How Does Being Sick Serve?

Being sick takes us out of our chosen lifestyle and routine, so how can that be of use to us and help us?

Being sick and serving a good purpose seems, at first glance, to be two concepts that don’t go together. If we define the verb “serve” as to be of use and to help, then the two situations appear even more disconnected from each other.

Being sick takes us out of our chosen lifestyle and routine, so how can that be of use to us and help us? Being sick makes us feel bad and have to deal with the immediate needs of our bodies. Often, when sick, we are coughing, sneezing, having trouble breathing, and vomiting. We ache all over, our heads pound, sinuses get clogged, and we have no energy. Our body temperatures rise and we sweat and shiver.

Being sick stops us in our tracks. BOOM.

Granted, incurable disease is a bigger and longer “STOP and BOOM” than seasonal illnesses, but ultimately both have inherent opportunities to serve our lives.

As I write today, in 2020, we are all in stages of quarantine at home because the virus called Covid19 is spreading too fast for our health care system to deal with successfully. As we stay home, sick or not, there is healing happening on many planes of life.

Stopping life, as we know it, is allowing Nature to begin to recover from the intensity of human destruction. We see photos where the air is cleaner over the areas where quarantines have been in place, waters are running clear in the Venice, Italy canals for the first time in anyone’s memory. Fish can be seen and dolphin have returned. Many people are taking a collective breath and not going to work or going anywhere.

For me, time is shape shifting into that always elusive goal of “enough”. With the sudden onset of a worldwide disease and pandemic, many of us finally have that opportunity.

Some politicians in power are changing their tunes. They say they want to help poor people and people out of work, suspend evictions, give people money to help them survive. This is unprecedented in my memory of politics.

Being sick is a time when I see it becomes possible to reset values.

It is one of the only times when we can look deeply into our own lives and identify some of the errors that we made that got us here. Miraculously, while living entirely in the woes of our illness, like a natural spring, compassion for ourselves and others is finally free to bubble up and catch our attention.

Has sickness ever served your life in some way?

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