Honor and Surrender

26 Jan

I have a manuscript that I am supposed to finish by the end of the week so I can use a publishing package I purchased before its expiration date. I had great plans of how I would accomplish that task. I always have great plans, but those plans rarely go as I imagine them. This week is no exception.

Yesterday while at the grocery, I started to feel off kilter. When we got home, my husband and I put the groceries away, and I headed for the sofa and a blanket and stayed there until dinnertime. I felt well enough to eat and thought maybe I just needed a nap, but by 10pm I was exhausted and headed for bed. I got up at 5:30 this morning feeling great so I took a shower to wash away the yuck of the previous day. I thought I had beaten the bug. Halfway through helping my boys get out the door, the bug let me know it was still hanging on. After my boys headed to school, I sat down to meditate and write a bit and felt better. A couple of hours later, I have realized how this day needs to go so that I can feel better. I have things I would like to do, but I know if I’m on my feet for more than five or ten minutes I start to feel bad, so I’ll only be on my feet for five or ten minutes. I am surrendering to what is and honoring the fact that my body needs rest and pampering today.

So many people try to deny when they don’t feel well or decide to push through and be tough. On occasion, that works, but on occasion, that can also cost you your life. Jim Henson died from the flu that turned into pneumonia because he refused to rest and get treatment for a very treatable ailment. He was a genius and talent we lost all too soon because he didn’t honor and take care of the body he was given. I was the same way at one time. I smoked. I had breakfasts of Cheetos and Diet Coke. I ate out at least once per day and usually fast food. I ate more than my share of ramen noodles, and now I’m paying the price. I am overweight and under exercised because exercise hurts, not in a sore muscle way, but in a hurts my joints for days kind of way. I’m working on it. I eat lower carb and add veggies wherever I can to keep the nutrition level up. On days like yesterday when I started feeling bad, I realize what a blessing that is because I had homemade chicken broth to sip on when my body needed something healthy but wasn’t ready for solid food. I am also a great believer in the power of garlic as well. Garlic is known as nature’s antibiotic, and when I feel some illness coming on, I peel a small clove of garlic and take it like a pill before bedtime. I do that for a few days and in most instances, I’m good as new. By the way, I am not a doctor, nutritionist or licensed healthcare practitioner, so this is not medical advice for anyone else. I just know it works for me.

As you get older, what works for you changes. When I was young, eating junk food didn’t seem to be a problem. Now that I’m older, it packs on the pounds like crazy. Bread and other gluten heavy foods make me feel bloated and cranky. High carb foods raise my blood sugar. It’s very interesting to see how my body reacts to garbage food, and it isn’t pretty. I eat in more than out to limit temptation because even though I know what works, when warm, fresh bread is set in front of you, it’s difficult for me to pass when everyone else is enjoying themselves. The same is true when I don’t feel well. When I was young, I could easily ignore the issue, and it would usually go away. I thought I was tough and maybe I was, but I’ve watched so many people I know ignore the signs of illness or push themselves to the point of exhaustion without honoring their body’s needs. They think it’s noble, and maybe it is, but I’ve seen so many of those same people have to stop and take care of their body when something more serious manifests that they can’t ignore, and in my family, that has often meant cancer. My grandfather died of liver cancer. My grandmother died of colon cancer. My father died of kidney cancer, and I’ve been told that means I am at higher risk for all of them. What the doctors don’t take into account is the toxic fumes my grandfather may have inhaled while burning doors painted with lead based paints, the depression my grandmother experienced after the death of my grandfather or the poor nutrition of my father. None of them drank water regularly. My grandfather made his own wine. My grandmother was a lover of regular coke and my father consumed a two liter bottle of Diet Pepsi per day. I drink water and tea. Although my grandfather and father both had gardens, there was also plenty of junk food around. In our house, we purchased a five pound can of potato chips per week. Yikes! We didn’t know how bad that was for us at the time, but we do now.

So what does this have to do with today? I don’t know if my dad and grandparents knew how to honor their bodies with nutritional food that enhances life rather than detracts from it, but I do. I do know that my father figured he would die young and would die of cancer and he was right. I choose differently today by drinking water, eating healthy food for me and allowing my body to rest and recuperate as it needs to. I’ve seen what happens when you ignore your body’s needs for too long, and I would prefer a little rest today that a lot of rest and treatment later. I know it’s not the way most people handle their body and their health, but it is the way that I honor mine. Maybe I’m lucky that I only have to do that once or twice a year or maybe that’s why I only have to do it once or twice a year. It doesn’t really matter which one it might be because today I surrender to what is and do the best I can. I wish you good health, and hope you stay well, but if you happen to feel the bug coming on, I wish you the grace of surrender for healing your body and your spirit. So, from my sofa and under my blanket, thanks for being you and have a great day.

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