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The Gift of a Headache

Posted in: Blog by amy on April 17, 2015

As I struggled to sleep for the fifth night in a row, I finally became concerned.This headache was unlike any other migraines that I had ever experienced. This was bad, I thought. Yet, it would turn out to be nothing. However, as the days passed, I considered the possibility that something bad was happening, that maybe I wouldn’t be around too much longer. I’m really not an alarmist. It’s just that when you’re experiencing pain, it’s challenging to not entertain the morbid thoughts. I thought about what I would tell my friends, my family, my children. It all seems silly now, but while I was awake in the middle of the silent nights, I began wishing that I had done and said things, just in case. There was still so much I wanted to tell my kids, to do with them, to write down for them. Why hadn’t I written more lately? Now, with this head pain, I wouldn’t be able to write at all.

Like I said, it turned out to be nothing. Yet, it was something: It was a loud, painful wake-up call.

It is time for me not just to be but to DO. It is time for us all to realize that we don’t know what tomorrow will bring. It seems like such an obvious thought, yet it is very easy to think that we will make that photo album when the kids go to camp or that we will spend time with our parents when work isn’t so busy or that we will visit our friend who lives across the country when “things settle down.”

I’ve always been keenly aware of the present moment. It’s all that we have, after all. And, I also have been aware of our fragility. Yet, I also must believe, at least subconsciously, that I have a lot of time. I save things. I get a new purse or a new pair of shoes, and I innately just save them for something. I don’t know what I’m waiting for, but they sit in my closet. That seems to against my strong belief that today is all we have. So, I am conflicted. And, now I’m reminded that I must resolve that conflict and get on track. I must, if for no other reason than for the symbolic one, wear that new pair of shoes!

Let’s get on track together. Let’s read what we want to read and write what we want to write and go where we want to go, and let’s do it all NOW or at least really soon. Tell those you love what you feel. Show your children how you love spending time with them. Walk your dogs now, not tomorrow when it’s supposed to be warmer. I’m hoping to motivate you as I attempt to catapult myself into this more enlightened way of being. I need to really embrace it. They say that our bodies are often giving us signals or gifts when they tell us they’re in pain. My headache could have been a signal that I wasn’t drinking enough water or maybe I was too stressed and needed to slow down. Or, maybe, my body was shouting at me to wake up and embrace the gift of feeling good. By having that week in which I felt so horrible, I now feel beyond grateful to be pain free. I don’t know when another headache could strike, so I have been voraciously reading and writing and talking and being … right now.

I am planning to embrace this notion, hopefully without any more painful reminders. Will you act with me and share your thoughts? I love to hear from you.

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2 Responses to “The Gift of a Headache”

  1. Karyn bravo says:

    im glad you are feeling better Amy. I relate to what you are saying. I too had a wicked migraine recently that laid me up for several days (ER visit due to that + stomach flu). Lots of time to contemplate health and suffering and the joy of feeling well and being able to eat and drink! Thought of people suffering chronic pain and how hard that must be. This happened to me on Easter so reflected on Jesus’s suffering. The bible says he endured the cross for the joy set before him. Life is fragile and uncertain but I believe the best is yet to come. I aim to make the most of my time on earth serving Him who loved me and gave himself for me. My times are in his hands. Bless you and your family. Keep loving and writing.

  2. amy says:

    Karyn – Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful thoughts. I’m sorry that you were in pain, but am happy that you, too, feel better and are even more reflective than you already were. Love to you!

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