"Challenging times are like a washing machine. They twist, turn and knock us around. But in the end we come out cleaner, brighter and better than before."
I found the above quote online and thought it was positively brilliant! And it's perfect for what I am about to share with you.
Part Two: The Lessons
As you know from my previous post, I had a challenging two weeks in October. It was a month in which my insecurity buttons were pushed because my life suddenly changed, initially leaving me frightened with uncertainty and feeling powerless. Yet, I should know by now after going through many bumpy times in my life that challenges happen for a reason and that there is always a lesson or two (or three) I need to learn. And I could sense as I was being wheeled into the emergency room that this was going to be a challenge with some very important lessons.
One of the greatest things about getting older is that I've learned (and am still learning) how to step outside myself when going through life's challenges and observe myself in relationship to the challenge. When I was younger, I would often get so overwhelmed with my emotions that I was unable to see what was really going on. I was only able to see and experience the drama; therefore, couldn't see why the challenge was in my life and what I needed to learn from it. I've also learned that moving closer to the experience instead of trying to fight and run away from it, makes the challenge so much easier to move through.
Pretty much all of my life I've experienced excellent health. Sure, I've had certain things happen here and there when it comes to illness, however, I've never experienced anything quite as life-threatening as I did in October. This experience taught me to never take my health for granted by just arrogantly assuming it will always be. Because that's what happens to some of us who have had good health most of our lives, we sometimes take it for granted until it's no longer there. This experience also taught me to have more compassion for those people who have life-long challenges with their health.
As I shared in my previous post, prior to getting sick and ending up in a hospital, I was running myself ragged and stressing out over things that I should not have been stressing out about. This experience taught me to be more conscious about living a balanced life and to stop worrying over things that are not worry-worthy. I think on some level I perpetuated this illness because of overextending myself and stressing out. But I also think it was necessary so that I would finally stop, look and listen.
Kindness, Support and Love
One of the things that touched me very much about this experience was that I was reminded of how kind, supportive and loving people can be. With all the things we read in the news about how horrible people can act, it's easy to become tainted and forget that there are also a lot of kind people in this world. I can't tell you how kind and loving I was treated while in the hospital. The medical staff who cared for me went way beyond what their jobs required. Both the doctors and nurses (especially the nurses) did all kinds of extra things, just to make sure I was always comfortable and felt well-cared for. They treated me as if I were a close, personal friend or family member, such as stopping by my room (even when they were not assigned to be my nurse for the day) just to say hello and check up on me.
I also got a great deal of care and support from friends, my brother Tom, and my manager at work.
Everyone reached out to support me while I was in the hospital. And they even continued to support me after I got home.
This experience was an incredible reminder of how much I am loved by the people in my life.
I don't know about you, but I need to be humbled every now and then so I can be reminded that I'm just like everyone else - a human being who has struggles, faults and insecurities. And that my life can suddenly change at any given moment; needing the care, support and love from my fellow-human beings. And that it doesn't mean I'm weak. It only means that I'm human.
So yes, this was a challenging experience for me. And like a washing machine, my life was suddenly twisted, turned and knocked around. But I had two weeks in a hospital room to reflect and learn from it.
And I feel cleaner, brighter and better than before.
Have a fantabulous week, y'all!