Two weeks ago I had an allergic reaction to … something … my face swelled up until it was uncomfortable to open my eyes. This week my face is normal looking and my body skin is pealing from dryness and I am exhausted to the inside of each and every bone in my body.
And I thought “again?!”
My face swelling until my eyes were closed was new, but having a reaction to something wasn’t. I was first told that I had hormonal differences when I was young. My adult life has been a process of learning what does & doesn’t work for me, mentally, socially, emotionally, digestively, etc. I have learned so many lessons from this still-ongoing experience.
Everything is a phase.
There are more jerks who slip ingredients into meals to “show” that you actually aren’t dealing with intolerance or sensitivity than I would have ever imagined.
There are far more people in countries around the world who are deeply respectful and inclusive at meal than I could ever express my gratitude for.
I can be SO DONE with this difference and still be grateful I am one of the lucky ones. I don’t require masses of medicine and my digestive issues are intolerances and sensitivities that aren’t deadly.
Because stress, grief, and anxiety sneak up, steal in, quietly invite even more of their cousins to feast on my energy, passion, optimism, and dreams so slowly, so persistently that I genuinely believe I’m doing okay until I am not.
That swollen face? This flaking body skin? This exhaustion in each and every bone?
They are my yield sign.
The hormonal difference, dietary challenges, allergies, pandemic, parenting, marriage, business building, consulting, fires in the mountains, fools who won't wear masks, grieving friends, white supremacy, long-distrance friends, mask washing, US election, grocery shopping, loving, pee-on-the-toilet-again, policies that endanger loves ones, still-trapped-in-one-country, schooling from home, dog caring, financial paperwork, struggling clients, powerpoint and excel, laundry, paperwork, client change, email overload....
All of it misused by stress, grief, and anxiety to sneak in and feast until I swell up, and exhausted, and admit:
I am not okay.
And that is okay.
Because I have also learned that how I spend my time and my energy is an active, living choice.
I know in these times of ‘not okay’ the answer isn’t doing what we are told to do: hanging on or pushing through or toughening up or sucking it up or fighting it or anything else like that.
The answer is doing what is scary, what builds our brave.
The answer is less.
Have less, do less, hold less, be less.
So that is what I will be doing until I’m doing more.
Because this is bravery is today and tomorrow. For me.
What is bravery for you when you are not okay?