I love having the flu, but when I say this I don’t actively seek it out. I don’t find sick people and try to lick their faces. I’ve been called a dog, but that’s not why. And like a normal person, when I first realize I have the flu (aka screaming at the toilet), I’m miserable and hate how stomach acid always finds its way into my nose causing a burning sensation with the added bonus of puke smell. After this initial miserable feeling, however, I start to cheer up because I realize the worst is over and I officially have the flu, and the flu is amazing! Why? Because I now have one full day of nothing. I get a day off of work; I can lie around without any guilt or pressure to do any lingering jobs around the house, and with any luck, I’ll have someone around to give me a little sympathy and make me chicken noodle soup. It’s like a day at the spa… or what I imagine the spa is like… minus the throwing up. I’m way too cheap to actually go to one, but I believe a spa is more saying “ahhhh” than “uhhhh”. Even more, I’m a workaholic, so I could never allow myself the time to go to a spa. I have too much to do to enjoy myself… that sounded better in my head.
I often write about how I struggle with workaholism and I have stated things like I have to schedule in time to see people in order to actually have social time. I’ve also pointed out that workoholism is different than jobaholism. The latter is always doing your job, and never thinking about anything else. I’m a workaholic; I’m way more diverse than that. I never have just one job. I have a list of things I’m trying to find time to do. Personally, I don’t get being a jobaholic; who cares about your job?… Again, that sounded better in my head.
The fact that I’m a workaholic is important because having the flu is like Christmas for me; it’s the one day I let myself do nothing. It’s a day of freedom. I might hate throwing up, but it’s honestly worth it because I get a day of guilt free nothingness. This same principle can be used with other horrible experiences like when getting over a break up, your partner cheating on you, or the loss of a loved one. During the process of healing you’ll have some terrible days. On these days it can help if you treat them like a holiday. When you’re having a grief day, a day that’s emotionally messy, be extra nice to yourself. Do something special; something you really enjoy, but don’t normally let yourself do in order to take the sting out of the grief days. This will reduce the fear and guilt you have for them, which will ultimately help reduce the frequency. It’s the same as having panic attacks. If you embrace them and focus on what’s good about them, you won’t fear them as much, which reduces the likelihood of experiencing them. If you want to increase the likelihood of panic attacks and grief days, beat yourself up for having them and think of them as the worst things that can happen. Use them as proof that you’re weak and pathetic. Lie in bed and keep rehashing everything painful in your past. This is a great way to make panic attacks and grief days occur more, and with increased ferocity. If you want to be healthy, however, find the good in these unfortunate experiences, and you won’t have them as often or as strong. It’s a different way of thinking, but it’s an incredibly helpful way to make the bad times better and less frequent. There’s a reason the Bible says “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” (NIV Phil 4:8) There’s a reason the Bible has had worldwide affect for thousands of years; it’s one smart book.
This week may you start to see the good in order to reduce the power of the bad.
Rev Chad David, www.ChadDavid.ca, learning to love dumb people