I have been blogging for Invisible Illness Week 2011 which aims to promote awareness and support of chronic illnesses and pain. The theme this year is: “Deep Breath. Start Fresh.” Earlier this week, for your sipping pleasure, I bottled Spoon! (explaining the physical side of chronic conditions) and Spoon Thief (discussing the mental effects caused by chronic pain). Always looking to achieve balance, here is a post in the Spiritual Musings category, about fulfilling our spiritual needs despite pain and chronic conditions, to round out our week. Sip, Sip Hooray!
“Breath…is a bridge between oneself and God….” (Hazrat Inayat Khan)
In Tina Fey‘s book, Bossypants, she relays a story about a time her Greek neighbors dropped off their young children to be watched by her mother. This was an unplanned babysitting and the baby girl and toddler boy were in their formal attire. The girl was in a playpen screaming her head off. Meanwhile, the boy paced back and forth across the room pulling on his little toddler curls. Eventually in Greek he said the equivalent of, “Oh my dear Maria! What is to become of us?!,” which of course sent Tina’s mom to the other room laughing hysterically.
Now, this anecdote is funny not because of the extreme stress of the children, but because we can see that the distress is excessive. (And of course because of the child’s choice of words). The children were in a safe environment and their parents were going to return for them later. If they were to calm down, they might have even enjoyed themselves. However, everything in their world seemed transformed and they didn’t know what they were supposed to do. They felt abandoned by their protectors. They were anxious and afraid of all the changes around them and they longed for and missed the stability of their routines.
The children’s experience is much like those of us who are dropped off unexpectedly in the new and scary environments of our chronic illnesses. And, like these Greek children, we too could benefit from taking a deep breath and reevaluating our circumstances. Yes, our changed world is scary. We miss our old abilities and our lives without pain. We don’t know what is going to happen in this new set of circumstances. We probably feel overwhelmed and abandoned. This is when we need to take a, “Deep breath,” and, “Start fresh.”
We need to remember that there is a power greater than ourselves that is at work. There is a world beyond the one we became comfortable in. We can adapt. We can move forward. We can trust that God has not forgotten us.
“God, who got you started in this spiritual adventure, shares with us the life of his Son and our Master Jesus. He will never give up on you. Never forget that.” (1 Corinthians 1:9 MSG)
Prayer: God – when my circumstances seem overwhelming, help me to take a deep breath and remember that you are in control. I trust in your ways. Amen.
- Explaining Chronic Illness: Spoon!
- A Humorous poem about the Spoon Theory: Spoon Thief
- Chronic Pain, Life, and All That: invisible illness awareness week: Sept. 12 to 19 (phylor.wordpress.com)
- Down the Rabbit Hole and Into Chronic Illness: http://www.floxedbylevaquin.com/2011/09/deep-breath-start-fresh.html