Monday, September 12, 2016
Last summer the sky fell in. I was the perfect embodiment of Chicken Little and the proverbial acorn that hit my head was so hard that I was convinced of it. Panic ensued and fear ruled. I did a lot of praying and running. There were no Henny Pennys or Turkey Lurkeys around, though, to run with me. I guess I wasn't as good at telling my stories as was Chicken Little. Besides, I hate doing embarrassing things like tell someone or get help or cry in public. So I did most of my Little Chicken-ing in private, at home, with my poor family who had to hold my hand and hand me clenexes.
Everyone told me that I was wrong about the sky falling in and that it wasn't real after all. In the end I had to walk with the brazen sky overhead and resist the urge to run. I could make myself not panic because underneath my wreckage the fundamental truths that I had been taught to trust, held. So I chose to believe what I knew to be true in my head, though my heart screamed, "Run, run run!" I suppose that was faith. Chicken heart-ed faith. But, the mountain did move over, eventually.
Afterward, there were actually a few acorns rolling around on the ground that had fallen and I was able to point them out as the pieces of sky that had bothered me. That comforted me in some ways because even though I had overrated the situations and some of it wasn't real, still, the acorns were there and they had fallen so I wasn't exactly shooting blanks, as they say.
I learned a few things through this experience of hyperthyroidism. I learned that illness can provide a bad case of me-ism. And me-ism ramps up the issues of illness on a scale of one to ten from a do-able four to a panicky nine. And that is not necessary. If I had actually gone into a thyroid storm and died, I would have simply gone to be with Jesus. So what's so bad? That kind of reasoning kept me at a more responsible four until the professionals could help me with a practical solution like radioactive iodine.
I also learned that everyone else has a piece of the sky on his head, as well. Some folks carry it around "patiently" waiting for a hero party about it. I did some of that, I think. Most sane people roll up their sleeves and tackle life's journey using the cross to build bridges and crucify self and smile. I like to think I'm learning to that better.
And I also learned that what is scary to me, is scary to me. I can discipline myself to resist running but it is still scary and I have to do what it takes to overcome. Having others tell me it wasn't scary was not helpful. So now I know that what is scary to you, is scary! for real! to you! And I must learn to help scared people in kind and comforting ways until they've passed through that part of the trail. I don't have to establish the fear, but mocking it isn't helpful. Comfort and empathy is much more productive. I think I might know more about holding hands and handing clenexes than I did before.
Now I pray that I can be alert and comforting to the other Chicken Littles I meet. It's scary how many we miss when we get to feeling too cocky locky about life.