“Every thought we think is creating our future. ” ― Louise L. Hay
In the photo you see here, there is a large spaceship hovering menacingly in the sky while innocent people run for their lives. That spaceship is the approximate size of the sty I developed a few weeks back. Seriously. It was BIG.
Why am I telling you about my sty, you may be wondering. Well, before I tell you, I want to remind you about my newsletter from last week, where I talked about the cost of keeping your true thoughts locked away inside your head, and how exploring and sharing your truth will always get you exactly where you need to be. Because there is a direct parallel between my monster sty and my own personal truth.
It all started late one night. Well, it was 10:30 pm, which in my current existence of living with two young creatures who bound out of bed every morning at 6:15, is very late indeed. It was the night before I was having a VIP day with a client, and I was just getting ready to get in bed when the phone rang. It was my Mom.
“Honey, I think I need to go to the emergency room.” I had seen Mom earlier that day and she was breaking out in an itchy rash that was only continuing to get worse. I knew to my very bones that it was stress-related: my grandmother was due to move in to the memory care section of an assisted living facility in a few days. Mom was having to step in to the role of decision-maker and, understandably, she was having a hard time with it. I knew going to the ER was a recipe for a late night that would only result in perhaps a steroid cream and instructions to relax. I would not be my best the next day, and my client would get less of my attention than she deserved.
I asked Mom if she were having any trouble breathing, she said no. So I invited her over to spend the night in our guest bed and she could go to the doctor in the morning. She agreed. Disaster averted. Or so I thought.
What happened next is Mom stayed with us more nights, sitting on our couch and scratching, her stress coming off of her like waves. I knew it was affecting us, but I wanted to support her, so I didn’t say anything about her returning home. What I didn’t say was, “The truth is, Mom, I want to support you through this difficult time, but your stress is stressing us all out, which serves no one.”
Instead, I chose to ride it out (an old pattern whose costs I am grateful to have gotten even more present to!). And the day she returned to her own apartment, my eye started throbbing. Two days later, I had a giant pustule on my eyelid that lasted for three (yes, three) weeks. And for the two weeks that followed, my whole undereye area was swollen and dark. It looked like I’d been in a bar fight. I’d ask my husband to look at it so he could tell me if it was looking any better, and he’d feel faint. It was that gross. Plus, itchy as a mother. (Hmmm….that phrase just popped out of my fingertips but I’d say it’s pretty apt!)
Which is a long way of saying, every time you don’t honor your truth, you’re causing your own pain.
The flip side is that every time you do make decisions based on what you know to be true for you, you create more freedom for yourself. And that, my friends, is the opposite of pain.
What truth can you admit to yourself – and to someone else – today? And what will be possible when you do? Let the vision of what will be different when you do speak your truth inspire you. I’d love to hear your thoughts and reactions in the comments section below.
Here’s to the end of stress-induced ailments!
3 thoughts on “The Sty That Ate Chicago”
Great post, Kate! Timely, too. My mom & my siblings & I are about to meet with a care manager to help us figure out the best way to care for my dad (who has Alzheimer’s) because it’s taking too much of a toll on my mom. I feel her stress, my stress, my siblings’ stress, and even my dad’s stress, and I know that I can’t possibly absorb all of that stress and be any good to anybody. I’m not yet sure what truth I need to speak, but it’s a good reminder for me to stay present and not let the story just become a blob of cascading stress.
Ah Judi, my heart goes out to you! That’s a lot of stress flying around, externally and internally. I totally get that it feels like you’re in a small space with a Tasmanian stress devil. Just being aware of how stressed you are will help — it will inspire you to prioritize some time doing whatever it is you do that helps you hear what you really think.
Thanks for sharing this. I’m becoming more aware of this in my life, as well. I think I always sensed others stress, but spent most of my years getting wrapped up in it. Now, I try to discern, as you did with your Mom, does this person want help with this situation or are they determined to ride the wave of stress/anxiety? If they’re just riding the wave – I check out mentally (and physically, if possible). It’s made such a difference. Like you said, it “serves no one.”