To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance. ~An Ideal Husband (courtesy of my childhood chum Jane -- thanks, Jane!)
This afternoon at work, my head started to feel swimmy and sounded echoey. By the time I got home I knew my evening plans were best canceled and my biggest priorities were a bath, dinner, and bed...in precisely that order.
It's been a long time since I've been sick and while it isn't anything full-blown at this point, I'm pleasantly surprised by it.
I know...it sounds weird. What I mean is: This may just be the first time in my forty-one years that I've started getting sick and haven't even remotely begun to...
1. Calculate exactly what I did or didn't do that "made" me sick and use that to berate and bully myself for inviting the illness,
2. Calculate exactly what I should or shouldn't do to hold it off, sure that if I do every single one of these things -- and only then -- I'll be fine,
3. Fight back with the energy of, well...fighting.
I'm pleasantly surprised because I am experiencing a complete lack of resistance. Trying to control this is simply not in my current thought process. Unbeknownst to me, it seems my old story has been cast aside and my long-held fear of being sick -- and being singly responsible for it -- has dissipated.
So this afternoon, instead of blaming myself for what I did or didn't do this time to make myself sick, a new, crystal clear idea presented itself...even strong, healthy bodies get sick sometimes and it is a completely natural process.
To take it further, I feel in my gut that my one and only job in this scenario is to respond to my needs in this moment and let the rest take care of itself. I'm finding that I'm completely confident that my choices tonight are made out of love and sincere caring for myself...not in an effort to control some outcome.
Because maybe I'm not in control of whether or not I get sick, after all. I mean, not really.
Just maybe, in all the years that I thought I had -- or should have had -- control over whether or not I get sick, and set out to wage war against the illness, I've really just been waging war against myself.
There are so many ways we allow our thoughts, and our attachments to them, to wreak havoc with our world -- both inner and outer. The negative energy associated with fighting something with resistance -- by actively pushing away what we don't want to have happen out of fear -- simply sets up a scenario that puts us at war with ourselves. This resistance announces to us and to the world that our experience isn't true...that it isn't valid. By denying our experience and fighting to make it different, we're saying it's wrong...that we're wrong. That our life is wrong.
Meditation and learning to work with our mind, rather than against it, allows us to develop enough space to hear the wisdom of our experience. Creating space through developing the skill of quieting the mind opens the door to let our intuition in...before we can hop right back into the old groove where we tell ourselves that we did something wrong and now it's our job to fight what's happening to us and make it go away.
What if the only way out really is through? What if we trust the experiences we're having and find the strength to let go and ride the wave?
Surrender is a tricky thing. It gets mixed up into something that sounds like giving up, being ambivalent or uncaring. When in fact, it's completely the opposite. It's a softening, an easing in, an honoring of our experience, and a way to develop a complete trust with ourselves -- a trust that says, no matter what we encounter, I'm in.
Sounds a little like marriage vows.
It's the ultimate commitment we can make to any other human being. And is the most loving commitment we can make in our relationship with ourselves.
What if instead of berating ourselves for having done something wrong, we can crawl into the safe cocoon of ourselves and whisper -- it's OK. Everything is as it should be and it's OK. There's nothing else to do but simply...be...here.
When we're not focused on the past or the present, neither of which we can do anything about, we are free to Be wherever we are...and feel in every fiber of our being the peace of being perfectly in our imperfection.
As I settled into the hottest, sweetest smelling bath I could create for myself, I felt exactly that -- a peaceful welcoming in. I felt strongly that whatever my body and I are experiencing is perfect and necessary for no other reason than that I'm experiencing it. I don't have to change it, fight it, or try to make it anything other than what it is.
It doesn't mean it's going to be all fun and games -- let's face it, being sick sucks on any number of levels -- but it doesn't mean it's the enemy either.
Miraculously then, neither am I.//