I’ve noticed lately that I need to be careful when I introduce able-bodied guests to our clients. From my perspective we’ll have a nice visit, but from my guest’s perspective, they were scared to death! I don’t know exactly what they thought they would experience, but the comment I usually get after a visit is “that wasn’t so bad” – and then a big sigh of relief.
I think this is a natural reaction to new, uncertain situations. I notice it in myself when I am being pushed beyond my comfort zone. On the one hand I am uncomfortable – I suffer – but on the other hand I notice that I grow and often experience great gifts. This is a hard road to choose – the one that makes you uncomfortable and causes you to suffer – but I think it is often the better choice. Many of the best experiences in my life came during situations that were difficult for me. I’m going through another of those hard times now. One of my friends has been diagnosed with dementia. My dad died from complications to dementia and spending time with him was both difficult and rewarding. Now I have the opportunity to take the harder road again – to embrace my friend and grow our relationship at a time when other people might want to run away. I hope that by taking this harder road both of us will experience the gifts that this road offers. That said, it is still suffering and I wish it wasn’t necessary.