Saturday, February 09, 2008

Bodies, thoughts, habits, and spirituality

Hmmmm. How to begin. I'm going to write this the way I'm thinking and then decide where my thinking has gone astray. After all, when I'm alone in my head, I'm alone with a crazy person!

I was supposed to go to a River Watch training session this morning at 9 am about an hours' drive from here. Sounded like a great idea when I signed up. Some mornings are good for me; some are not. Today was not. I had vertigo and stuffiness, some congestion. But, even last night as I sat cozily knitting in my favorite red chair, I didn't want to go. I didn't want to move. All I wanted was to sit quietly and knit my life away.

I went to bed at a reasonable hour, arose at 7 am, and literally stagged to the bathroom, holding onto my chest of drawers and the wall to get there - my head was decidedly not on straight. I perseved, telling myself that this would go away. I've had it for several mornings now, and it's gone away on its own. I drank lots of water, took my medicine, ate my breakfast and sat down at the computer. Then, I leaned over to pick up a tissue that had fallen on the floor. Wrong. Almost ended head first on the floor. Gently rose up. Called my partner and told her I couldn't go.

Guilt. This is something that we want to do together. She took the training last weekend while I went yarn shopping, rising at an early hour to drive an hour and half away. She spent that morning in a three hour training session. I was playing.

Okay, I've had a decongestant and an additional antihistamine, a nap and lunch. I feel okay but still a bit ditzy and a whole lot guilty. Why couldn't I do something for us that required getting up early, driving somewhere and spending time learning something I really want to know. I could get up early, drive somewhere and spend time shopping with other friends. So, why couldn't I do that for us this morning?

End of story.

First of all, using "supposed to" instead of "scheduled to" indicates a command or obligation - and signing up for the workshop was certainly an obligation. But, my mindset was that I should, ought to or some such idea - the presumption that I would be wrong if I didn't do this. My presumption. Taken to it illogical end, the thought of "supposed to" makes me unloveable if I don't do it. My mind knows that's not true. Not sure my guilt complex has gotten this idea yet, though.

Now, the "should have" part comes in several days ago when I really (for my own health's sake) should have taken care of the dizzy, congested feeling. I actually bought the decongestant a few days ago, but I didn't take it. After all, the dizziness went away - mostly. And, the congestion is something that I've lived with a long time and can ignore very well.

However, I did the right thing this morning. I did not drive when I was dizzy. I took the appropriate medicine and went back to bed. Feeling guilty for letting down the people who offered the workshop and my partner who is looking forward to our doing this together (and I am, too) is another story. Guilt is hard to give up.

Guilt is like resentments - they hurt me not anyone else.

So much for the thoughts. What does all this have to do with spirituality? Well, God doesn't make junk and didn't make me for junky thinking or acting. And, I've done a lot of both in my life. So much that it's hard to decide what is appropriate and what is junky. Right now, I'm feeling junky. Is the guilt appropriate? Did I do the right thing? What do I think/believe about myself right now? Failure - not just that I failed to show up this morning, but I am a failure. I never do anything right.

BS. Junky thinking. My body had warned me that it had problems. Junky acting that I did not take care of the problem when I got the signals. But, that's a bad habit of mine. I ignore signals that are important. I'm messy that way. Maybe I put most things back where they belong, but I choose to not see the signals until the body/ mind/ spirit is full of them.

And, the problem grows from a simple physical or mental one into a mess. A big mess. My spirit is somewhere besides with me or else I just can't feel/see/hear it. My God is off fishing apparently 'cause she's certainly not here either. Maybe they are taking a trip together.

Nothing is getting done today except that I did take my medicine, finally. Stress headache, lethargy, guilt, - what a mess.

So, I think that spirituality, honoring the spirit within me and the Spirit of God, is deeply connected to my body, my thoughts and my habits. Especially in this particular situation.

My solution to this is writing and doing. So, I'm now going to get up (carefully) and begin doing laundry.


Nina said...

We can't fix the past--only act in the present. You didn't do everything you'd committed to do, but you didn't drive yourself beyond endurance, and you did get around to taking care of yourself, and are working to continue doing so.

Prayers for the continuation of that good work.

Kathryn said...

Hi sharecropper,

I know precisely what you're talking about when you mention all the "shoulds" and "supposed to's" that people tend to feed us. My life has been full of such people who love to create unnecessary guilt complexes in others.

I am slowly "worming" my way out from underneath it, but it's taken a yeah, I do hear you...and by the way, I do not believe the Lady Of the Universe judges us for what earthly commitments we make and don't do. That's our own reactive mind/inner critic being too loud for our own good. And trouble is, we've been conditioned to let that inner critic have full reign over our potential for happiness.

It is good that you knit, is an activity that is truly meditative and productive at the same time. My mom knits, and I've just begun to really get into it, too.

If might be so bold as to recommend a book: The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. I have never tired of reading it, and I think it might help you too. Your choice, of course.

You are not alone in not paying attention to important signals...but it sounds like you eventually know that those signals are there, so hang in there, milady. I don't know you, but here's a hug from one Seeker to another: (((((((sharecropper)))))

Brightest Blessings,
Kat ^.^

Anonymous said...

Great information and thank you for sharing your story. I think it will help you and help others with the same challenges. Celebrate yourself because you are awesome!

June Butler said...

Good God, Sharecropper, but you are hard on yourself! Can you ease up, my friend? Why on earth should you feel guilty about not going somewhere when you were ill?

Look, there are times when I am nothing more than a walking blob of guilt, but the load you've laid on yourself is mind-boggling.

I'm sorry if I come on strong. Put me in my place, and tell me to MYOB, but I hate to see you beat up on yourself as you have.

God's blessing and help to get from under this burden. Writing and doing are good.

Mary Beth said...

yeah...if you are sick it's just self abuse to go somewhere...IMHO.

Hoping that you will take gentle and quiet care of yourself this day. And get the training when you can.


Diane M. Roth said...

sharecropper, take care of yourself. and welcome to the fold. (revgals).

Elaine (aka...Purple) said...

Welcome to RevGals

RevDrKate said...

Welcome to RevGals. Totally identifying with the guilt thing there. Glad you were able circumvent enough to take care of yourself.

Jeanine Byers said...

Hey! I visited after seeing your intro at RevGalBlogPals.

I have been stuffy and congested, too, and I have avoided decongestants as well. I do take nettles, which is a good natural antihistamine.

My complaint is this: how can there be pollen already???

Hope you are clearer!