I was very sick about two weeks ago. Drained in Kleenex, cough syrup, and nose drops, I spent the majority of the weekend in bed. As the following week started, I was on my way to recovering when we were faced with what seemed to be the beginning of a family emergency. Naturally, I completely forgot that I was sick and invested my time and energy into more important matters. As the days got quieter, I began to feel the weight of it all on my shoulders, but for some reason I chose to ignore it, as we love to do.
“Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse while you actually feel it.” Albus Dumbledore
Isn’t that true? I’m sick again. Against my better judgement of rambling online, I’m writing this out because I was shot with a little bit of awareness this afternoon on my way home, and no I hadn’t taken any medication yet. With a fever and pains that would make a grown man cry, I’ve been instructed to lay in bed for the next few days, leaving me with a sense of frustration. I had sh*t to do today, you know? As we rode down from the clinic, medicine bottles dangling in the bag and aches that I hadn’t been anticipating until I reached my 80s, I realized that my trip to the doctor had been long overdue. I had been sick and I hadn’t tended to it properly. I had placed it on hold and my body was now reacting with interest. At the doctor’s appointment, we single handedly reviewed all my bad habits in one sitting. Maybe that’s why I don’t like doctors. I was told that had I not come in to take care of my symptons, in the future, it could have resulted in something worse, like pneumonia.
How often do we do this or more importantly, why? Skip over some bullsh*t symptom and watch it grow. Grow into something big, grow into something meaningful. Numbing the pain for a while allows the interest on our issues to grow.
The reason that I bring this up is because this particular habit is a sympton of not caring today; leaving something you need done for tomorrow. It demonstrates a carelessness for our present selves. And though I know I would never wish pain and discomfort on anyone, I have become appreciative of its incredibly capacity to pull us into the present in the blink of an eye.
It’s no wonder we become sh*t shows when things happen, we’re backed up with years, months, and days worth of old feelings, tales, resentments, issues…there is no room for today! There is no room for tomorrow! Oh, my dear fool, ignoring doesn’t create space, ignoring it creates the illusion of space. Don’t be an idiot. The rest of us tried that too.
Try to identify a sympton of discomfort today. That alone might take you hours. You’ll have to do something unheard of—you’ll have to be preesent. It’ll require you to look around in your life and be blantly honest about things that cause you anxiety, discomfort, or pain. Try to analyze which of these is an old issue, and which…are freshly placed red flags. Work on one small thing. Something that you are feeling now. Tackle it. Once you focus on that, you’ll start understanding how to tackle the bigger ones.
So, let’s begin with that first little red one that you’ve been ignoring…