Dying Daily #146: Mindfulness Monday – Mindfulness and Illness

We’ve had a rough stretch of illness the last two weeks here at the house. Max seems to have caught the brunt of it, but Barbara and I haven’t felt well either. If I am not careful I can get frustrated with the things illness keeps me from doing, and this can project onto the people around me.

I don’t like to admit it, but not feeling well is part of life. Illness is inevitable. We do get to choose how we respond to it though.

Whether it is from sickness or injury or allergies or surgery or something else, there are going to be times you just don’t feel well. Things like chronic illness or chronic pain complicate this, while a terminal illness of some kind changes everyone’s focus completely.
Part of the problem with illness is that we regard it as out of the ordinary or wrong. We think it should be different. I automatically view illness in myself as a weakness or an indication that I made a mistake somewhere during the week. I often view it as me being a baby or just complaining. This often causes me to push a little harder that I should and extend how long I am sick.
Not a great response.

If illness enters our life due to poor choices on our part, then we can address the things that are within our control.

Our diet, sleep, a clean environment, stress, the quality of our relationships. These all have an impact on our health, and we can have an impact on them.
Here’s the problem though: you can be on the ball with all of these things, you can have a perfect, disciplined life, and you will still get sick (you will still die too, by the way). These are the moments we have to simply sit back and accept what we cannot control. We have to set aside the ideas for what we wanted to do and what our plans were and give our body what it needs. We have the choice to resist this, but it will only keep us sick longer, or just make it all worse.

Illness is an inevitability in life. You will get sick or injured at some point.

Can you do this without judgment?

Can you accept how you feel no matter what, and allow it be there as long as it needs to?

Can you drop comparisons and simply exist in what is?

Here’s hoping for a healthy week for everyone, thank you for reading.