Will you hold my hand?

Earlier this week, I had a minor surgery to remove a cyst in my neck. The procedure was performed in an operating room. As they wheeled me in, I saw a room full of stainless-steel equipment and nurses bundled up in their surgical garb and masks and remembered I was going to be fully awake for this procedure. The area numbed with Novocain before the doctor was to remove the growth with a scalpel.

Being awake, I made small talk with the nurses, who were very kind and chatted with me too. There was one nurse whose job it was to sit and keep me company, while monitoring my vital signs. I did not think I was nervous since I knew what was going to happen and how it was going to happen. Yet the moment they helped me on to the operating table I seem to have gotten cold feet. I wanted to run away!

When she strapped on the blood pressure cuff, my cover of small talk and cracking jokes was blown! My heartrate and blood pressure were through the roof! Even though I tried to play it cool, statistics showed my body was clearly in fight or flight mode. The nurse, in charge of my vitals, was a welcome distraction from the reality of a large incision being made to my body while awake.

When the doctor walked in, I chatted with her too. She’s become my favorite doctor and I feel very comfortable with her. In my head, I was trying to calm myself, by inducing my own meditative state of breathing deep and such. No luck, my body knew what was going to happen and even though my mind was very logical and factual, my blood pressure was not coming down.

It’s like my body knew trauma was coming and it was very scared. At that moment I knew I needed comfort. I looked at the nurse, who was right next to me the whole time, and asked her. “Will you please hold my hand?”

She obliged kindly and continued to hold my hand for the whole procedure. Doing her best to ask me questions and give me distractions from the doctor and scalpel working diligently behind me. Nurse W told me she was a seasoned nurse, working part-time until retirement. I could tell. She had calmness and caring demeanor only years of practice can produce. It made me feel like I could ask her to help me in the only way she could, by holding my hand.

Isn’t it funny how you can find comfort in a perfect stranger’s hand in a time of trauma, anxiety or extreme stress? Okay, maybe funny isn’t the word. It is quite a miracle and blessing that humans can form a connection so quickly in times of need. What is even more beautiful is the nurse who chose to make this her life path; to help strangers with kindness and compassion in very stressful moments.

Nurses, Doctors, Firemen, Police Officers, Caregivers, are often there for strangers on our most horrible or trying days. The men and women who stand with folks in their community to help them through it all, are very much a blessing to humanity. Not everyone is wired to be able to have a heart, so giving and open, to hold a stranger’s hand even on a regular day with no stress.

Do some people hold more compassion inside then others? I think so. But what I find is that even those of us who aren’t comfortable with unfamiliar people will still offer comfort in times of duress, even if they too are stressed. Is this a characteristic built into our DNA, to care for others when it is most needed? Is it an innate knowing that we are all connected by the spark of God, that brings us all to life? I do not know. But I’d like to think so.

What I do know is that I am very thankful for the nurse who held my hand that day. She kindly offered me comfort and did her best to divert my attention from the surgery happening while we talked. I cannot help but use this scenario as an analogy of life.

It is on our hardest, most challenging days, that we need others help us get through.

Unfortunately, these days aren’t always as obvious as being strapped to an operating table. Sometimes there are strangers walking past us in the grocery store or working in the cubicle right next to you; that are having one of the worst days of their lives. Inner trauma is just as painful as physical trauma, just in a different way.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all live heart-centered lives so that others would feel safe in asking; “Will you please hold my hand?” when they need it most?

Even if it is just for a short time, your compassion does make a difference. Kindness is a characteristic that we must practice to be good at. Seeing folks in our community as extended family, instead of strangers, is where we can start. Do unto others and such. Remember, even a kind stranger serving as a short distraction from pain (in any form) can make a huge difference in the world.

Thank you for reading my blog today.

May you find comfort and love all around you. May you have the chance to act as comfort and love to another.

Wishing you an abundance of blessings,

With love,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

@EmyMinzel

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters

Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com

Turn and face the strange changes –

Adventure Sister Stacy has a series of self-help blogs she is writing that suggest ways to deal with the stress of change. I find that she has great advice, and the suggestions she offers are valid. However, maybe it is just me, but even with all the assistance and techniques offered, I still find change stressful. To go from one way of life to another even when it is self-inflicted causes stress of all kinds.

The stress of change affects my attitude, my time, my sleep, my family life, and my social life because I am being changed! Therefore, how I deal with this change is going to be altered depending on my experience. For the most part I think that I am doing my best to take charge of the direction and change happening right now. Then there is the fact as Stacy also mentions that we do not have control of anything except ourselves when life redirects us.

Yet, we all know that people are not their best selves while under intense stress. This is a fact I hope we can all agree on. I do my best to be kind, keep a positive attitude and just keep putting one foot in front of the other. I keep faith that this change is being guided by spirit to bring me the life I have been asking for all along. Most days I find new experiences exciting and invigorating, but on those rare days that stress gets me good, I find myself well… not being my best self.

I am not proud of myself when I snap at someone out of stress or even to set boundaries that have been pushed too far. I know that there is a better way to communicate my feelings and emotions, yet as I am just a regular person like everyone else. Shit happens. I can only be poked with a sharp stick for so long and by a very few people. When someone else tries to add their extra push or poke in the wrong time I will reflexively bite back. I have my limits.

Now, I have worked long and hard on myself over many years. I do my best to practice kindness, generosity and patience to all the people in my life. So, when I act in a way that surprises others and even myself, I am going to take that as a sign that my boundaries have been pushed too far. I have reached my tolerance of any more pushing, no matter how well-intentioned the pushes may be.

To say take a deep breath in the .02 seconds it took to push me over the edge is just not realistic. I believe I must listen to my instincts or reflexes and ask myself what was it that made me snap like that? Or why am I feeling overwhelmed at this moment?

When I ask myself these questions instead of accepting my feelings as fact, it gives me an opportunity to redirect my attitude. Stacy did give the advice to acknowledge your feelings. I believe these feelings help direct me, even if they aren’t shiny happy feelings, they are guiding me to listen to what is under the surface.

They say we are given free will. We choose our actions, our decisions, and our personalities by the way we have experienced life in the past. I know that if I choose to act in a way that I am not proud of because of stress and change, well… its up to me to change it moving forward. I can practice all the self-soothing techniques Stacy had to offer at www.stacycrep.com. I can also acknowledge my reaction may have been an automatic response of protecting my boundaries.

When you start a new path, you get new people on that path with you. Sometimes people will unintentionally push your limits too far and it is up to us to let others know where those boundaries are. I work for myself for a reason, I am not used to people telling me what to do or the metaphorical feeling of someone walking behind me with a sharp stick.

If you poke this bear one to many times, I will growl at you and not so subtly. What I do not like about my reaction to stress is that I may accidentally hurt others with my sharp tongue; which happens to be my weapon of choice when protecting my boundaries. I like to do things at my own pace so when the path I am on changes and forces me to do more then I think I am able, this will stress me out.

I know I am not alone here. All the deep breathing, meditating, and visualizing a good outcome will not stop me from being human. I would like to meet the person who is always calm, always relaxed as life shoves them white water rafting down the river of life. It gets rocky, scary and adrenalin is jacked up so high your mind goes to automatic survivor mode and not one bit of your calm is available for you to access at those exact moments of stress.

Maybe this is just me?

Maybe I am just resistant to change even though I want it so badly? There are things in my life that I love just as they were and are. But those are also part of the journey of life and when I change, they change whether I like it or not.

What I find most useful adapting to this change is letting go. Letting go of what I think it all ‘should’ look like, letting go of ‘doing it all myself’ and learning to ask for help. What I find helpful is my friends and family who listen to me and hold space for me as I change.

The support of others is where I find the most comfort on this roller coaster ride we call life. Like my husband likes to quote, “Life is like an EKG reading; if it’s not going up and down, you’re dead.”

Acknowledging that life does have its ups and downs is how I have faith that tomorrow will be better. Having a hand to hold and friends who listen to my growing pains is comforting and keeps me on the path even when it is scary or stressful.

My advice when dealing with the stress of change is to reach out to those you love and your friends that have your back. Find comfort in your closest relationships and maintain them through the change. Reach out and ask for help and emotional support you need when you need it. Know that your life is not just yours. We are all connected, when you hurt, the people you love hurt with you, maybe even because of you.

Knowing to tend to what is really truly important to me in my life through the journey is where I find comfort. It is never usually about me. It is about connections I hold dear that keep me striving to be better, do better and to contribute to this world for the greater good. It is because I care so deeply about the world around me that I am willing to change my life, my normal, my direction.

Being with those I love, reminds me of my purpose. Knowing it is all divinely guided, helps me let go and enjoy the ride. Choosing to learn my lessons through joy, by looking on the bright side of things, is how I cope with stress and change. I try to stay positive, I try to be my best self. I choose to love myself even when my best-self, take’s a momentary leave of absence. I give myself a break, knowing I am doing the best I can in the time and space I am given.

I like to give the same courtesy to others who are stressed and going through change as well. Accepting people just as they are being one of the best lesson’s I’ve learned in life and the most useful. To practice it on myself, is a work in progress but I continue to try. After all, I do have high standards for myself and others around me. To be flexible and compassionate are the techniques that work best for me as well. Because I truly believe we are ALL doing the best we can on this roller coaster of life.

Wishing you an abundance of joyful blessings,

Emy Minzel ~ Adventure Sister

https://emyminzel.com

@emyminzel

Follow the Adventure Sisters on Facebook!

https://www.facebook.com/BWCAdventureSisters

Stacy Crep ~ Adventure Sister

https://stacycrep.com