I’m Sick—What Does It Mean?
I’ve been sick recently. I rarely get sick though. Last time I was laid low like this was over 3 years ago…when I did that little out-of-body near death walk about. Not so much as a sniffle between then and now.
This round was just a flu bug. Teased me with a scratchy throat for 2 days, then BAM! Down for the count. 9 days.
I’m happy to report I’m still not dead–AND recovering energy, focus, determination and a lovely smidge of spontaneity.
I will be seeing my dear friend, mentor and teacher, Geraldine, in a few hours. We have much to catch up on. One of the things I am certain she will quiz me about will be “Sharyn, why did you need to be sick?” And I will offer the best answers I have.
“Sharyn, why did you need to be sick?”
Now before we go even one word further, let me assure you I understand the bio-chemical basis for illness. Particularly transmittable viruses. I could have picked this bug up from anywhere. My grandkids, the sick checkout clerk at any number of places I have made purchases, the shopping cart that I for once didn’t sanitize.
A million places.
So don’t go all prune faced about the question.
What I want to know is, given the millions of opportunities that I have encountered to get sick and didn’t, why the hell now?
Furthermore, did I want to get sick? Did I intentionally bring this on myself. That’s stupid. No.
Do I know how to magically ward off such things? Or hypnotize or imagine or intention my way to good health? No. Too damn bad, too, or I surely would have stopped with that scratchy throat and first hint of getting sick.
So what the hell kind of question is “Why did you need to get sick?”
Not “Did you need to get sick?”
But “Why did you need to get sick?” The question itself assumes that there was something meaningful, purposeful even, on someone’s part in this experience that bears exploring. That nothing is an accident. Or senseless. Or meaningless.
We don’t actually KNOW everything.
But we’d like to learn more. Yes?
So whether my getting sick was a random act of nature or something more personal, something more meaningful—this is why I think it is so important to ask this question—in a very matter of fact, non-judgmental, ordinary sort of way:
1. We don’t know everything.
2. We want to understand more about our own mystery and The Mystery of Life itself.
3. In order to learn more, we have to look beyond the obvious. Past the boundaries and limitations of what we think we already know.
4. Ask questions that we may only be able to find incomplete, hard to describe non-quantifiable, intuited answers to.
So did I “need to get sick?” I don’t know. But asking the question revealed some interesting benefits.
6 Ways I Benefited From Being Sick
1. I DIDN’T CARE. Before entering the first level of hell, I had some things on my mind. Worrisome things. Things about which I was having trouble getting to higher ground. Situations I pretty much can’t do anything about. Struggling with an awful sense of helplessness about someone I care for deeply.
Being sick makes it impossible to care beyond the immediate happenings taking place in one’s body. Head doesn’t work. So all the imagining of possibilities that foster very real emotional pain and suffering is halted. Too sick to care. Hallelujah! Focus is almost entirely on survival.
2. NOW. When your head feels like it is going to blow off at any moment—and that would be a welcome relief–, and you have a reasonable fear that you are at risk of coughing up a lung, yesterday and tomorrow become irrelevant. It’s the present moment, baby. Moment by moment. Breathe, cough, breathe, hold head, hold side, moan, breathe. Water. More water. Breathe. Cough. Panic. No. No panic. Don’t go there. Relax. Relax. Breathe. That’s right. COUGH COUGH COUGH. Breath………What if??? Don’t go there. Come back to now. Be here now.
You get the picture. One moment to the next. Now. Now. Now. Now.
3. INTENTION. FOCUS. WILL. For over a week, day and night (no sleep), being in the moment, focusing on the best possible I could provide for myself physically, attitudinally, emotionally, spiritually. The very best. Focus. Find the highest, best possible thought. Look for it. Seek the best possible feeling. Not the easiest. The best. They are often different.
I couldn’t will my body to get well, but I did will myself to provide the best possible inner environment I possibly could. That was the only place I had a modicum of control. So I used it. That’s what I focused my attention on, what I willed for my intention—give to yourself the very best you can in this moment—physical, attitudinal, emotional, spiritual support on all levels.
A solid 9 days of that kind of focus is like a language immersion experience. You come out of it with a new and significantly stronger focused determination than before. A more well defined and finely honed ability to seek and find the best possible.
4. TIME OUT. I couldn’t obsess about work and all the things I need to do, the challenges that reveal lurking insecurities and self-doubts that must be faced, the millions of new things to learn, an unfamiliar environment. Forget about it. I couldn’t manage food, so no need to try to come up with “what’s for dinner tonight” yet again. I didn’t want to contaminate anyone else (like I could stand to go anywhere), so relationships were on “pause.” Fortunately, I am an introvert, so that part was manageable. Maybe even needed at some level I could not acknowledge.
5. BETTER NUTRITION. I have been a wee bit out of sorts with myself over my B minus level of physical self-care. Those of us who tootle around in Spirit Land often are challenged by the requirements of maintaining physicality. Boring.
But I have been saying for a while that I needed to get back into eating more fresh veggies and fruit. And put the kibosh on the wine—at least seriously cut back. And I had not been drinking as much water as I know would be helpful to my body. Which is a little wacky, as I really like water.
Well, I couldn’t stand to eat junk. And alcohol was definitely a “no way, Jose!” And water, water, water was the only thing that actually helped relieve the cough. And thirst.
So, almost 10 days later, here I am. Alcohol (mostly) free, visit to Farmer’s Market yielded up all sorts of fresh goodies, and water with me at all times. Chugging so much water does make for some challenges with this residual cough, but practicing kegels isn’t such a bad thing either. Oh, and honey. I have the notion in my head that honey can help cure almost anything.
This next one is what Geraldine is REALLY gonna want to know about…..
6. SPIRITUAL CONNECTION. I’ve been in continual touch with my Whoever/Whatever Helper(s) from Home. So reassuring. Comforting. Encouraging. Perhaps it is actually myself—the larger part of me that is Spirit. Reassuring this little old physical part that all is well. I know. I know there are those who would say, “Of course it is you. It is all in your mind. A simple projection.” I get that. Some things sound foolish even to my own ears. And I used to worry what “scientific” folks would think or say. But fortunately, I have been practicing, “live and let live” for a good while, so anybody can think whatever they want to. It’s easier to mean it when I say that it’s all good. One Tree. Many roots. And branches. For me, a powerful sense of connection to this world and Mystery is The Bomb.
SUMMARY – What Does Getting Sick Mean?
1. It means I came in to contact with organisms my body couldn’t say no to. And a struggle ensued.
2. It means that by being willing to look deeper, peer into the Mystery beyond the immediately obvious, my take away was far more than simply returning to the status quo. It means that I am richer, better prepared, something has been “re-set,” refined, strengthened. I would say, renewed and possibly transformed.
3. It means that—-well, I don’t really know what it means, except that–in some weird way, I have been helped.
IMPORTANT ADVICE! If you look and can’t find anything positive or honestly meaningful about your physical experience, then don’t—I mean absolutely DON’T go into negative, shitty meaning. Like “This means I’ve done something wrong and am being punished?” or “I’m afraid I made myself sick.” Or something where you feel awful. Just go with, “I don’t know what the hell this means so I’m going to stop thinking about it and just do the best I can at getting better.” See? Now you are practicing intentional “up level” thinking. Nice going!
If you are interested in moving your inner conversation to a more aligned, higher level, then you may be interested in exploring a new course I am creating: Your Wisdom Code: A Structure For Understanding The Mystery of Your Personal Destiny Guidance System . (or something like that.) I’ll be putting together a beta group for a limited number of participants to craft an awesome individual experience that includes high touch personal attention from me.
Interested? Shoot me an e-mail letting me know to: firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll add you to the information notification list.
And be well!
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