My saving grace with the lockdown is my daily walk/run. However, a few weeks ago while pounding the pavement, I kept getting a deep-seated message that I would experience the virus. Even though it proved to be correct, I still missed the early signs of symptoms.
With low energy setting in, I began to walk more than run. When my body began to ache I thought it odd but blamed it on exercise. Food became less appealing – that never happens. Then over time I knew.
Different symptoms appeared and increased but I won’t go into them. I’m sharing my journey because ultimately I found it to be a profound experience. There were five days of intense physical discomfort but it couldn’t compare to the deep assessment of myself that took place.
To back up, a week or so before I had any symptoms, while out running I stopped to pet a cat as it walked up to me and seemed friendly. It immediately sunk it claw deep into my wrist. It was extremely painful. That night, lying in bed, I kept asking myself, ‘What made that cat so mean?” Being an animal lover I’ve received bites, scratches and even scars, but have never once thought of the animal as being mean.
During the five most intense days of the virus, memories came flooding back to me of times in my life when I’ve been mean. Sometimes with no remorse. Dating back to elementary school when I tripped a girl on purpose. Saying no to a mother and son looking for lodging to escape a bully of a husband.
I’ve been doing internal clean-up for over 30 years – meaning facing one character flaw after another, yet the above had never been exposed as well as other memories that surfaced. But not all were memories. As intense as the virus was, I knew I was lucky as I had no shortness of breath or lung issues so I went underground to soldier through it without telling my children.
When they found out, my son called and urgently asked me to go to my doctor. I felt no need to and shouted a definite “No.” The more he pleaded the more I stood my ground.
A day or two later I realized that my strong reaction to him had been “mean.” He is my sensitive son who cannot stand to see suffering of any kind. It goes to his core and tears him apart. My quick reaction was all about me without thoughtful consideration for the person I was talking with.
Many people feel the main lesson this virus is teaching us is to slow down. I agree. Whether it’s the daily whirlwind of tackling my “to do” list or listening more carefully to the person in front of me to understand their needs, slowing down is a blessing. If even a forced one.
I rarely get sick, however, when I do I ask myself what is causing my “dis-ease?” Somehow the balance and natural order of good health is being disrupted. Something needs to be cleaned up and cleared out.
At the highest stage of my fever, with my acknowledgement, remorse and willingness to face my lesson, I entered into the healing stage – experiencing a profound and deep calm while still in the throes of fever, chills, aches and fatigue.
Considering the global impact of this disease, I believe that under the tragedy and suffering of it, there is a universal opportunity to heal much of the dis-ease we are currently experiencing worldwide.
We begin by assessing our own lives. Not our parents, sisters, brothers, spouses, friends, colleagues or bosses. What do we need to clean up? What will restore us to our natural state of balance, compassion, kindness and love? Yes, that is our natural state of being. You do not need to get sick to achieve this. Just be aware of when you experience dis-ease and be willing to unearth the cause.
To borrow a word from Brene Brown…it takes courage to “rumble” with ourselves. To dig deep and face our discomfort in order to be part of the solution. Let’s admit, we know all too well the alternative.
What will you choose?