I am not really scared of flying but I am an anxious flyer. In particular when it comes to turbulence. When the plane starts shaking and the plastic of the overhead compartments starts making audible noises even against the roaring of motors, I am terrified. It’s a fear I can’t control. I turn into a victim and start praying for the turbulence to stop.
It’s funny but I recently discovered that I have a similar reaction to life turbulence. When everything’s great and I’m just cruising through life, I feel safe and I’m enjoying the ride. But bring on some turbulence, a series of events that would disrupt the predictable cruising of my life and I’ll start losing control. Suddenly, I’ll feel like the plane I call life is about to crash and burn.
But let’s go back to turbulence. They may be strong enough to be felt, but the plane is built to sustain them. In fact they are not more dangerous than driving over cobblestone. I mean, you wouldn’t start panicking that the car you’re in is shaking when it drives over a rocky terrain, why would you panic when the plane you’re in enters an area of turbulence? Nothing’s going to happen. You’re safe.
It’s the same in life. We are built to handle certain turbulence, situations that require our focus and resilience. We are built to sustain difficult moments, so we can grow and improve. They’re perfectly safe, we can respond to them and surpass the challenges or panic and pray that our life returns to the frill-free cruising we feel safe with. It’s our choice how we handle life turbulence.
I’m still pretty scared when the plane I’m in starts shaking and screeching. But that doesn’t stop me from keep getting on a plane somewhere to go see and experience something new. I’m still pretty anxious when it comes to being in unknown situations and taking smaller or bigger risks in life, but I still do it.
And right now, I’m learning to replace grievances with love and to accept outcomes I can’t change instead of suffering that things don’t work out the way I want them to. There’s no way I can stop turbulence in life, but I can learn to fly through them and know that I’m perfectly safe.
Someone recently said to me that when pilots get lost instead of zigging and zagging and looping, they are advised to stay on the course. This is equally important in life and so I’m learning to stay put, keep course and wait for the turbulence to pass, knowing that everything will be ok!