Sometimes you need to Bleed

When was the last time that you bled? Seriously, when was the last time? Were you a kid and you were playing with knives? A paper cut at the office? Maybe a box cutter at your first job in high school? What about giving blood as an adult? Whatever it was, when was the last time? Do you remember what it felt like? Do you remember what it looked like? Of course you do, it sucked didn’t it? It’s not likely something you look forward to in the future.

We all know what it feels like to bleed and most of us do everything that we can to avoid doing so. (That is unless you’re into that sort of thing. I’m not throwing shade, that’s just not my cup of Earl Grey.) We wear shoes, gloves, and use tools to avoid anything that can cut and cause pain. Some of us avoid needles like the plague due to the fear of pain that they cause. People have gone to great lengths to redesigned products to be safer. Have you ever used a can opener that doesn’t leave a sharp edge? (I used one long enough to throw it away once.) Razors, which were once pieces of art wielded by skilled artisans, have now evolved into puny, overpriced, plastic exfoliating devices that any toddler could use. We humans, most of us, don’t like pain. We don’t like to bleed. We don’t like the way it feels during and after. We always seek comfort.

I had a first aid teacher in college that said “The circulatory system is a closed system. If you see red, that’s a bad thing.” In the case of first aid she was right, but is bleeding really a bad thing? Can there be benefits to bleeding? In the earlier example of giving blood that is clearly a benefit to others. Giving blood can be the difference between life and death for someone in an unfortunate medical situation. The same can be said for many of us in other areas of our lives. Many of us have areas of our life that we are so afraid of seeing blood from that we forget how to live in the first place. Where do you have too many layers of protection and safe guards set up in your life? If you’re like me it’s your personal relationships. (I keep much of my true personality clad in leather gloves, safety glasses, chaps, a flak jacket, and a helmet.) Is it your art that you are too afraid to show or start. Is it that business that you want to try but you can’t let go of the fear of failure? Is it the new clothing style that you want to try? Is it that awkward conversation that you need to have with someone? All of these situations can be stressful, painful, unpleasant, and they’ll make you bleed, but they can also be rewarding.

The blood that you shed in these situations is usually the price of admission to something greater. It can also be the difference between life and death for your dreams, relationships, and success in life. So ask yourself, where do you need to bleed? Leave a comment and tell me what you think.

Thanks so much for reading.