For my husband and myself the most obvious reason for recovery is the flu. While we have removed the pretend "quarantine" sign from our front door and are back into the world, our pace is slower and more measured and our days continue to include rest periods. This has been quite the siege.
For most of last week we moved from couch to chair to bed, dragging boxes of Kleenex with us along with mugs of hot liquids. We napped and read and watched all the seasons of Downton Abbey again and ate lightly, and every night we wondered if the next day would mean feeling better. We told our daughter who brought soup to leave it at the front door and run! She disobeyed, of course, coming inside to check on us. We set aside concerns about Christmas tasks and instead, put up our feet, books on our laps, in the glow of our Christmas tree lights.
Now that we are at the improved and improving stage comes a new test. When you are truly down, sick, rather than not so sick, it is easier to make decisions about what you can do and what you can't and how you feel and how you don't. Now, however, as you heal and recover, temptations abound, especially with Christmas Eve eight days away. There is the need to do one more thing, to stretch beyond what seems smart.
This is the time when it is important to really listen to your body. This is the time to be gentle with yourself. Yes, you probably could do one more thing, but is it the wise thing to do, the healing thing to do? Of course, there is the possibility of being self-indulgent, but really, how often do you actually do that? More than likely, you set high standards for yourself of what you "should" do, and now is not the time to worry about your self-imposed expectations. Yes, it is good to stretch, to pay attention to the signs of improvement, to be aware of tugs of normalcy, but make sure the drill sergeant inside isn't barking orders.
Now is the time to stop and listen, to pause, to reflect, to ask yourself, "How am I really doing?" and "What do I really need?"
Dear Friends, each one of us is always in some stage of healing and recovery. Only you know where you are. Sit with your own healing and be gentle with yourself.
May all be well.
May the God who listens to our hearts and enters into our pain bless us and all who are in need with the comfort and quiet of Her gentle presence, now and always. Amen
Marchiene Vroon Rienstra
Where are you in the healing and recovery process? Are you aware of when you need to be gentle with yourself and when you need to stretch beyond yourself? I would love to know.