For Whom the Bell Tolls

I have always had a difficult time handling weddings — not because I dislike them; I don’t. I am a “happily ever ever” hopeless romantic; and the thought of two people pledging their love for each other brings tears to my eyes. And that is one of the problems.

Weddings bring together large crowds of people, loud noises, and all sorts of activities that cause me to panic. If you add to that the fact that I often cry; you can see why I get a tad uncomfortable at weddings. (I’m not even sure how I made it through my own wedding, to be honest — I don’t like to be the center of attention, or even to stand next to the center of attention.)

That being said, I was invited to a wedding which took place last Saturday. Every fiber of my being said “don’t go!” My stomach was in knots for over a week, and my mind had switched into panic mode. I tried everything to calm myself down, but I wasn’t making progress.

When the time came to go to the wedding, I had to ask myself the same tough question: “Do you want to stay home because you are afraid to go — or do you have another reason?” If the answer comes up “because I am afraid,” then I always do it no matter what. That is not a good enough reason in my mind.

So, I forced myself to go, using every trick in the book — every weapon in my arsenal of panic-breakers. I meditated, used self-talk, distracted my mind with work and music and games. At times, I had to close my eyes or plug my ears to stifle the input to my brain. Eventually, it worked.

I am so glad that I went. I had a wonderful time. The wedding was outdoors in a woods near Lake Ontario. The reception was in a large tent at the lake’s shore. The setting was romantic and beautiful; and the sun set to add magnificent color to the day.

After the experience, I was drained because of all that I had to go through; but I did not let that bother me. Nor did I fret about how sad it would have been to have missed it — because I didn’t!

This phenomenon happens a lot to me: I have to struggle to do most everything, and it wears me down. But I surrender to that fact, knowing this is who I am. And I never surrender to my fears, so I don’t miss out on having a happy life.

My wish for you today is that you can also have a happy life.

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4 responses »

  1. MCS Gal says:

    You need to pat yourself on the back. Not only did you work through the challenge of going, you also appreciated the experience of being there. Too often human beings forget to be grateful for their experiences.

    • Joe says:

      That’s what I try to focus on, because no matter how tough it is, I am enriched by the experiences and can usually have a good time once I calm down.

  2. commakazes says:

    Joe, every time I try to post a comment WordPress asks for my name and a password. What password??? I hope the reason you have these problems is a chemical thing and not an emotional thing. Because you are a great guy and you are talented in many areas. Being sensitive is not a bad thing at all. It shows you care. God made you just the way He wanted you to be and He loves you totally and completely. Wrap yourself up in that. If God carried a wallet, He’s have your picture in it. Heck, He’d probably have everyone over for a slideshow of you and your art.

    I have to go to a wedding in 2 weeks….my son’s. It’s in Delhi. But I can do this.

    ~ Debbie

    Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2013 16:58:46 +0000 To: debbiehough@hotmail.com

    • Joe says:

      Not to worry. I have been dealing with these issues for a very long time — I just didn’t share them with people until recently. I am doing fine.

      Not sure why it asks you for a password — do you have an account here?

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