The Bliss Blog

I am writing this article from my bed, listening to music designed to heal body, mind, and spirit. On my bedside table, in the bathroom, and on the kitchen counter is ample evidence that this 59-year-old body is facing yet another round of challenges. I was diagnosed with asthma at age 4, shortly after my beloved grandmother died following a stroke. Losing her was like saying goodbye to a third parent, although I didn’t know at the time what an impact that would have on the rest of my life. I am certain that my family and I grieved together, but my parents modeled (as they did with everything) how to keep on keepin’ on, not missing a step. It wasn’t about appearances or hiding emotions; rather it seemed more about resilience building. I learned it well, and YET, here I am all those years later, recovering from pneumonia that was foreshadowed with challenging episodes of breathing, of running at a rapid pace, not taking time to slooow down and just BE, as if I really know what that means anyway, even as I suggest it to clients and students.

I was forced to do that when, feeling like my lungs were awash, I went to the ER after seeing my PCP the day before. I thought I would simply need a nebulizer treatment and then I would be on my way home. No such… as the doc diagnosed me with pneumonia and told me I would be a guest of the hospital for a few days while they got me stabilized. Family and friends came to visit, call, and send messages online. Reiki and all kinds of healing modalities were offered. Two days after I came home, I was on a coaching call with Lori Ann Davis, whose skills and guidance are assisting me in calling into my life, the partner of my dreams and desires. I first discovered this relationship powerhouse via a series she is part of called Radical Dating. We have been working together for the past year and although men have shown up in my life, I have not yet met the One. At this moment, it feels like a blessing, since another round of relationship lessons has arisen. This one is about not needing to be superhuman to attract a superhero partner. I have been exploring the mystery for decades why I have needed to be invulnerable and invincible to attract lifelong love. Being a caregiver has always felt like insurance against abandonment. On occasion, I have allowed others to take care of me, but only of necessity, this being one of them. I can do my own ADLs, with minor help, like getting a shirt on over my head due to rib injury from coughing too hard. During our session, what arose was that I needed to let things be easy, rather than working so hard for it all. Although I give lip service to taking ME time, this time, there was no excuse since by doc’s orders, I need to take time off from my counseling job and stay home. Now THAT is a huge stretch since my anxiety about financial limitations and FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) by curtailing activities is looming large. I have renegotiated, rescheduled and just outright said no to requests. In the hospital, I watched junk tv, and when a friend brought me some magazines, one was a celebrity tabloid. As I perused the pages, I rolled my eyes at their antics.

I told Lori Ann that I felt I was on the upswing, having slept well the night before and was breathing with greater ease. Spoke too soon, when I coughed too hard and felt my right ribs scream as if I was stabbed between them. I’ve been there before with an intercostal strain. Within short order, I was back in the car as a friend drove me to the ER where I had another nebulizer treatment and sent home with a muscle relaxer and the machine to use here.

I contemplated the journey I am on and know that I need to take the time while I am home to dive deep. I am a firm believer that life keeps handing us a library of lessons and it is up to use to decide which reading material to explore. I also realized this morning, that if love alone was enough, I would be totally healed. I am willing to breathe it in, like the steam from the machine sitting by my bed. I am willing to absorb it through every pore in my skin. I am willing to embrace it as I embrace others.


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