So here’s what happened…
I had pneumonia.
It took ages to diagnose and it lasted for weeks. I coughed and wheezed all night. I dragged my wretched body from my bed to the sofa each morning and back to bed in the evening.
Having asthma made things worse.
Apart from one evening when I got a migraine and cried on and off or five hours, my mood was pretty good. This made me curious.
In the past, when unwell, I would bombard myself with a litany of guilt. Too much work. Too much stress. Too much doing. Not enough sleep, and not enough joy were just a few of the ways I berated myself.
My intentions were good. Self-accountability perhaps. But when I look back, I can see that this behavior had its roots in personal blame. Who wants to dump blame on themselves when they’re sick?
Regardless of how dreadful my body felt, I didn’t pay much attention to the content of my personal thinking. I wasn’t interested in the why’s and the wherefore’s. I just ate and slept and coughed and rinsed and repeated.
It’s not that I don’t believe in the body-mind connection.
I love you Louise Hay. But I do chuckle as I think about how in the past I would have pulled your book from my library shelf and recited the probable causes and necessary affirmations I needed in order to be well.
One afternoon, toward the end of my illness, I sat in the garden. The sun felt like a warm hug as it rested on my body. A hummingbird on a branch of the apricot tree was singing. In that moment I was flooded with ideas of things I wanted to tweak a little in my life.
Our innate health is organic you see. It’s always looking for ways to reach us if we can stay out of our own way. And hey, if you don’t flagellate yourself enough, don’t worry others will.
“Jules, how could you have let this happen? You’re obviously not taking care of yourself,” a ‘friend’ wrote on my Facebook feed.
Another ‘friend’s’ text, “Jules, you know lung issues are all about unresolved grief, right? I hope you’re looking into that and doing the necessary work.”
And the coup de gras, “Jules, hopefully you’ll take this as a sign that it’s time for you to leave Los Angeles.” I laughed out loud at that one.
Note to self, next time someone I love is sick, give them flowers or soup, or both, rather than advice about their failings.
Sometimes a cold is just a cold and pneumonia is just pneumonia.