I feel deeply humble these days after coming through a challenging time. A few weeks ago I was brought to my knees by a nasty winter bug. After wrestling with this illness for over two weeks, I finally emerged triumphant and healthy. Yet the healing process was not easy.
I am usually the one who doesn't get sick.
When everyone around me is dropping like flies, I keep on flying. I once went 15+ years without a cold or flu. When I start to feel sick, I simply shift into healing high gear. Out comes the elderberry syrup, echinacea tea, and vitamin C. I go to bed early, do energy healing on myself, and by morning all is usually well.
Well, not this year. I was absolutely miserable for over two weeks with headaches, fatigue, body aches, interrupted sleep, a nasty cough, and endless congestion. This doesn't sound so bad, does it? Just an ordinary winter bug, right?
To get an idea of just how bad I felt, tune in to day six. As I tossed and turned in the middle of a very long sleepless night, I actually had the thought, "Am I ever going to feel better? This is as bad as childbirth!" I was stuck in that place where you feel like the pain and misery is never going to end. If you have ever been in labor or stood by someone giving birth, you know exactly what I mean.
What made this ordinary illness so miserable that it was reminiscent of child birth?
Drum roll here……. ISOLATION. I have lived alone since my beloved passed away over a year ago. Though I am normally very social and have many loving people in my life, when I was ill I stayed in bed for over ten days. Alone. My only contact was with my acupuncturist and a friend who brought over chicken broth and tissues. When the phone rang, I had little energy to answer it. My emails stacked up. I felt utterly alone in my misery.
This was definitely self imposed isolation. I have friends and family who would have come in an instant if I had reached out. Yet I didn't have the energy to do so. And I certainly didn't want to expose anyone to this nasty bug.
So I stayed home…. alone, alone, alone.
Coughing. Blowing. Sneezing. Sniffing. Alone, alone, alone.
We've all been sick and somehow made it through. Of course, I made it through and now feel good again. Looking back I see that the despite the misery and the days in bed, there was a great gift in this experience.
This illness reminded me that the most powerful healing force is loving connection with others.
When a friend dropped off groceries, my pain eased. When I saw my acupuncturist, my pain eased. When a friend came to walk my dog, my pain eased.
The moment we reach out and share our pain with others, light rushes into the raw and tender parts within us that are in need of healing.
This is true with different kinds of pain -- physical, emotional, or mental. As I write, this seems rather obvious. Yet it is worth shouting from the rooftops.
Even though we may know the most powerful healing force is loving connection, our competitive, consumer-oriented culture encourages and celebrates the lone-wolf mentality. The accomplishments of the ones who are in the limelight are often honored more than the team that stands behind them. We often feel like we have to tough it out on our own, rather than humbly ask for the support we need. This is slowly changing as humanity evolves, yet we have all been conditioned by the lone-wolf mentality, which often inhibits our capacity to reach out when we are in pain.
We all have pockets of pain and suffering that are seldom, if ever, shared.
Yet there can be tremendous liberation in sharing these tender parts with a compassionate listener. Today, I invite you to bring light to those painful places within that need love and compassion by embracing the process of inquiry and asking a few simple questions….
In what areas of life do I need to reach out for empathy and support?
What feelings am I suffering alone with?
Who can I call upon to hold a loving space for my pain, without trying to fix it?
By facing our own tender painful parts and opening to the care and compassion that is all around us, we create a loving, compassionate healing space for ourselves that is much bigger than our isolated pain.
And don't forget to ask these questions as well…
Who around me is suffering alone?
Who needs my attention, love and compassion?
How can I be there to help ease their pain and suffering?
By extending loving attention and empathy to others, we become a mighty healing force, sending waves of love around the planet. So let's use all this vibrant Spring energy to reach out and do this for each other, bigger and bolder than ever before.
Shining big love,
P.S. I'm here for you.
An energy therapist, relationship and spiritual life coach, Ariana is a lover of love in all of its many delicious forms; self love, couples love, family love, community love and ultimately, the universal love that pervades all.