I am still sick (see previous post An Antidote For Pain). I tell you this not to garner your sympathy or to whine (although I do get discouraged sometimes and I don’t like taking the meds that help me control the pain). I’m telling you this because it is an elegant lesson I’m being offered. I’m being reminded that I don’t get to dictate what will be, no matter how much I may want to. I don’t get to decide to be well. This is not something I can ACHIEVE through sheer strength of will.
I do believe, however, that once I’ve learned the lesson/s shingles is here to teach, I’ll heal. I’m being asked to let go of what I want to be and accept what is. And that holding fiercely to wanting to be well simply won’t make it so.
I have “learned” this lesson over and over again, only to face it in some new form, at some other time, just as I’m doing right now.
It was my Buddhist teacher, years ago, that first helped me to understand this: even learning isn’t something I can necessarily hold onto. It was she who offered me the concept of “practice.” She helped me to understand that we are here to PRACTICE these kinds of lessons.
Rarely do we get to learn something once, in one circumstance, and then “have it” for the rest of our lives. In fact I believe we are presented with the same lesson, in its many forms, at different times in our lives, in order to understand it more deeply. And, like everything, the more we practice, the better we get.
So I am being given this magnificent gift of shingles in order to practice, once again, the act of acceptance. I am being asked to let go of my preconceived ideas of what I am: strong, independent, well, inspired, energetic, productive… and accept what is.
And so I will. I will practice resting. I will accept that I can’t do everything I used to be able to do. I will be patient. I will publish posts later. I will answer correspondence when I can. I will take naps in the afternoon. I will read books for fun… I will be KIND to MYSELF. And perhaps this, this seemingly simple task, is what shingles is here to teach.
And I offer it to you as well. Let us all practice being kind, as kind as we are to others, to ourselves. Can you think of a better New Year’s resolution than that?
Love to you all,