used my loss to inspire others. I’ve written a book. I work. I’m very confident in crossing the bridges I encounter in life.
When you live through such a devastating experience, you never really move on, like you might from a broken relationship. You live on. You learn to live happily and joyfully because that’s what your loved one would want. None of this makes me tremble in fear like crossing a real, shaky, shifting, high suspension bridge would.
I often think I should challenge myself more in facing other fears. I’m height phobic especially if I can see the ground below, like that bridge or stairs you can see through. I’ve climbed up many times, only to have to sit down while bumping down them once I get too high and remember how terrified I am. I don’t like being in a boat if I can’t see the shore. Cruises never sound fun to me. I get sea sick too so that would be a horrible holiday. I used to think sky diving would be wonderful but you’d have to shove me out of the plane now, even if it was going to crash. Hot air balloons? Nope! Zip lining? Nope! Skiing? Definitely not! I hate the cold too! I think I need to be more brave.
What fears have you overcome?