Generally we don't think of illness as a good thing. There are so many down-sides to it. That said, I have heard some people say that they were grateful for their cancer because it taught them so much about themselves and ended up being life-changing. That always amazes me.
So several days ago when I read the question, "What if the symptoms of my illness are trying to heal me?" in a meditation book, Coming Home to Myself: Reflections for Nurturing a Woman's Body & Soul by Marion Woodman and Jill Mellick, it wasn't a complete shock.
It reminded me of a dear friend who had spent several weeks in bed last winter. She was ill with pneumonia; and because her husband has Alzheimer's, she carries much of the responsibility for running the household and all other matters in their life together. Later, when she was well again, she said those weeks taught her many things. The lesson with the most impact, however, was that she had to stop trying to do it all. She simply couldn't keep up the pace she had without losing her health or dying. Something had to give. Bottom line is that she decided they needed to sell their home and move to a continuing care community where there would be options for care. She would get some relief in terms of meals available in the facility's dining room, and she wouldn't be responsible for gardens and other home maintenance—only for an apartment. For repairs in the apartment, she has only to call the facility maintenance department.
They've made the move now, and life is so much easier for my friend. She's still worn out from all the house-selling and moving, but that's temporary. She is so relieved—and slowly but surely, she's regaining her energy.
Ironically, this would never have happened had she not gotten pneumonia. It's a reminder to me about how easy it is for me, too, to just go merrily along doing what I've always done. Often I don't stop to think about what might need changing until something stops me in my tracks as it did my friend. You, too?