My body said, “ENOUGH!”
I awoke earlier than normal, faint light from the setting moon illuminated the windows of my bedroom. Beside me I heard the deep, slow breathing of my slumbering husband. My head hurt, as if a band was wrapped around it and strong hands behind me pulled the band tighter and tighter at the base of my scull. Tired as I was, the pain did not allow me to return to sleep. I got up, made a quick pit stop to the bathroom, and walked down the hall to the kitchen. Out of habit I made coffee and drank a large glass of water.
It was cold outside, so instead of sitting on the deck swing I opted to meet with Jesus on the couch. Sitting down and propping my elbow on the arm of the sofa I held my head in my hand. My stomach expressed displeasure with a wave of nausea.
And I knew….
My body was rebelling, as if stomping its foot and saying, “No!” demanding relief from all it was carrying. And I was left with no choice but to oblige.
I had a professional responsibility that morning and I have no idea how I got through the next couple of hours. My coffee sat untouched in the coffee-maker and Facebook-scrolling occupied most of the time I usually spend with Jesus. After my online-session, my stomach finally shared it’s water-contents with the toilet. And at 9:15am I returned to bed and slept till noon.
More rested, and with Advil taking the edge off the pain, Curiosity asked a question.
“WHAT is going on?”
While I was moderately aware, it was time to explore, gain understanding, and move toward change.
After some searching, Curiosity found in my chest Little Girl holding a HUGE world in her arms. She was sad and had to lean back as the weight pressed against her heart. Her arms ached.
When I asked her what she was doing she told me she was holding everybody’s tears. She knew the world was sad and she wanted them to be able to cry. She could hear angry voices and pretenders and that scared her because what people really needed was to understand that they were sad. So she held the world so everybody could feel all their feelings.
Logic kindly piped in and told Little Girl to put down the world, because it’s too heavy for little girls to carry, and Body agreed. New tears brimmed her eyes and Little Girl said she and Compassion are best friends and to not carry the world would mean they couldn’t be friends anymore.
I sat down with Little Girl and we talked about how she was hurting Body. And, well, she didn’t want to do that because she might be little, but she does know that if Body is hurting that’s not good for anyone, and she can’t play with Compassion until Body feels better. So we came up with a solution. It was Little Girl’s idea, and it’s simply brilliant. Little Girl’s are like that, really, Absolutely brilliant.
Little Girl said we could put the world in a wagon and she could hold it that way. Then Body wouldn’t get tired and sick and force everybody to stop. And she and Compassion could still be friends and spend every day together.
So that’s what we did. We found a pretty red wagon and put the world in it. And Little Girl is happy, and Body is recuperating.
And me? Well I’m glad I have Body, and Compassion, and mostly, Little Girl, who is all the best parts of me.
And you dear friend? How are you doing?
Little Girl wants you to know it’s ok to be sad and it’s ok to be mad because things are yucky right now. If you’re mad, though, she asks that you be mad at the right thing. The yuck isn’t anybody’s fault and yelling and blaming won’t make it go away and it won’t help you either. She says that you are sad and mad because you’ve lost a lot of things, your community, your support system, your security, (I helped her with those big words). Sad and mad are the feelings we feel when we are grieving (I helped her with that too).
And if you’re pretending, Little Girl asks you to stop.
Pretending won’t make the yuck go away and it could hurt more people. A lot more people. While I helped little Girl understand that pretending is also something people who grieve do she’s asking that you choose sad and mad instead, to keep the pretending to playtime, and now is not playtime. Now is time to listen and do what you are asked to do and to keep your own Body strong and healthy. And now is the time to grieve.
So be sad.
And be mad.
And do it kindly.