The Value of Illness

Caught the flu this past week … yep … the aches, the pains, the coughing, congestion and headache … oh boy! It came on like a freight train.

I was in bed for several days vacillating between hope and despair. While laying in bed staring at the ceiling, I kept asking myself why. Why had I gotten the flu? I’ve been around people with the flu, including nursing my daughter through it, and never contracted it, so why did I get it now? The answers were revealing.

In answer to my question about why I got the flu, I quickly figured that out. I got it because I was energetically over extended and stressed beyond my body’s ability to cope. Of course, having grown up in a family where living with high level stress was normal, it did not occur to me that I had gotten so over extended. So, when my friend showed up with the flu, I was already poised to get it. Of course, I was angry with her initially but finally realized that she didn’t have much to do with it. As I said, I had been around it before and hot gotten sick.

Having taken responsibility for allowing myself to get so far out of whack, I let go of my anger and focused on getting better. In the week or so that it took, I began to see many blessings in this illness, blessings that at the end showed me what a gift it had really been.

I was able to finally kick a caffeine addiction. I knew the caffeine was having a negative impact on me but I didn’t really know just how much until I stopped drinking it. The caffeine seemed to add to my anxiety by making me nervous and tense. I was also able to kick other food addictions as well, cravings that caused me to over eat certain foods that just are that great for me.

Another gift was unplugging from work and getting to the point where I didn’t care what happened or if I would continue. You see, I’ve been trying to figure out my next step for months now. Even though I’ve been told to be patient, something big is coming that is going to change everything, I keep catching myself obsessing about it. Being so sick that I no longer cared about work was just what I needed to get me to unplug and let things transpire as they needed. My obsessing and focusing on it was actually impeding progress.

The final gift was that Noelle, the little foster dog and my dog Lucy finally bonded. Lucy, wouldn’t give this little girl the time of day because Noelle was running around clearly stressed. Having the opportunity to sleep for 4 days with there with her, present and not distracted was all she needed to settle down. Once calm, Lucy “adopted” her. I would not have known to do that had I not been sick and even if I did, I doubt I would have take 4 days off and stayed in bed.

I can’t honestly say I was happy about getting flu at first. After all who enjoys feeling like they’ve been run over by a freight train? Now, after seeing all the good things that came of it, I can say I ma so grateful. So, the value of illness is that it can allow you to accomplish things you can’t or won’t do when you are well.