human beings were designed with this 'it cannot happen to me' shield. you know, when you hear of other's misfortune, you sympathize deeply, but somewhere deep inside your subconscious you believe that 'it cannot happen to me'.
we need this feeling. it is our built-in shield. without it, we would go mad. can you imagine what our lives would be like if we did not have this mechanism. it is what keeps us sane. (well, kinda).
when something does happen to us, me, however, then i lose that feeling. that is why a relatively small break-in or a robbery or an accident can be so traumatic. it is not the physical stuff that i lose. it is that shield, that comfort that i lose. now, i will never be able to tell myself that 'it cannot happen to me', because it did! this leaves me vulnerable, raw and exposed to the worry that constantly nags, that little voice that keeps whispering 'it can happen to me. it did happen to me. now, what if it happens again...'
i am not a worrier by nature. i do not live in fear as many south africans do. i am careful and responsible, but i do not constantly fret about an attack, or robbery or hijack. i am surprised every time people ask me if i am not afraid alone in my shop. and believe me, i get asked this almost every day. people ask me if i am not afraid driving home at night after dark, especially on a thursday evening when we leave the shop after a workshop at after 11pm. i suppose that if i asked those people, it would come out that they have experienced a robbery or hijack themselves.
ronnie's mother is terrified of snakes. i know a lot of people are, but she is worse. she would never walk in nature or relax in a game park or on a farm, as she is constantly worries about snakes. she talks about it all the time. but, she was bitten by a snake as a child, and almost died as a result.
i was reading a novel by jonathan kellerman a week or so ago, and in it he described it so well. i cannot find the passage to quote it verbatim, but it talked about the thin, cold snake of fear that had been slithering inside his stomach for a while. and then, in the story, the thin snake suddenly rears it's head and bares it's fangs and hisses in his face. what a chillingly accurate description! do you know what he means? have you felt that thin, cold snake in your belly too? tell me, i'd like to know.
it happened to me that my husband died. in a plane crash. one normal, sunny friday morning in april 2002. just like that, it happened to me. and on that day i didn't just lose a husband, but i also lost my shield.
if the man is just a little later in coming home than expected, then the reasonable, unruffled, non-worrier in me becomes frantic. suddenly, i am filled with fear. the voices inside me start whispering. they say 'it can happen to me. it did happen to me. what if it happens to me again...'.
last week the man was in hospital for a few hours for some tests. and we had to wait a few days for the results. in this time, no matter how hard i tried to ignore it, that thin, cold snake slithered around in my belly. those voices whispered 'it can happen to me. it has happened to me. what if it happens to me again...'normally i refuse to worry about the worst, as i reason that if the worst happens there is plenty of time to worry then, and if the worst doesn't happen, i have wasted a lot of time and energy worrying unnecessarily. but this last week, i constantly felt that snake. and every time i did, i prayed to GOD to let this cup pass the man, and me, and to take those awful thoughts away.
thankfully i can say that HE has been true, and that the diagnosis of ulcerative colitis, although uncomfortable, is treatable and not too serious. this time i beat that snake. and i thank GOD for this. and next time i feel him slithering in my belly, i will tell him again how powerful my GOD is. and if the worst were to come to pass, than i know that GOD will be there for me, as HE always is. and while i know my psycologial shield will probably always fail me, GOD will shield me, better than i ever can.
francois sometimes takes my camera, and snaps away, and when he is finished he puts my camera back. then, when i download my photos i find lots of surprise photos. he took these photos on his birthday of my siblings' kids.
the two guys in this photo are eduard - my brother andre's son, and tian - my sister paula's son. how's this for cooperation...
jacki janse van rensburg - SCRAPPIN TIMES scrapbooking shop, benoni, south africa