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  • kchanaharris

I Got Sick and I Didn't Feel Bad

I don't know if anyone else has this strange phenomenon, but as an adult whenever I get sick I feel guilty. Physically, of course I feel awful! But I feel bad. I feel ashamed, like a burden, like my being sick is annoying for other people, like I should never get sick.

So whenever I do get sick, I really beat myself up about it. I'm allergic to gluten. If I'm exposed to a trace amount I will be violently ill for a few days. (This is confusing because I used to eat huge amounts of bread and pizza and crackers with no adverse affect. I learned it was actually affecting me, just not obviously. On the inside, my system was raging. When you remove the offender from your diet, then as soon as its reintroduced your systems sends out HUGE alarms. Hence the violently ill. Science and nutrition lessen done.) When I would be exposed to gluten and get sick, I would inevitably beat myself up over it and think of all the ways I hadn't been careful enough. Not exactly the kind of compassionate attitude one should have towards a person who has fallen ill.

And in fact when other people in my family got sick, I was compassionate! So why leave myself out?

This week I'm supposed to be spending Chanukah vacation with my family. My kids are out of school, its beautiful weather in Israel in December, and there is a special feeling in the air. Unfortunately I was exposed to some gluten in the last few days and am hence, very sick. In the past I would have sat anxiously recuperating, wondering when I should throw myself back into the thick of caring for my kids. I would rush the process, not really taking the time to heal or even feel better. I was NOT allowed to be sick.

Something shifted this time. I realized that being sick doesn't say anything about my character. If someone I loved got the flu, would I be beating them up over it? The more I delve deeper and deeper into holistic healing, I find absolute gems of information. For the record, holistic healing simply means that you take the entire body mind and soul into account when considering your health. When healing, you might treat some extreme symptoms at first, but really you're looking to find the root of the problem.

If I get physically ill yet I am cruel in my emotional response, how do you think I'm going to heal? Not very well. It's going to take longer and be more uncomfortable. Eureka.

Today I am sitting alone while my husband takes my kids out for the day. Normally this would make me feel terribly guilty. Not anymore.

I'm drinking tea. I'm snuggling in my favorite soft blanket (Yes, I have a blankie. It's burnt orange, exceptionally soft and it gives me great comfort). I'm writing a bit. And I will rest. Because my body deserves to recover with love and compassion.

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