“No feeling is final. Everything passes.” -Rilke
Does that apply to croup-like cough and strep-ish throat? It certainly applies to the frustration, worry and impatience that can accompany them.
My son has been sick all week. Then it was my turn, three days and counting. And so came the struggle… My partner has sick time, so he is able to stay home and care for our son. I do not, so the question arose, ‘Do I stay home and take care of myself?’
Day one – the arguments in my head ensued; “I can’t miss work; I can’t cancel the workshop; what about the money; what about my clients, I can’t let people down, I CAN”T GET SICK… NOT NOW.” And yet, here I was, sick. Unable to stand up for more than 5 minutes due to sheer exhaustion. and getting more stressed. In this case, my body forced the decision (with a little help from my partner). My mind was needing to catch up to reality.
I came across the above Rilke quote, as I was lying in bed, reading and mildly pouting. Acceptance. A wonderful reminder that practicing acceptance in a difficult situation can certainly ease the suffering that arises from battling the situation. Yes I was feeling frustrated, worried, but mostly I was feeling sick and needed to rest. I couldn’t will the illness away, but I could make it a nice cup of lemon-ginger tea.
Day two – the struggle was less as I called in to cancel work. Again. Obviously the right choice.
Day three – the struggle arose again as I was lying in bed, deciding whether to cancel work. The decision became obvious once I stood up. Now the work of acceptance is staying in the present moment, letting the fear of what happens over the next few days arise, be held with kindness, and then allowed to pass.
I am not someone who believes there is always a silver lining to a situation. However, I continue to learn that when I practice acceptance, I become more open to ALL aspects of an experience. In this case, there have been some sparkling moments that I was able to notice, once I stopped pouting.
1. I learned that my son likes bopping to Hannah Georgas http://www.hannahgeorgas.com – electro-acoustic music. Sweet. 2. I got to witness again how wonderful of a dad my partner is. Very sweet. 3. I realized I am modelling to my son that the most important thing we can do is take care of ourselves. Such an important lesson in a culture of ‘sucking it up’ and ‘pushing ahead.’ 4. I experienced relief and gratitude for being able to call on family for support. 5. I learned once again that when we practice acceptance, panic can dissipate and more options may actually appear.
Lemon-ginger tea anyone?