I have dealt with back pain off and on since high school, so I’m familiar with tightness, spasming, the dull ache. This was all of that, plus the sensations of back labor from my first pregnancy.
Thankfully, it was only one day of that excruciating pain. Each day since has been a smidge better. I can now get up from lying prone on the floor or in bed and function for an hour or two at a time before needing to lie down again.
It has been a good practice for me in allowing myself to rest. Especially as I begin to make some strides toward feeling better, I recognize the pull to “tend to things.” I struggle with wanting to take some of the burden off my husband who is doing all the things. I struggle with wanting the house to be in some semblance of order, wanting to make sure the kids are on top of their schoolwork.
So the practice has been in lowering my standards for myself and for my environment. I’d say they're about ankle height at this point. Water in the cats’ dish, check. Food returned to the refrigerator after being taken out, check.
Perhaps the Universe knocked me on my back because I was trying to carry too much while jumping over all the new hurdles of this quarantined time.
Why do we sometimes think we need to be superhuman?
One would think that living through this time of pandemic and quarantine would be enough to get the message that I’m essentially in control of very little. Apparently, I needed a more personal message. Did I mention that our nearly new heating system also broke down last week and the roof started to leak in last week’s storm?
Okay, Universe, I hear you. I’m in control of shit.
So what do I need to let go of?
I need to let go of some expectations (for my daughter’s college search process, for example) again.
I need to let go of a whole host of worries (What if someone I love gets sick and dies? What’s the toll on the economy going to be? How will this impact the presidential election in November?)
None of these things are in my control, so I may as well release them to the Universe.
It sounds easier than it is, really. Perhaps because under normal circumstances, I have some semblance of control over some things. Now I'm being reminded that my sense of control is mostly in my head.
Loosen your death grip on the steering wheel, I remind myself. You’re not really the one in the driver’s seat, anyway.
What feels hard to you right now? Where might you need to loosen your grip?
Jessica Curtis is a professional life coach who helps people cultivate intention and live from a place of meaning and authenticity. If you think you could benefit from working with Jessica or want to invite her to work with your group, reach out to start a conversation.