Cheers Sexy People!
Are you afraid of feelings of jealousy or insecurity if you open up your relationship?
Are you afraid of losing your lover if they prefer someone else over you?
Are you afraid of what others will say, think or do if you “come out” to them as living some type of alternative lifestyle?
Are you afraid of damaging your relationship if you don’t “do poly” correctly?
Are you afraid of what’s on the other side of a decision that you have been pondering???
This past week, I finally faced a big fear that I have been struggling with for almost ten years: LASIK eye surgery. Yeah, that’s right. In this day and age, I was still deathly afraid of lasers being shot into these two peepers and the idea of blades slicing into my nice, thick corneas. Yes, I was told over and over that I was a perfect candidate, as it would make such a world of difference in my life. Believe it or not, I was legally blind without corrective vision. I’ve been wearing coke bottle glasses since I was 9 years old and contacts since I got that initial paycheck from my first humble job (slinging burgers at our local McDonald’s) at the age of 16. I scheduled and CANCELED the surgery about three times over the years, due to MY OWN FEAR, the cost, and the idea of having to wear my thick, uncomfortable glasses for over 30 days straight, prior to surgery. Who has time to do that in my busy life?
So, why did I finally make the decision to get LASIK eye surgery?
- Well, one item that put me over the fence is my poly life and my poly household. My husband and I bought the home that we now live in almost three years ago. We were already living a poly life when we bought it. Between having some construction done on the house, sleeping one nite with my husband in one room and another with my boyfriend in a different room, entertaining / hosting friends and having to switch rooms again, I would wake up in the middle of the night – with my legally blind eyes – needing to use the bathroom, having NO IDEA in the dark, which way the nearest bathroom was, or what bedroom I was in. One night I woke up in the downstairs bedroom, and after taking a moment to take a guess when I was half asleep which room I was in, I walked confidently right into a mirrored closet door! SLAM!!!! I guessed WRONG! My boyfriend – who was half asleep but also used to this confusion from me – started to giggle in the dark. I cursed first, and then laughed at myself. Ugh. Point One in the corner for LASIK. Maybe the time has come. I can’t even find the darn bathroom. Are the rewards of facing this fear bigger than the risks? Hmmmm.
- I’m not getting any younger. Before I get to the age of needing reading glasses (we all will), I might as well enjoy some time with eyes that really work using the latest technology! I’ll have plenty of other things to worry about physically when I’m in my later years. Maybe this is one item I can check off. Maybe the rewards of facing this fear ARE greater than the risks?
- I bought one of those half off Living Social deals last year, thus I had already paid for the procedure. Nothing like a deadline and money already spent to put a little extra fire under my butt, and help push me past that fear even more.
- Everyone who has had it done kept singing its praises. Thus I am no longer a guinea pig – other loved ones have had great success! Now I am just delaying my own happiness. Well, that’s just silly. I think the rewards really ARE greater than the risk!
I realized a very important truth:
If you want something that you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something that you’ve never done.
OK, so the decision was made! No chickening out this time! Time to do the work to get to my goal. That meant wearing my thick glasses for over 30 days prior to surgery, and putting drops in my eyes 5x a day to lubricate my eyes. I found that wearing my glasses was not only annoying to me in how I looked to myself, but also WOW, it’s kind of scary! I have those small, trendy frames, so my peripheral vision was TERRIBLE. The sides of the glasses were right in my blind spot when I was driving, and my sense of distance was really messed up. I found that I was literally tripping down stairs, walking into things, knocking things over, etc. Often, I would get an ADRENALINE RUSH OF FEAR as I was about to possibly tumble down some stairs, or get too close to another vehicle when I was driving. Yikes! That was a close one! I hope I make it to surgery day!
As I was dealing with these very real adrenaline rushes of fear for my safety, it made me realize how similar these same adrenaline rushes of fear feel in our bodies when we are overcome with a moment of jealousy, anxiety or insecurity when say, a lover has sex with someone else. This type of physical reaction can happen to all of us, but most certainly to those in polyamorous relationships. So though we have these moments of fear and anxiety when our minds perceive that something is threatening us, it is what we do next after that physical reaction that makes or breaks us. Can you let the physical sensation course through you, let it pass but still take a moment to take a deep breath, pause, and not knee jerk from that adrenaline? Can you instead take a step back to observe yourself and what’s going on and let the logical part of your brain assess if what you are fearing is really valid or not? Your physical sensations are saying something is threatening you. Is that really true? As I have said in the past, polyamory isn’t for sissies (and don’t forget, lots of communication is always key, including to help ease fears).
If you want something that you’ve never had, sometimes you must be willing to push past your own fear, and get to the other side of it.
So when we feel afraid, do we let that fear stop us from achieving our goals? How do we overcome our fears? The simple answer is that I didn’t overcome my fears. I decided it was okay for me to feel the fear, because frankly I couldn’t stop the feeling even if I tried. BUT I can still do whatever it takes to press forward in spite of my fears, and do what needs to be done to reach my goals, even if I was shaking in my boots just a little (or alot). Once I made the decision to move forward despite my own fear, it’s like a huge stumbling block was suddenly removed from my path.
As with any other feeling, having the feeling of fear isn’t something to be ashamed of, as we all have fears. But one thing that we can do to help ourselves move forward is to think through the outcomes that are causing our greatest fears, assess the risks, and then realize that even if that outcome were to happen, we would find a way to work through it. By going through this process of assessing and analyzing worst-case scenarios, it helps us shift our thinking from “I can’t handle it” to “I will get through it.“ This is key to our own success!
For me with LASIK, all I needed was about six minutes of insane bravery! I was able to muster up the courage after I assessed the risks and the rewards.
C.S. Lewis once said, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” It doesn’t matter what stage you are in your life right now. It doesn’t matter how young or how old you are. At any point in time you can decide to change your life, to go after the things you really want. Would it be taking a risk? Perhaps. Anytime we take a step into the unknown we are taking a risk. That’s why it’s called the unknown. So what if you don’t like the unknown once you get there? Then you will find a way to change it or to move past it. You will. And what if the unknown turns out to be more amazing than you could have ever imagined it to be? Well, there is only one way to find out, isn’t there.
I can see alot of things clearer now, partly because I pushed past some of my fears. Go me! How about you? What fears are you trying to push past to see the potential greatness that is on other side of it?
Wishing you love, peace and happiness,
(and thrilling, fun sex too!)