I've been ill for the past 5 days. Had a bit of a flu. You know fever, chills, aches the like. Then my neck and shoulders locked up. So first I felt awful, then I couldn't move.
In this state, I've been reflecting a lot on life's many changes and challenges.
We can be so caught up in the productivity myth... The belief that how much we can get done equates to our value, desirability, deservedness, and loveability. Yes, this myth... that it can be hard for so many of us to slow down and receive support.
I'm aware there are people we may view as happy, healthy, productive people... and they may be. But they can also be one of the 25.3 millions of people living with chronic pain, invisible pain that the rest of the world doesn't see and expects them to "just keep up the good work".
As I've been tending to my aching, fevered, and locked-up body, I've been gifted a deepened intimacy with my own fragility. The fragility we all share: The fact that there are limits in this physical world. The body will become older, weaker, more frail and die.
This is just the truth.
I see so many posts, blogs, books, and podcasts about "biohacking" and our "limitless" nature, and our addiction to youth. This is the epitome of human-centering and our need to compete with Divine Nature, thinking that we know best.
But the truth is we have limits.
Our consciousness maybe not, but in this very real physical world where we are guests... we do. To think that we can just continue to grow: personally, spiritually, population-wise, agriculturally, technologically and simply disregard our inner, outer, and collective environments and the effects of our exponential growth is harmful. It's a great example of where intention and impact don't always line up.
Humans, our civilizations, our technology and addiction to growth have become the Earth's tumor.
I can welcome this temporary fragility, this incapacitated nature, because I need the practice. I can welcome the death and illness of a loved one, mine or another's, without wishing it to be otherwise, because the truth is... It's not otherwise. There is nothing shameful or inherently wrong about being sick and/or dying. In fact, I savor the opportunity to meet it well and with grace in a time that has lost it's willingness to do so.
To be fully present to being a hurting person in a hurting world, to be with the despair is an empowering act.
For all of you who are meeting these times with grace I bow to you.
For all those who are challenged in meeting the reality of Life's fragile nature,
I bow to you.