Putting Health Above Commitments

Last week was challenging. On Sunday evening, I became aware of a weak feeling deep in my bones. I felt tired and unwell. By Monday, I continued to feel puny and developed a fierce chest cough. 

Does sickness ever come at the right time? It doesn't seem so, even though I generally believe that timing, in general, is somehow always perfect. I was scheduled to deliver a talk on Tuesday at lunchtime. Tuesday evening, I had volunteered to conduct mock job interviews with my friend Alicia who is doing groundbreaking work with ex-convicts about to re-enter the work world. I also had planned to travel to Santa Fe on Thursday to spend the weekend with my good friend, Peleg.

I had made commitments and people were counting on me. I avoid the possibility of letting someone down -- feeling a sense of shame when it happens. It's a last resort, even if it means personal sacrifice.

By Tuesday morning, I was using every tool I had at my disposal to bolster myself. Knowing how powerful my mind can be, I literally willed away most of the symptoms in order to deliver on my commitments. I gave a compelling talk, did good work with the prison inmates, and while driving home Tuesday evening, hit the proverbial wall.

Ordinarily, I would continue to use my powerful mind to push through this illness. I'd continue doing everything I had planned, in order not to let people down. I used to be fairly proud of what I could accomplish while sick. And on Tuesday, driving home -- exhausted from giving everyone else everything I had -- I knew what was best for me, and it wasn't carrying on with my travel plans.

This might not sound like a revelation -- and I assure you, it was. I don't cancel plans lightly. It may be the first trip I've ever canceled because of illness. Worse still, I had been looking forward to this trip for months. 

I was proud of myself for seeing my own physical health as a greater priority than my irrational emotional need to not disappoint my friend. It felt like growth to me. At 56-years old, my mindset has shifted considerably from the years of driving and pushing.

I can see how my former way of being was coming from a place of scarcity. There wasn't enough space for me to slow down, to rest, to listen to what my body wants. If I didn't keep moving I'd miss something. I believed I would be respected by friends and colleagues if I wasn't strong enough to follow through on every commitment.

And now I see how every commitment can be renegotiated. When I talked to Peleg to tell him I was not coming to visit, he understood and truly wanted me to take care of myself. He was disappointed, and so was I -- but he didn't see it as irresponsible or out of integrity. I was making that part up.

I will feel better soon. We will plan another trip. There is enough time.

I believe abundance is present always, but only if I'm willing to see it. In this story, I was able to renegotiate my commitment. I had the space to heal. I had support from friends and family -- anything I needed was given to me. I had the financial abundance to undertake a supplement regime that is helping me recover my health, and I realize this is a luxury to many. 

I am getting better, on all levels, and I choose to believe the timing is perfect.