Early this morning I started writing an Echoes newsletter called “How Do You Say Goodbye? Echoes of Freedom.” But then suddenly I felt incredibly dizzy and started swaying. I thought I was going to pass out! Since I write standing up and my husband is at work, falling down and hitting my head on the stone kitchen floor would not be good news.
“Lie down,” said my wise inner voice. “This, too, shall pass.”
Indeed it did. And so did my ideas for the email on saying goodbye to an old season of life. Since I’ve already written similar articles — such as When You Know It’s Over But You Can’t Say Goodbye — I decided to tell you something different.
Four days ago I had another shoulder surgery, this time to remove the metal plate and eight screws that reconnected my arm and shoulder bones. The surgeon installed the “hardware” ten months ago, after I broke my shoulder while running. This morning’s bout of dizziness and nausea was due to me not loving myself enough to rest, recover, and heal.
I haven’t been treating myself very well lately.
While I was lying down, waiting to feel better so I could get up and go back to work, I realized I haven’t done a good job loving me. I’m pushing myself too hard, not asking for the help or care I need, and not allowing myself to simply rest and recover.
I also realized that if I can’t treat myself with love and kindness when I’m healing from major surgery, then I’m probably not treating myself well on an average day! And if I don’t love myself, then I can’t love others well — much less with echoes of Jesus’ love, compassion, and grace.
How would you treat yourself if you were recovering from surgery?
What foods would you eat, where would you sleep, how many naps would you take? What would you read, watch, or listen to? Who would you invite over, call, or write letters to? Who would you avoid? Where would you go, how would you fill your days?
Maybe you’d ask God to speed the healing process. Yesterday I wrote How Jesus Might Pray for Healing After Surgery – Matthew 4. I shared that I’ve never been big on praying for healing…and just now I realized that asking God for help is part of treating myself well. Asking the Holy Spirit for healing and comfort is part of loving myself into health, peace, joy and strength.
You may not be recovering from surgery, but you’re healing from something. So, imagine taking good care of yourself today. Take your own advice! Maybe you should take time to rest and read a certain book, or go for a long meandering walk in the park, or eat a certain food. Can you treat yourself to that thing today, or this week? Treat yourself as if you’re recovering from a shock or injury….because the truth is that you are.
We’re all in recovery from something. We’re healing from past disappointments, griefs, wounds, shocks, heartbreaks. We need to learn how to treat ourselves with love and kindness all the time — not just when we’re recovering from surgery. Treating ourselves gently, with acceptance and compassion, is how we fill up with the Holy Spirit’s power, strength, peace, joy and freedom. And what we’re filled up with will spill out of us as we move through our day.
Pay attention to how you treat yourself, what you tell yourself, what you deny or heap on yourself. Imagine that how you treat yourself is how you treat others…and ultimately how you treat God.
With echoes of Jesus,
P.S. The day before my surgery last week I wrote How to Fight the Lies Satan Wants You to Believe – Matthew 4. Part of treating yourself with love is knowing what the deceiver is up to!