Just when I thought I was over being sick, I was hit with the worst case of stomach flu of my life. I was riding the waves of illness for awhile and the repercussions shook me up so that I am still weak after a week of recovery.
I know that we’re only given as much as we can handle, but I found myself praying one night asking for mercy, willing the pain and discomfort to stop.
After I started feeling better, I begun to think about the “why” in the “why did this happen?”
Several days of staring off into space with nothing to do, I began to see the irony of what I was going through. I had been on a challenge for 21 days to do nothing. And now here I was forced to do just that. This time illness bound me to bed and I really could not do anything, even if I wanted to.
After sickness cleared out my stomach and body, I went through a series of lessons. The first was compassion.
Compassion for those in pain.
As I lay in bed, I thought about all of the people who were sitting in their bed and could not move. I thought about my grandfather who stricken with severe diabetes and who spent the remaining years of his life there. I thought about my grandmother who could not escape from the confines of confusion and memory loss Alzheimer’s brought.
I thought about mothers caring for their sick children and sick adults trying to take care of themselves.
I thought about every single person who felt pain, was enduring sickness or going through a difficult time. It was a heavy moment. But I had nothing else to do so I inhaled it in.
The second was purpose. While I sat there, I thought about my purpose. I thought about stripping away the trivial things of my past and emphasizing and intensifying my passion.
I remember being in grammar school and having a portfolio. In it, there were cut up magazine ads and story boards I drew with grandiose ideas to sell ordinary every day products. I was a copywriter at heart, but I let the dream die when I became an adult.
Part of that was realizing a few obstacles that got in the way. One was all the obsessing I was doing on what others were accomplishing. Doing so made me abandon my dream. I vowed to start obsessing on my own life.
When it takes you twice as long to do the things you normally do, you grow patience. Patience is something I needed to develop. I am the type of person who loves to check things off her to-do list. I enjoy seeing finish products, not projects in process. But after this past challenge, I learned how vital patience is. I need patience so I can heal 100% from my illness. I need patience so I can grow my business. It takes patience to get through the hard, unfruitful and challenging times. Being sick with lots to do and no energy to do them, reminded me about that.
Elevating the Little Things
The little things made a big impact on me while I was sick. I had to find gratitude in the small things. I looked forward to bath times so I could feel the comfort of warm water on my cold skin.
If you can find small things to feel joyful, you can get through anything.
If you can do small things every day to get you towards your goals, you will eventually change your life.
The Gift of Illness
No one likes to be sick. But I’m grateful for the lessons I discovered during a moment of temporary illness. They have been an unexpected, though appreciated gift.