I’m not one of those people who believe that “everything happens for a reason,” at least not in the sense that every stubbed toe and spilled cup of coffee is part of a Divine Plan to teach me an Important Lesson. But having said that, I do believe that with the right attitude it’s possible to turn a negative into, if not a positive, then at least a learning experience. And that’s what I tried to do this last week when the flu really slammed me hard to the mat.
And overall, I’d say I failed.
I’ve been listening to a lot of Leonard Cohen lately, so as I sat in a fog of headache and dizziness I kept remembering the phrase, “There’s a crack in everything- that’s how the light gets in,” and I tried so hard to find the light.
But I couldn’t find it. The physical pain entombed my whole being. I suppose any experience that leaves you with a little more understanding and compassionate is a good one, and I do understand illness in a way that only direct experience could have shown me, but even that feels a little self-serving.
It was scary to me how dramatically my world shrank to the borders of my body. I’m a little disappointed in myself.
But I’ve been pretty healthy most of my life. This was my first real experience with an illness so all encompassing. I suppose, if I live long enough, I’ll get better at it.