Every year I worry that my pear blossom tree won't blossom before the two maples that flank it get their leaves. Yet every year it blooms.
The worry is that there are two maple trees that overhang the pear blossom and the pear blossom is kind of skinny and sad as it is. Once those two trees get their leaves, then the pear blossom stops getting sun...at least the sun needed to leaf and flower properly. But every year it gets its leaves and blossoms and by the time the blossoms have fallen, it becomes enclosed by the two trees on either side. It gets just what it needs to keep its leaves and continue living, but not quite enough to spread out and grow.
Nature has a wisdom that cannot be denied.
For the past 8 days I've been miserable. I came back from a business trip and immediately got an awful flu and sinus infection. I literally lost three days of my life because I was either sleeping or delirious. After that passed, I was still sick, but I could think. So I worked all last week and looked forward to the weekend when I would feel well again. And then I got food poisoning. No kidding. Add it all up and I have never been this sick in my life.
When I travel for business, I usually have to work extra hard for my other clients to make up for the time I'm taking off. And I also have to get everything in order for my dog/house sitter. So there's little free time in the week or two before I go, then the whole traveling thing takes a lot of out me. I do like it. But it's a trade off. So I was so looking forward to getting home from my trip and just chillaxing for a day or so before I started in all the spring stuff that needs to be done...planting and mowing and taxes and stuff. Since I was coming home to a slower week and a clean house, it was going to be just the break I needed. But instead I got sick.
In a way, I guess, I couldn't have picked a better week to be sick, right? I wasn't going to miss much at work. My schedule was manageable while my head was all stuffy. It was the perfect time. And since I rarely ever get sick—it has been at least five years based on the expiration dates of the Nyquil I saved from the last time—I really can't complain. On top of that, I'm well in line to meet a weight loss goal I have to meet next week with my nutritionist. Food poisoning is great for that kind of thing.
So I guess nature has a wisdom with me, too.
Sometimes we need to hop entirely off the hamster wheel to get rest. I've slept more this past week than any other time I can remember. Clearly I needed it. And the more sleep I get, the better I treat myself all-round. When the universe has to knock you on your ass—twice—to get you to listen, you start paying attention.
But it doesn't have to be getting sick. It could be about waiting to hear some important news and not hearing it. Or anything else that you worry about like I worry about a pear blossom tree. Outcomes come along at their own pace. That pear blossom is very tall and narrow, as it needs to be to survive in its living conditions. Triggers within it are telling it when to grow leaves that feed it, when to blossom and when to drop the blossoms when they're drawing too much energy.
I completely indulged my sickness, because what else could do? It had to take its natural course. The still-unsolved exhaustion I endured last year that made even a walk around the block feel like climbing Mt. Everest...same thing. It passed without explanation. In all of it, I've learned how to treat myself with more kindness and gentleness. I've learned something about how to place my own needs front and center and how to block out all the helpful voices that really don't understand and, therefore, are not helpful at all.
Some things don't need worry. Or a fistful of medication. Or beating yourself up. Or regret. Most things, I think, just need patience. Surrender. And trust in the natural order of things. When I look back, I see that, like the pear blossom, the details of my life have never failed to serve me. Even when when they were ugly or painful. Even when they had me growing me larger than most wisdom would recommend. Nothing comes to us without a gift. And if we push against it and insist our ego's wisdom is better than nature's, chances are we won't get the gift—or much satisfaction—until the lesson comes around again. Because it will come around and around and around until you finally learn it.