Recently, I saw this acronym on the Internet:
“Forget Everything and Run”
“Face Everything and Rise”
This summer I have been pushed to face some of my own inner fears, one being riding a motorcycle.
As an anesthesia resident, I often would see people come into the ER after traumatic accidents. I resolved to never trust getting onto a motorcycle.
On a recent visit to a friend’s house, her father-in-law brought his Harley. “Want to take a ride?” he said.
“No,” was my immediate response.
Then I remembered the definition of fear. I could run from this experience, or embrace it.
Go for it, said my inner voice. I did three deep full yoga breadths, secured the helmet, and climbed onto the back seat. And off we flew.
We rode for about twenty minutes, and it was exhilarating! The ride was much smoother than I anticipated. Oh what a feeling! To have the wind whisper on your skin and sun bathe you in warmth, gliding along country roads accompanied by tall trees abundant with green leaves. Whenever I felt the fear arise and my body tightens, I took a deep breath in, exhaled slowly, and allowed myself to succumb to the experience and melt into the moment.
Reflecting on this experience, I remembered a passage from Good Company by Shantanand Saraswati:
“As regards the concept of pain—there are people in this world who are adventurous and who take great pleasure in going through all the difficulties and hazards of the adventure, which are sometimes painful. These men never experience the pain—they experience the hardness of what they have to go through, but not pain at all. It arises when one allows oneself, one’s body and mind to go through a difficult passage; and yet one does not seem to feel the difficulties because one has taken them on voluntarily. These difficulties then create deeper happiness.”
My motorcycle ride was a lesson in redefining a presumably fearful experience into an adventure full of “deeper happiness.”
References: Saraswati, S. “Bliss and Peace – Troubles.” Good Company. 97-98.