Earlier this year I discovered that I had a fear I was not aware of. Actually, I found out the very hardest way possible. If that story rings a bell, thanks for following along. If it doesn't sound familiar then let me fill you in with just a few words. Okay, vacation, lighthouse, many stairs to get to top, view from said top was beautiful, suction cups on hands, loss of breath, need to feel ground under my feet asap! Confused? Well, if you are interested here’s the link!
So yes, I discovered I had developed a fear of heights. I don’t know how it happened, or when, but I found out while I was at the top of a lighthouse. I can assure you it made for an interesting time. Is that my only fear? NO. Again, if you follow me regularly then you know that thanks to a certain brother I have a very healthy fear of snakes. I won’t go into the whole story with this either, but a few word summary would look like…getting off a school bus, brother yelling from house to check the mail, I open said mailbox to find a very unhappy garden snake hissing at me. That night the nightmares began, and have never really left me.
I find myself befuddled still about this heights thing, and I try to prove to myself that I can overcome this one. (I reside to the fact I will never overcome the snake thing.) In my mind I know that when I really do get to Ireland I will walk right up to the ledge at the Cliffs of Moher and not think for one minute how far down it is. I sit out on the balcony of hotels even though I am uncomfortable doing it.
The other day we took a day trip to Grandfather Mountain. The leaves are starting to turn here in North Carolina so we decided to enjoy it while we have it. Grandfather Mountain is a beautiful destination in the Blue Ridge Mountains. There is one spot that is exactly one mile above sea level that makes it the highest point east of the Rockies. To get to this point though I had to face my fear…
That’s right; the exact spot is about in the middle of this swinging bridge. I've heard horror stories about this bridge, but I swallowed the fear, took a big breath, and started to cross it. Needless to say being that high up the wind is always blowing, so the bridge is always swaying. GULP. The feeling of that bridge moving under my feet sent my hair on end. Baby steps were not an option. I would've run but that would mean more movement. It is funny how the brain works. All I could think about was getting to the other side and falling to my hands and knees. I needed the solidness of stable ground under me. I needed to feel that if I fell it would only be a couple of feet, and not forever. Because of this fear I had to prove wrong, I crossed that bridge, and then came to the realization that I had to go back across it to get back to the real world. Although at times I think I am smart, other times there’s more air in my head than a tire.
The views were breathtaking, and I did not regret one minute of my discomfort. Fighting the fear was worth it, and I’d do it again. It made me feel just a little bit stronger.
What do you fear? Have you ever fought your fears? Was it rewarding? Would you do it again, if circumstances called for it?