I got sick 2 days before Christmas.
Getting sick was NOT in my calendar.
In the past, I would have pushed through.
I would have forced my body to do the things I had scheduled because I used to believe that my schedule was more important than my body’s needs.
This time, I surrendered.
My body’s needs became my schedule.
I listened as she said, “Michelle, we’re not well and we need to rest.”
I said, “Okay.” and I slept.
I did nothing other than rest.
I had brief moments of consciousness + then I would go back to sleep.
For 2 days I didn’t answer texts or calls, I cancelled appointments + plans with family, I didn’t read or do any work.
I just slept.
I didn’t try to force her into action and I didn’t shame her for messing up my plans.
I gave her what she needed and today she woke up feeling better.
And when I woke up, I didn’t tell her she needed to get to work to “make up for the time off”.
Which I used to do.
Instead, I have trusted her + I have allowed her to lead.
What does she want? We do that.
After 3 days “off”, I have allowed her to sit outside, read, write, paint, play guitar, and move at her pace.
Here’s what I know…
When we give our body what she needs but then tell her she “owes” us for the missed time, we are shaming ourselves for the nurturing we needed.
The love and care we showed were conditional.
When we do this, over time, we train ourselves to believe that it’s easier to not give ourselves what we need because we always feel like sh*t afterward.
The shame is why we feel like sh*t.
We’re conditioned to believe that we should feel bad because we “indulged” in time off.
This perpetuates the lie that taking care of ourselves is a vacation of sorts and therefore something we need to earn.
What if there was no “making up for lost time”?
What if the time wasn’t lost?
What if we met ourselves in this present moment and made a choice in this present moment of what it is we desire + moved from that place without the pressure and punishment of what we chose the days prior?
If you’re in the cycle of working to the point of exhaustion, taking time off because you are sick and have no other choice + then beating yourself up for taking the time off and forcing yourself to work overtime to “make up” for the time you took off, you’re like most of the women I work with.
I get it.
I functioned that way for years. I thought it was normal.
And I guess it is normal in a society where we are conditioned to believe that slowing down is weak + that our work equals our worth.
☝🏻 This is why we have humans who fear falling behind, who are scared of silence and terrified of the consequences of choosing sacred self-care over work.
The belief that both can live together feels like a fantasy. And a risky one at that.
Detoxing yourself from the programming that profits from you working in fear can take time.
It’s a practice friends.
Realizing you’re in the pattern in the first step.