When I was a senior in high school, I received an award for not having missed a day of school in more than five years. I thought it the stupidest award ever and secretly delighted that the day following the assembly was "Senior Cut Day." I hadn't missed any days because I just didn't get sick very often. My parents credited "Christian Science," their stated religion that they really didn't know all that much about. To me, that simply shoved one more thing into the column "things that are Angela's that don't really belong to her." Even my own good health had nothing to do with me!
I came back from Mardi Gras with the worst cold I have ever had. In fact, it is not even the first cold I have had in recent memory. I have had them a lot more recently and I realize how much I took my good health for granted.
Health is an area where my tender hearted feelings hate to say we have attracted our diseases and illnesses. I have friends who have things they struggle with that make my cold look like the sniffles. Just this year I was informed my ex-husband has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers. Imagine telling someone he attracted THAT into his life!
I actually began the trip to New Orleans with a sore throat. I missed two days of work nursing it and wondering why this was happening. What I didn't know was that a friend who was also taking the trip and who was also suffering a sore throat had a co-worker who had a cold and who daily said, "I hope I don't give my cold to all you guys going to Mardi Gras!" Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you co-attraction! By the end of the trip we had indeed all received at least a little of that co-worker's cold.
I can't blame all of it on him, though, because as I said, I've had more than my normal share lately. This cold saps me of strength, makes me cough uncontrollably and generally, makes me feel like a red "Biohazard" should be taped across my forehead. It has given me a lot of time to sleep and a lot of time to sit relatively quietly and think. First, when I've attracted something undesirable into my life, I think the first thing to consider is what it forces me to do. A cold forces me to take better care of myself for a number of days. I had to wonder, could multiple colds be multiple reminders to take better care of myself? Which forced me to admit it has been more than a few years since I have really taken care of myself. Somewhere around the end of my marriage, I began a path towards greater emotional maturity and happiness. It was easily the best decision I have ever made. Along the way, however, it is easy to become too attached to a person or an idea and then it is like time freezes. Forgetting that attachment is NOT the goal, I set sleep, exercise or vitamins aside in pursuit of more of that person or idea. I stop taking care of myself.
Today, somewhere between nap number two and three, I found myself crying about a very old emotional pain. One I recognized very long ago and have never quite overcome. For me, that is how it works. Look to the obvious. What is the undesirable forcing me to do? Wait for inspiration. It is time for me to clean up some very old biohazards in my heart. I am ready.