You might be expecting to read about Rose Quartz, but actually I'm about to tell you about laundry. Yep, laundry, the unexpected gift that keeps on giving.
So last week, I suffered a mild bout of food poisoning. I say mild because it only lasted about a day, and I think true food poisoning can go on longer and be much worse, but it was still hella bad!
Symptoms began about 20 minutes after I ate a salad (thanks Universe, just when I try and eat better) A dreaded feeling of nausea comes over me, rumbling way, way downstairs starts, then stomach cramps, and soon my lunch is trying to exit the building in a seriously disorderly manner. (Like fleeing a burning building.) I'll spare you the grizzly details, and they truly were grizzly, but needless to say every exit including my nose was in use. It was bad, really bad.
For the whole afternoon and evening, I had several more bouts of vomiting, even when there was absolutely nothing left, it was excruciating, but nothing compared to the continuous pounding in my head, it must have been a migraine, as calling it a headache just doesn't do it justice.
You might be wondering when is laundry going to make an appearance since I previewed it at the beginning. Well, here it is; as I made my way back into the bathroom, I see piles of laundry that need to be done, and in that moment I realize how much I would just like to do this laundry, my kid's laundry, and actually clean my whole house, but because I'm currently being held hostage by the nausea, and severe headache, I can only do one of two things.
As I got back into bed, unable to sleep because of the tightening vice on my head, I lay there thinking about all the things I need to clean in my house. Wondering, if I have squandered all my opportunities to clean my home, and make things nice and neat for my family.
It sounds dramatic, but I feared I might not be able to function properly if the pain in my head didn't stop. It was unreal. It must have been 3 or 4 in the morning when I finally fell asleep, when I woke up I held my breath fearing I would soon experience the pounding in my head, but thankfully it was gone.
It was then I decided to give thanks for being able to do the laundry, to make lunch, to clean up, to go for a walk in the heat, pick up dog poop, do school with my kids, all the mundane things that make up daily living. I had forgotten that being pain free is such a huge gift, not afforded to everyone.
I rarely get sick, so I don't have a lot of references of what being sick feels like. As humans we tend to do everything we can to avoid pain, sickness, difficulties, any discomfort, but if we don't experience those things then we can't truly be grateful for being healthy, pain free, at peace, and in comfort. How can we have adequate empathy for those who are experiencing pain?
It's so cliche, but there is no light without the dark. We have got to go through hurts, pain, loss, in order to value the absence on those things. How would we know how amazing it is just to be able to do laundry if we didn't have moments when you are so broken down that you can't even pull yourself off the bathroom floor?
This is not to shame anyone into being grateful for what you have, that's not this. This is my reminder to myself, that pain, discomfort, fear, all those dark side emotions are required part of living. We all have to experience them, so rather than being afraid of the discomfort, realize it is there for your benefit, it will leave you with unexpected gifts. In this way, you know darkness and pain serves the light and the living.