All I want right now is someone to be available tomorrow at 9 a.m. to ear candle me. Well, that and sleep.
I haven’t slept in over two weeks. I’m desperate.
First, it was my daughter getting sick and waking in the night and coming to sleep in my bed with her discomfort, coughing, tossing and turning, kicking and crying. Several days later, I picked up her bug while her bug got worse. As she began to mend, I got worse until I lost my hearing, balance, and voice.
And still, no sleep. And no help.
I’m going through a divorce. I’m isolated. I live in a town that is not my preferred choice, and all I desperately need is someone to ear candle me.
There’s vomit all over. My dog is running through it; my daughter is running through it. Everyone just hold still and stay put, I try to scream, but I have no voice and I can’t hear what I’m even saying.
Being mindful is hard when we’re in so much limbo we can barely stand it. Mess after mess, everything is hard right now.
I’m in line to see the pharmacist after ear candling. He is surprisingly handsome, young, and clean looking. I, on the other hand, haven’t showered in several days, and well, I’m not dressed to be in public. I’m grateful it’s winter and I can hide under a coat and hat.
I mention to the squeaky-clean pharmacist that my daughter has pink eye and I think I’m getting it, and ask if the drops are okay for me to take if I am, in fact, being paranoid and making this illness up. He looks deep into my eyes, pauses, lingers, and tells me they look really good to him.
The line behind me trails longer, and as the pharmacist is talking my deaf ears off, it dawns on me that he’s flirting. He’s talking about getting poop in your eye and explaining how this kind of conjunctivitis is really bad, because it’s the kind where you wake up and your eyes are swollen shut and crusty with crap. I’m being polite and nodding along, even though I’m only making out parts of what he’s saying because I can’t hear.
I have no voice and I can’t f*cking hear.
And in this moment, I’m reminded that being mindful isn’t always about enjoying the beautiful, quiet, or fun moments. Being mindful is sitting with discomfort, feeling it, owning it, and knowing it intimately when there’s nowhere for you to go except to sit with your muffled jar head amidst the chaos a sick toddler brings. Among the chaos and discomfort of life transitions, we must sit with it—this is mindfulness.
Mindfulness isn’t always sunshine and rainbows and clear ears. Mindfulness is feeling extremely uncomfortable and having faith it won’t last forever, but recognizing that, for now, this discomfort is your present. And accepting that you need to live in this discomfort in the same way you would the beautiful sunsets, sunrises, moons, and stars.
I sit with my muffled jar head and look within to feel my body; I listen to what it might be telling me. What is the significance of a lost voice and muffled ears? What is it telling me?
It’s saying a whole lot. It’s showing me that yes, being a single mother is hard—especially when you’re sick and sleep deprived. But not all days will be like these past two weeks.
It’s telling me to break out of this limbo because I don’t have to be here.
It’s telling me to finish decluttering the house and removing all that does not serve me, even though the divorce isn’t yet final. We’re not going back to where we were—it never existed, or it existed only as an illusion. Now I’m moving forward.
This sludge in my body is telling me to clear the junk and the junk will clear from my head, my nose, my ears, my chest, my body, and my mind. This is more than a virus; it’s another wake-up call from my infinite intelligence speaking to me through my body.
But, if I may complain just a tiny bit, it really is hard to do anything with your head in a jar. It’s like a version of climatizing when visiting higher elevations—we’re out of it and nothing is working as it should. Maybe that’s all this is—climatization as I move to a higher ground with the most magnificent views.
And for that, I will sit with discomfort.
Author: Wendy Prince
Editor: Nicole Cameron