Last night I was enjoying the flight home to Chicago after speaking at IDATE 2012 global dating conference in Miami. Midway through the flight, the Pilot asked the flight attendants and passengers to buckle up and prepare for an hour or more of turbulence.
I grinned. Even while flying as a kid, I’ve enjoyed turbulence because it’s a chance to experience roller-coaster thrills in comfy airline seats.
So while I’m watching a remake of “Footloose” on the TV monitor during our rocky flight home, I was startled by my seatmate’s reaction to the mounting turbulence. The middle-age man in the aisle seat, began swearing loudly, shouting disbelief that we had to endure this rattling. He grabbed the hand of his wife, who was seated between us, and he woke her up from a sound sleep. Having gained his wife’s groggy attention, he started praying loudly in an Eastern European language.
Nearby passengers looked back or gazed sideways at this frantic prayer leader. After another big dip that left our stomachs in our throats, our prayer leader sucked in his breath and clenched his teeth until his face turned beat red.
He looked as if his self-induced spike in blood pressure could cause a stroke. His wife quickly stroked his face, his chest, his arms, trying her best to calm him down.
His wife turned to me and said, “He’s afraid of storms.”
I nodded, having figured that out before she verified it. I lifted the window cover at my left side, looked at the white clouds that glistened in bright light beaming from the tip of the sturdy wing. I turned toward the couple beside me and said loud enough to get his attention: “No storms.”
He stopped clenching the muscles in his face and opened his eyes, which were aimed at the overhead compartment. “What? No Storms?” He turned his gaze to me, peering past his wife and directly into my eyes.
“No storms,” I assured him.
He studied my eyes for a few seconds. Was he deciding whether to believe me? Was he wondering why I was so calm in the relentless turbulence? You never know for sure what’s going on in someone’s mind. You can read their behavior to get a clue.
As he nodded and looked away, I watched the flaming red fear disappear from his face. He stopped clutching his wife’s hand and started patting it tenderly while we bounced all the way back to Chicago and savored a smooth landing at O’Hare.
How do you handle turbulence in life and love? How could you choose to see fear and turbulence with new eyes, so you grow through it and even find some joy in rocky times? Feel free to share your story or your success secrets with us now.
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