Late my first night in the hospital, in the flickering lights and the rat-a-tat-tat of dripping IV fluids, I pondered many things: Rat-a-tat; fear; rat-a-tat; loneliness; rat-a-tat; family; rat-a-tat bills; rat-a-tat illness… the endless chorus sung in my brain in tandem with the midnight light show.
The second night, a man’s agonizing voice from the adjoining room added to the chorus. His obscenity laced screams shattered the relative tranquility of my IV laced music and bounced, rattled and rolled through my brain for hours. Sleepless, scared and exhausted, I succumbed to the fact that, tethered to an IV pole, it would be impossible for me to chase down sleep.
Instead, I prayed for the pitifully tortured man in the next room; something akin to a captive praying for his captors. This man was robbing me of the one thing I desperately sought – sleep. And yet, I prayed for him instead of the prayer I would have normally said which would have gone something like this:
“Dear God, please make that man shut up so I can sleep!”
Not this time. This time, I thought long and hard about the agony I was hearing in the stranger’s voice. I didn’t know what the poor man was experiencing and I truly hoped that he’d find peace. So, that is what I prayed; that God would bring peace to the man’s soul. I don’t know when the screaming stopped except to say that I didn’t notice it anymore because God had reawakened me in a way that I would not have expected to happen in a hospital room.
If my hospital room could talk I believe it would speak volumes of fear. I didn’t want to add that kind of karma this go-around. So, in the still of the night under the muted glow of red and green lights, I prayed another simple prayer. I gave thanks for the room. I gave thanks for my bed and for the doctors and for all the people who cared about me. Then, I asked God to erase the fear from my hospital room and from my soul.
What now? I wondered. Does God, like Mr. Clean, have a magic eraser? Can He just wipe it over my bed and expunge the oozing fear I was sensing both in my room and inside of me? When will He answer this prayer; days, weeks, months, years?
Knowing that sleep would still elude me, I turned on the television hoping the white noise might provide some quietude. I really wasn’t paying much attention to the man on the television, Dr. Wayne Dyer speaking about his book, I Can See Clearly Now. His voice droned in the background while I tossed and turned trying to get comfortable.
Every so often, one word from the television would break into my consciousness…fearless. That word, fearless, seemed to dance in the air of the hospital room, so I decided to pay attention for a moment to what Dr. Dyer was saying. It was then that I realized that perhaps God was trying to answer my prayer right here, right now through this very television show. Dr. Dyer was speaking of the freedom that comes from living courageously and boldly. I took it one step further; living fearlessly means living through your soul. In other words, you don’t look at life through seeing eyes but through a knowing soul.
Wow! That was quick. I’m certain that God just answered my prayer because I would never have thought of this stuff myself.
Isn’t it true that everyone has a soul that longs to be freed? Yet, we keep it captured by fear; fear of the future, fear of losing someone or something, fear of failing, fear of falling…endless fear. On the contrary, living fearlessly means living soulfully.
All this contemplating was beginning to hurt my brain!
Ok, God, since you have brought me full circle from a somewhat sleepy brain to a wide-awake screaming brain on steroids – tell me just how it is that I live a fearless soulful life!
Take your inventory…that came from the guy on the television. Think about everything that keeps you fearful and stuck.
The first “think” on my list was my marriage. I had to acknowledge that my self-talk went something like this; “Why would my husband still love me when I am constantly sick, tired and unable to do all the things we used to love to do together?” I had to be brutally honest with myself because I knew that honesty was the only way I’d get to the root of my soul. If I wasn’t honest, it would be like weeding a garden and leaving just a few weeds behind. Sooner than you think, the weeds will multiply. Weeds beget weeds and negative thinking begets negative thinking.
I went from my marriage to my family to my friends and my work. By 3 AM, I figured I had it all covered. I was wrong. I left out me. I looked at the circle of my influence, but I failed to look at the center of this circle – the heart if you will; the soul.
My soul has been sick for a long time. In a sense, I believe it mimicked my physical illness. The word “disease” describes an absence of “ease” in one’s life. That is how my life has been – uneasy. I’ve allowed my soul to become infected along with my body causing fear to creep in little by little like a thief in the night robbing me of my soul eyes.
Sometime, during my wee hour contemplation, my darkened room was visited by a single glimmer of light bouncing off the walls. I became fascinated by what looked like a flitting firefly.
Where the heck is that light coming from?
I scoured the room in search of the source. I got out of bed, grabbed my IV pole and walked the entire room. The light appeared to be following me. Perhaps a half hour went by before I found the source of the light. It was reflecting off a little glass angel that I had hung on my IV pole. The pole was next to an air vent causing the angel to sway back a forth in front of the IV lights.
Okay, God, now you have my full attention! I spoke into the darkness.
The angel was a gift from one of my volunteers at the Exceptional Entrepreneurs program that I manage for special needs adults. Seeing the angel’s light made me think of how the light of my exceptional entrepreneurs shines every moment of every day that I am with them. They are earth’s angels!
At that moment, the tormented man’s screams shattered the calm of my room. “What the f… are you doing to me? He shrieked. Get your f…ing hand off me!”
My thoughts instantly exploded and crashed into shards of brain rubble. All I could do was think about the suffering man in the room next to me. I thought about how terrified he sounded under the bluster of his profanity laced tirade and I wished there was something I could do for him.
“There is something you could do for him.” Came a quiet voice on a wave of calm that settled my brain.
“What?” I replied as if it was perfectly normal to be talking to a voice in the gloom of my room.
“You could help him and many others by spreading some cheer.”
Okay, I felt really stupid now as I asked the voice, “How?”
“Have your earth’s angels deliver their flowers to people in need – no charge, no strings attached. Just deliver the flowers to brighten someone’s day.”
I wanted to ask more questions but I sensed that the source of the voice had left my room or at least had said all that needed to be said. I instantly felt a sense of peace and serenity come over me as I thought about the prospect of my special needs folks delivering flowers to people in need.
I don’t think it was my rational brain that birthed this idea. I think it was my soul; my fearless soul speaking to me. Such a simple idea: Deliver our vinyl record “forever flowers” free of charge to nursing homes, hospitals, shut-ins; whomever. Bring some hope and joy to anyone who just needs to know that there are angels among us and there is nothing to fear.
It may be a long time before my soulsight returns completely. But this I know, it will require that I muster the courage to live fearlessly every day. So, as soon as I leave this hospital I am going to honor God by following Him fearlessly into this new venture. I can’t wait to see the faces of my special needs exceptional entrepreneurs as they bring a moment of joy into someone’s life. I can’t wait to see the reactions of the people to whom we will deliver our flowers.
It is my fervent prayer that each flower will bring a simple peace to those who receive them.
No doubts, no worries, no uncertainty…fearless.