Friday, January 28, 2011

A New Viewpoint Of An Old Ill

Yes, it is Friday, once more, and I am in reflection mode. I sit here at the end of birthday-week grateful for my body's amazing ability to heal. On my birthday eve, I met my husband for dinner, co-taught a storytelling workshop, which my husband graciously attended, and returned home for late night present opening and fun dessert. Monday completed my weekend trilogy of parties and gastro-indulgence (a new word, I just coined), which, at the time I enjoyed immensely. My body had other opinions. On Tuesday morning I awoke feeling just a bit queasy. By Tuesday night my body was in full purge mode after succumbing to a gastrointestinal bug that efficiently, if not painlessly, rid my body of every sweet, corn chip, and bit of pizza that I had invited into my system over the weekend.

In the past, I have always viewed the stomach bug as an evil destroyer that swoops in unexpectedly and results in fevered pleas for relief, even if that relief means sudden death. I know, that sounds dramatic, but in the throws of cold sweats and waves of nausea, sudden death doesn't seem like such a terrible option, at least to me. This time was different. Although the cold sweats and waves of nausea were the same, my view of the misery I experienced was dramatically different. This time, I clearly saw both my body and myself as co-creators of my experience.

For three days prior, I took little to no care for what I asked my body to digest and, in doing so, I created the perfect atmosphere for a virus to enter, nest, and multiply. My body, reacting in a healing fashion that involved stomach cramps, fever, and many trips to the bathroom, quickly and efficiently rid itself of the offending viral intruder and just as efficiently cleansed itself of the myriad of gastrointestinal horrors I had ingested all in the name of celebration. Through it all, even as I felt as if sudden death may be a better option, I did not ask for it. Instead, I recognized that "this too will change," reminded myself that my strong, healthy body would endure this trial, and I gave thanks to the Universe for this opportunity to heal.

Today I am feeling much better and have begun to enjoy eating once more, but with a fresh perspective. I am starting my 41st year with a new respect for my body's wisdom, healing ability, and, most importantly, my role in being its steward and protector. For this, I am truly grateful.

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