The (un)common cold

I had won so many battles that I thought perhaps I had won the war.
What a foolish thought that I, a mere mortal, had. That beast of a common cold will always win out eventually. And so, I find myself once again loosing the fight against sniffles, coughs and sympathetic glances.

And because I am stubborn and its a crazy week at work, I am going into the office. That means, I need to be productive while my body just wants to be in bed watching a movie. I had this grand thought that I can at least watch some critically-acclaimed movies while sick, but if I try to wrap my head around some complex plot, I think my sinuses will burst from my head trying to think too much.

So instead, I am trying to ‘just be.’

We live in such a high maintenance world that just ‘being’ is a rather scary idea. Every minute of every day can be filled with something. From the moment we wake up to the radio to the movie playing softly in the background till we fall asleep, our life is completely full. Well, if we choose to believe that is a ‘full’ life.

But when you are sick, your body forces you to lay it all down, including itself.

I realized that me being sick means I can get down to brass tacks and prioritize. I need to eat today. Check. Hydration, yes, good. I need to get some work done. All right, don’t overdo it. Ok, now go home. What needs to be done? Right, laundry and call that person. Done? Perfect. Now, go rest. And maybe coming home will just means collapsing and sleeping. Maybe you didn’t go to work. But being sick strips you down to that bare minimum, which is terribly humbling and vulnerable and super necessary. We are flawed beings. We need help, we need to give ourselves time to rest. We have to allow ourselves time to realize we can’t do everything and to remove what is unnecessary from our lives. And, when we are back to our healthy selves, maybe we should leave aside some of the unnecessary things we were doing and try to live a life full of what really matters, which will differ from each person, but typically looks like a contributing member of the world, at least in some way.

So, despite my body turning against me, at least I have an excuse and a reason to ‘just be’ and to remember what that is like and what is really important.He c

Sticks and stones may just break my soul…..

This log in my eye stings something fierce most days.

Remember that quote in the Bible in Luke 6:42: “How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

My brother, my sister, have a stick in their peepers while I have a gigantic plank in my cornea. Such a discrepancy in size should raise a question (besides where the closest eye doctor is): if my flaw “my plank” is so much bigger than my neighbor’s flaw, then why do I pick on their faults faster than I would ever dream of correcting my own?

I think human nature is wired like this. We feel the weight of our sins, but we have grown accustomed to the weight. We can’t seem to shake it, so we hide it behind a facade. The world doesn’t need to know how broken we truly are, how every day we struggle with a vice, with pain, with suffering. And when others show a chink in their armor, when perhaps they can’t hold in their temper, when they are hurt and struggling, when they themselves are not aware of the weight of their flaws, we jump at the chance to deflect the spotlight from our own struggle. And often, those flaws that we complain most about in other people are perhaps our greatest weaknesses.  For instance, I have a hard time working with, being friendly, generally being around hypocrites. I hate being lied to and generally tend to trust people right away, so a hypocrisy is a betrayal of trust. And yet, I am one of the biggest hypocrites that I know. I talk about including people and being kind, and yet I daily struggle to go out of my way to keep a door open for someone. Perhaps this isn’t a typical type of hypocrisy, but it is still living a lie. I am saying one thing and doing another. And when I see others who say one thing and live their lives in a completely different manner, it drives me nuts,  for when I see them, I am reminded of how unhappy I am with how I live my life, how much it weighs on my soul to life this way.

So, the next time I (or you) get annoyed at someone for their sin, maybe instead of concentrating on their struggle, maybe try and take a look at what you are carrying on your back. Maybe you can try and shake it off your back, and you can stop staring at the dirt and see the sky instead.