I used to be deathly afraid to fly. We are talking well into my adulthood where it’s no longer cool to hold someone’s hand tightly as we take off and land; that kind of fear. I think people used to feel sorry for me as they watched me white-knuckle the two armrests and squeeze my face really tight. It was like watching a train wreck in slow motion. I thought I would never overcome the fear.
Now, I fly more than ever, and somehow the fear has left the building. People always want me to give them some magic formula on how to ask fear to exit your body and be an overcomer. Sadly, I don’t ever have a good answer. The only thing I can ever tell people is simply this: fill something with love so much so that you no longer have room for fear. It always silly, but it’s true. Anything that is so full of love drives out fear.
I learned that if I started talking to fellow passengers when I fly somehow the fear would become less and less. There is something really beautiful about humans: we all have experiences that we can share and relate to one another. I would tell them about where I was at in life and then listen to their stories. Stories are one of the most powerful connectors in this lifetime. I’ve come to discover that we are often more alike than different if we dig deep enough to the root of who we each are.
Recently, I sat next to a man dying of cancer when I was flying to visit my best friend out West. I feel like cancer impacts all of us in one way or another. We have either watched someone walk through it or have sadly walked through it ourselves. The guy sitting in row 35 on the aisle was so grouchy and very unkind. I was actually annoyed to be sitting next to him after he made some interesting comments to us, his seatmates. I noticed that the flight attendants came to check on him a lot, which I thought was a bit odd. After an hour or two in the flight, I asked both him and the lady sitting next to me where they were flying to. The lady in the middle told me she was heading to Oregon to see her daughter’s newborn baby. Then the older man said he was heading to San Francisco for a bone marrow transplant. I have some background knowledge on bone marrow transplants, and they are often a last resort for treatment. It doesn’t always, but often it means that the patients have exhausted all other options. He looked frail and worn out. That day sitting in row 35, it taught me that we don’t always see everything that is happening beyond the surface. We sometimes only see the tip of the iceberg, but never the part the Titanic hit. We can only see that above water rather than everything happening within the ocean.
People are far more fragile that we realize. It’s easy to get on social media these days and assume that people are doing completely fine. We can hide behind photos, likes and comments. I’m willing to bet there are more lonely people in the world than we can see with the naked eye. We need to ask more questions, deep dive, and be more present for those around us. We all could use more love and kindness in our lives. So practice it every day. Practice it on those around you, and practice it on those you don’t know. You have no idea how much someone needs your kind words, smile, and hope on any given day. Be gracious with people. You have no idea the battles they are carrying with them. And love. Love always, every chance you get.
Author: Carrie Grace
Author Bio: Carrie Grace is a former teacher turned motivational speaker. She is on a mission to inspire others to spread joy and kindness, in hopes of people making the world better than they found it. She’s been known to love big; having thrown a party on an airplane and passed out free ice cream to strangers. She loves to encourage anyone who crosses her path. She currently travels the country to inspiring others and has she’s been featured on major media, including USA Today, Huffington Post, His Radio and many more.
Link to social media or website: Instagram @carriegraceshop | Twitter @carriegraceshop