Almost smack dab in the middle of this challenge, I tested positive for Covid.
I had symptoms several days before I tested positive, yet until I saw the results of a positive test, I didn’t give my body the rest it was asking for. Like so many times in the past, I tried to push through, thinking that I didn’t have time to be sick, or that a strong person doesn’t let a few cold symptoms hold me down.
I already had a few blogs scheduled, so I thought I could catch up without anyone being the wiser. I would push through and my bout with Covid would go unnoticed to the outside world.
On July 14th I was writing a blog and I hit a wall.
I couldn’t write another word, and the words I was writing made no sense. That is when I took the test. Only when I had validation from outside my self could I slow down and allow my body to heal on a deeper level.
It felt like such a relief to relinquish all responsibility and listen in deeply to what I needed on a cellular level. For the next few days I did nothing but rest, and I didn’t feel guilty.
When I began to emerge from my fog, I wondered why I missed my body’s urging to rest and recover.
Even though I hadn’t tested positive, I had a fever, a severe headache, and a cough. I slept most of the day the previous Saturday and Sunday. (my test that weekend was negative) Yet, somehow, I was taken back to a time in my life when I didn’t think I was really sick unless and until I had an official verdict. Whether that be a visit from a doctor when I was a child, (yes, doctors still did house calls back then), or a positive covid test on my counter.
It was a good reminder that listening to my body and being present will never let me down.
It took a few days of not feeling my best to derail me for a few days. And that brings me back to my initial thought that if I could not be consistent with this blog challenge, (or perfect), that I had to quit. Being perfect was an old story, one that got activated when I was feeling sick. After I gave myself permission to rest and heal, only then did I remember that I didn’t have to be perfect, that perfection doesn’t really exist, and that any attempt to be perfect fails. That used to make me feel like a failure.
This time, I remembered that I don’t have to be perfect, and that I can pick up writing again today.
Further reflection revealed the similarity between my experience and the way we sometimes meet grief.
One of the Myths of Grief is to Keep Busy.
Busy-ness serves to distract us. If we are busy, our feelings don’t have a chance to surface, and for a while we can fool ourselves into thinking that staying busy will keep our feelings of grief away. Like every myth, that is a kernel of truth in this, the right kind of activity can assist us to get better at feeling our feelings, and give us a greater capacity to begin to tend to our grief in a way that serves our healing.
When I was denying to myself that I was “really sick” I was trying to will myself better without tending to my body. I was trying to push through, to keep busy, so that my symptoms didn’t have a chance to just be. It was only when I allowed my body to “be sick”, that it began to heal.
Another Myth of Grief is, “Be Strong.”
When I was trying to be strong and push through, I was not listening to my inner wisdom, and just like in grief, pushing through without allowing ourselves to be vulnerable bypasses the skills and resources necessary to grieve well.
This whole experience taught me, once again, that all or our experiences are connected. The way I do one thing is the way I do everything.
When I live well, I grieve well.
When I grieve well, I can reclaim my Self.
When I continue to come back to myself in the present moment, I remember to listen to my own heart, and to be loyal to my soul.