Wendy Lerman Blog

An addendum to the website http://www.wendylerman.com

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Change is scary and so is trust.


Most of us tend to second guess our decisions (or actions) at one time or another, leaving us to wonder “Am I doing/did I do the right thing?”

So often in life we find ourselves faced with an important decision and a knowing— our choice will also impact those closest to us on some level.  We are aware that by acting on this decision, we will in turn be effecting change, thereby altering our lives— as we know it.  Sometimes a seemingly great opportunity presents itself and the decision comes easy. Other times we might have known for a while that nothing will get any better until we summon up the courage and take a leap. While we try our best to anticipate all the ways it can—or will—impact us, there are factors and variables to consider— making it impossible to know anything for sure.  Change is different and different can be darn right scary! But different is not by default a bad thing, what’s scary is the thoughts and the unknown. The only way to know anything for sure is to give yourself time, adjust, and pay close attention to your feelings each step of the way. In addition to listing the pros and cons, a good rule of thumb is to remember: We tend to allow our minds to overrule what we feel in our heart and know in our gut— based on fear. Fear originates in the mind therefore the feeling is actually a thought, perceived to be truth.  Your gut feelings are derived from the heart can be trusted to always guide and steer you in the right direction.

As  you may or may not know, I drive a school bus for children with special needs. Given the fact that last week was school vacation, I anticipated having time for myself to:  relax, recharge, and focus on my writing. Instead last week was an extremely trying time— for all of us in the Boston area—with the tragic events that took place at the Boston Marathon. I’m sure I speak for most when I say that being flooded with thoughts and feelings—all bad ones, all day & and night, every day, and for many days really took a toll on me. I thought I needed this vacation before but maybe I just wanted it. I am certain that I need one now.

To complicate matters, at the end of vacation week I was informed that an additional bus run was being added to my current one and a (different) larger vehicle would be assigned. I couldn’t even process this much less digest or accept it. Knowing my choices consisted of accepting it or quitting my job, I decided the only fair thing to do was to try it out for a while and see if it fits. While I’m not a fan of having to alter my life around, in so many ways, initiating as a result of someone else’s decision, I do believe there is always something for me to learn from it. All that’s required is a little patience and a lot of awareness. This also applies to any change regardless of from who it initiated.
Change is the law. Impermanence rules. ~Lama Surya Das

I never expected day two of this new bus run would end in an “AHA!” moment.  I’ve been with this transportation company for a while so I’ve driven many vehicles. I’m aware that minor flaws and quirks take a little time getting used to and that soon you no longer even notice them. Considering today was only my second day, I would never dream of complaining because I know better. But today was different. By the end of the afternoon I was scrambling to decipher whether my mind was getting the best of me or if something was really wrong with my vehicle that deemed it unsafe. I tried to pay attention in hopes of offering the mechanic something to go on but in the end all I really had was a gut feeling that I was not safe, therefore neither were the children.  I knew going in that any attempts to reassure me would not work without a most thorough work-up and extensive test drive. I was afraid they would think I’m crazy and more afraid if they found nothing wrong. Suddenly it dawned on me—this feeling is extremely familiar! Only this time I didn’t have to dig far— or at all, I spent my morning writing and while it was on a completely different topic, the experience was very similar and the feeling was the same.

I have a friend who used to tease and call me a hypochondriac and I’ll be the first one to admit, I think way too much and have tendencies to let my overactive imagination get the better of me. At the end of 1999 I started going to my PCP quite a bit. I wasn’t feeling good and something was just—not right. My symptoms were vague and could be explained by a number of things. I could not only tell that my doc was frustrated and becoming annoyed, I also understood and couldn’t blame him—yet I kept coming back. On my last visit with him, I even went as far as to come right out and state that I think I have a tumor growing somewhere inside me. He attempted to reassure me and suggested I seek some counseling. It was a matter of days before I discovered a large lump in my breast. Set up an appointment and upon arriving that day, I was informed that I would be seeing the Nurse Practitioner this time. I think the doc had enough of me. Long story short, lump confirmed , next step testing— but they can’t get me in for six weeks. I get a call from my sister whos friend has a friend that works for a Breast Surgeon in Boston, major hospital. The process was fast. Within days my very aggressive and fast growing cancer diagnosis was handed to me and my journey began.  Not long after I completed my treatments I repeated the whole process of knowing something was wrong (and where) until someone took me serious, performed a biopsy only to discover an extremely rare aggressive and deadly form of cancer. It took many years to reach a diagnosis confirming that I have a Thyroid autoimmune disease despite my persistence that something is off in my thyroid. The bottom line to this is that I would like to think I learned this lesson. I wouldn’t be here today if I betrayed my gut feelings by accepting the reassuring words offered to me. I also believe that we learn lessons and somewhere down the road, when we least expect it, we are tested on it, only somehow in disguise, and the key is to dig up the past and remember the feeling. This is not meant to imply that my learning is done because learning never ends.

 Maybe they won’t find anything wrong with the vehicle. I have no regrets nor do I want, need or seek to prove anyone wrong. Honoring my gut feeling is a lesson learned and all the proof I need. I’m paying it forward, as always, with hopes that someone will benefit in some way.

With Love and Light,
Wendy

posted by Wendy Lerman @ 10:31 PM

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