I’ve been sick for about five days now, and it’s given me the chance to bitch, complain, take care of myself and learn a lot about letting go when you don’t have much of a choice.
And yes, it all happened in that order.
This week didn’t go according to plan at all. My partner is overseas and my kids are with their dad, so my plan was to lavish myself with long days reading, working, going to the sauna and just doing me without time limits or needing to take care of anyone else.
So naturally, it was the perfect time to get sick.
For the record, I hate being sick. I love taking care of myself - that’s not hard. I take days off, get massage, go to the spa… I do self care. But sick? I don’t do sick. I can’t stand feeling stuck in bed, inside and parked on my couch watching hours of mindless movies.
I did it easily for the first day, because that I can handle.
However, when the first day turned into the second, third, fourth and now fifth… well… time to practice what I preach.
Let me start by saying that I know what to do in these situations just like most people know. But knowing is useless without the doing.
I first remembered what I knew on the second day - when I was sending complainy voice messages to my best girl all about how I don’t have time for this shit. I’ve got work to do. A book to write. Clients to serve. And relaxation to indulge in, dammit. What the hell?
Just then, the still voice within my heart chimed in and asked, “What’s next right thing in this very moment?”. Oh. Right.
Suddenly I remembered what I knew. And that, my dear friend, is what I want to share with you today, from the infirmary - as in - while I’m telling you this, I’m literally doing it over and over and over again.
Step One. Allow it. Don’t fight it. It really doesn’t matter if being sick is a physical or metaphysical thing. By being pissed off, you get into more toxic energy, meaning you turn what might be physical into a energetic experience that only takes your deeper into the downward spiral.
Step Two. Invite it. Ask what the message is. Ask yourself, “What am I supposed to learn here?” Because even if you’re just sick, there’s still something to learn. Take inventory of your health lately, your habits, how you’ve been feeding yourself and what’s been stressing you out. If you’re sick, your immune system has been compromised. How did you get here? Invite the message.
This was the part where I had to fully get real. I got out my journal and had a conversation with myself about what I was really fighting. Because people get sick. It happens. And some people take the time to slow down or stop altogether and other people fight it to no end. (me)
I needed to journal what I was fighting and why.
Q. Why not slow down?
Because I have shit to do. Deadlines. Clients. Things will add up. I might explode.
Q. But you can’t right now. And doesn’t it always work out? What are you afraid of?
Ugh. I know it does. But fear. But letting people down. But (gasp) losing money.
Oh. Gotcha. So the ugly ‘not enough’ beast strikes again.
Important side note: This is a beast that strikes regularly. Don’t abuse yourself if it happens to you. Shame happens. Fear and doubt happens. Feeling like you’re not enough - it happens. What’s important here is your resilience; your ability to see it for what it is and come at it hard with the real truth and the actions that prove it.
Step three: Trust. Yes, you've got a lot to do. I've got a lot to do right now. But you and I both know that we've been sick before and everything's worked out. Life has a mysterious way of working out like that. Suddenly, the projects you had to do take you half the time to complete. A boss extends a deadline for no reason having to do with you. Money shows up randomly to make up for the loss. And the people that matter - are very understanding. You're life won't fall apart and I think you know that. Yes it's scary and yes you're stressing - but stop. It's not helping. In fact, your stress is going to draw this whole thing out a lot longer. So choose to trust. Breathe. And move on to step four.
Step four: What’s the next right thing? Sure I wanted to feel better but better was the end goal. There were steps I needed to take to get there. So the next right thing was feeling a little better than I was now. Let’s not overcomplicate it either. What would make you feel better in that moment? Hot shower? Sauna? Massage? Tea? Soup? Water? Do the next right thing.
Step five: Have effing gratitude. Really. In times like these it’s so easy to compare yourself with the annoying healthy people around you living their lives and feeling good and that’s a whole lot of not fair but stop there. Not true. We all get sick. And you’re body is working for you. Your body is a miracle machine working to restore you to your wholeness. That was a huge part of my mental transformation. That, and the fact that I can be pretty damn thankful that it’s pouring rain outside and I’ve got a home and warm fire to be sick next to.
Sick happens. I’m not special. There’s no lightning bolt being shot from the sky trying to sabotage my life. It’s not unfair. It just is.
The key is to find your power within the mess and see what you can do, in the middle of so many can’ts. That’s what I had to learn. That by choosing to allow this, to invite the message, to do the next right thing and find gratitude along the way, I can heal on more levels than the sickness I’m facing.
So be sick. But just like life - own it. Own it by going with it, learning from and doing what you need to do get through it in the best way for you.
And with that.
I’m going back to bed.