Picking the next topic is always an idea or a theme that emerges or develops out of the previous week’s topic. We move so well together, learning and experiencing ourselves forward, that our individual sticking points – or conversely, and especially, our launching-off points – create a place for each of us to grow in our own way, and in our own resonant direction. I really think that’s a magic made available to us because of this connection. Love it.
Last week, however, our topic came from an interaction I had in an elevator with two people at the hospital, while visiting my Grandpa. When I walked up to the elevators, I was carrying a coffee for me, a chocolate milk, and a double chocolate donut for G. That’s his fave. They make him so happy, and I was so excited to be having a visit with him, after not seeing him for a few days. Of course I was smiling ear to ear. Contagious, I caught-me an also-happy Nurse. My hands were full, so she held the elevator door back and I jumped on, thanking her. We laughed and said hello. She pressed my floor for me. The door was just about to close when she lurched forward and held it open again. She had a really big and natural laugh also, so when the man jumped onto the elevator he was laughing too…. well, sort of. It was that wide-eyed and slightly hysterical nervous laughter.
Immediately he says: “I’m scared of elevators. Terrified. Like phobic.” And he stands there rigid with huge eyes, still kind of laughing, and looking at us for some kind of solution.
Of course, the sadist I am, I start laughing at him maniacally, but mostly because I’m also terrified of elevators. I almost always take the stairs, unless the place I have to go is higher than 5 o 6 stories, in which case I muscle through it, simply to save time. So YES, I am a fellow thrill-seeker in this moment, looking at him, and waiting for him to meet me with that adrenaline-crazed “oh yeah”.
He does not. He looks at me like I’M the lunatic and says “I’m serious. I was in an elevator and it broke.” Yup, that’ll do it. Every time. For me too! I was stuck in between floors at the retirement home I worked at in high school with two of the residents. And yes, it was terrifying! I’ll never forget the look on Mrs. Johnson’s face. It was exactly like the man’s in front of me.
Suddenly: ” Stop. Do NOT speak it. Do not speak it again. Stop that now.” The Nurse busted in, and frankly saved him from ME. I was just about to launch into my “you scared now routine.” That was my plan. Distract the also terrified thrill seeker with… sadism? I’m not sure what my skills were there, but this Nurse was looking at me and letting me know that I was not taking this guy down that road.
Bliss honestly. She totally took charge. He said it again “I’m serious. I’m phobic. You don’t understand… ”
She says; “What did I say? Do NOT speak it. What floor do you want?”
“Five please. I mean it…”
“Do not speak it. I’m coming with you.”
Like I can’t write this myself. This is what actually happened. And the whole time, she is looking only at me. I swear, they were both Angels. It had such an impact on me.
We stop at 3 where she was wanting to go. The door opens. He starts vibrating. She says it again: “Do not speak it.”
Of course I’m about to esssplode! I can’t believe I’m witnessing this. Lion Tamer. This man, vibrating with literal phobia (fascinating really, NO ONE steps into that space; it was like a spider was walking up his arm about to whisper something eeeveil into his ear, wearing maybe 8 leather boots and a boa)(we talk about it all the time but no one gets inside the damn phobia!), is looking at her with huge eyes. It was incredible. He would have done anything she told him to do in that instant.
She still does not look at him. That was the funny part, in hindsight. She never once looked at him directly. She looked at me only. Again, she said. “I am coming with you. Do not speak it.” He settles down as the door closes, and we’re moving again. He’s on his toes, but smiling. She’s standing still, grounded, looking at me. Of course I’m wanting to tackle them both with I don’t know WHAT kind of excitement. I was like the canary in that elevator, feathers wanting to laugh everywhere, and bursting onto the 4th floor when the door opened, she looked at me, pointed her finger right at me, and with a quirk of a smile she said:
“Do not speak it. Have a beautiful day.”
I swear, I CAN’T make that kind of thing up! When I think of that moment she pointed her finger at me, a pink scrubs-clad middle-aged blond, and quirked that at me, I still freeze in my tracks.
I know what that meant to me. At the moment she said it the first time, I was just about to co-miserate with him, match him in his fear, with my retro-fear. I had to dig it up. And honestly, I had to completely leave the fantastic, happy, donut-bearing, on the way to see G feeling to come to that man’s aid. And just milliseconds before I did that, she jumped in and CRUSHED the fear that was about to lead the way. I was definitely more connected to her awesomeness than I was my fear of elevators, OR my perceived obligation to sympathize with that man. (Ah, or mess with him. I don’t know why I did that except that he was more afraid than me and then suddenly my own phobia was ridiculous. Homeopathy. Exactly.)
When I felt the relief and freedom hit my body instantly when she did that, I knew I had to bring that home to us here. We are fearless Ladies. Fearless. Do not speak your fears. They are not who you are.