Taking a dose of my own medicine...
Last month, my daughter tested positive for COVID. Shortly after, my son developed the same symptoms. Not long after, I followed suit. I was not much of a match for the in-the-face coughs and viral boogers sneezed into my hands that my children so desired to share. Although vaccinated and boosted, and despite a consistent and ongoing regimen of herbs and supplements that I secretly hoped would make me Super Woman, it wasn't long before I waved the flag of surrender. I was down.
Our household is well-equipped with Chinese herbal medicine, which my kids took religiously 3-4 times per day with different variations of whining, yuck faces, and the occasional gulping it down with proud smiles. I much preferred the later as the other displays of disaffection took a certain kind of perseverance to overcome, especially when you're not at the top of your game yourself. While it would be hard to "prove", I do believe this medicine played a role in how well we tolerated the virus. While the snot was flowing, their energy remained good, they slept solid through the night, and their appetites remained great. I lingered in the muck a bit longer.
I wondered what supplement I was missing.
The mental struggle was no joke. It took a while to pull out of the heaviness. Maybe it was the thoughts of "what if..." or another week of cancelled plans and isolation. Worry taps into your energy and drains it like a leaky faucet...dripping until the well is dry before you even catch that it was leaking in the first place. Ah ha...I was onto something. Like an exercise in mindfulness, we acknowledge all that is there, the good and the bad, and then "let go". We choose which path to follow. We can continue to get lost in our wandering thoughts or come back to center. Easier said then done, eh? I acknowledged the yuck and was struggling to see my path back. On a hike, I asked for guidance. I wanted to find meaning. I wanted to find resilience. I wanted to pick myself up, dust myself off, and "get on with it" with my head in a better space. Inside though, I was feeling ready to wave my flag again. Step after step, I found hearts...in the rocks and in the leaves...surrounding my feet as I walked.
Hmm...not just for others, but myself? As a parent and a practitioner of the healing arts, there is so much focus on the deep care going out, occasionally one needs to check in and take a dose of the medicine themself. I got the message. Sometimes this love can become clouded or perhaps left to fall by the wayside. We may need a gentle reminder to clear off the cobwebs and check in. It is there. It is always there...infinite, strong and indestructible by time, space, and loss. Whatever these hearts mean to you, tap in, fill your bucket until it runneth over...and then share.
This photo was taken during a time early in the pandemic when we were still extremely isolated. I cut out silhouettes and hearts and decorated my kids' bedroom window that faced the street. I wanted to send a message...LOVE. I am grateful for the reminder that this message not only faced out, but also in.