I used to wonder how people could drive so confidently in the dark. How could they tell the oncoming cars weren’t heading straight for them? How did they know when it was safe to turn in front of other cars, or switch lanes? It was years before I realized that not everyone suffered from night blindness. This condition nearly paralyzed me. I was afraid to drive myself to work on winter mornings when it was still dark and I wouldn’t drive anywhere once the sun went down. It terrified me. Sometimes, it still does, but I don’t let it control my life. I’m not afraid of it anymore. I’m just extra cautious and sometimes my heart rate is a little high.
During the darker times in my life, I think I could say I suffer from a bit of night blindness. I can’t see what’s coming at me, I see shadows around me, but I don’t know how close they really are, and I can’t tell when it’s safe to turn down any given path. I feel paralyzed and I don’t trust myself to move safely through the situation. Fear threatens to get the best of me. The dark times I’ve faced in my life up to this point – and there have been many – have taught me that it’s worth it to just keep moving. Breathe deep, focus intently, know where you want to go, and get yourself there.
Fear is a strange beast. I hate it, because it makes life really stressful and often pretty ugly. However, I appreciate and respect it because it forces me out of my comfort zone. In order to alleviate fear, you must face it, head on. If you ignore it, it will creep back up on you. Always, and without exception. Fear is a powerful tool. It creates opportunity to gain wisdom, build strength, and learn valuable lessons about ourselves.
There’s always something in my life that frightens me. Usually, as soon as I’m aware of it, I set a goal to conquer that fear and I always enjoy the journey.