This is a story for anyone who is currently healing, recovering, or taking it easy at the moment. Maybe you are doing bed rest, or your energy levels are low, either way, this story is for you.
Eight years ago, I had an operation to break my jaw and realign it. As you can imagine, this was a big operation that was going to leave me resting for a while and only being able to drink liquids. I remember coming home from hospital and wondering “what should I do with all of this free time?”. I was trying to plan out activities and projects. You see, I didn’t know how to rest. Back then I thought that any free time had to be filled with something productive. I didn’t know how to just be.
I had all these big plans, but I was exhausted (funny that). I remember feeling bored and I couldn’t focus enough to read or watch TV. My big plans started going out the window along with my feelings of self-worth. I felt this feeling of impatience boiling up inside of me. I didn’t appreciate being forced to slow down.
Simultaneously to this time a woman from Canada arrived at my parent’s tourism business. She was looking for her Irish family, she knew that they lived in our area and she had a few names of people that she knew were her cousins. Little did she know that when she booked her holiday… she had booked it with the family she was looking for. On her second day in Ireland she came to our door and asked my Dad if he knew a “Joseph Byrne” in the area. His response was “Well that’s me”.
While I was healing my Dad told his new cousin everything he knew about the family, shared all the old photos he had, and brought her on tours of the local area. I missed out on all the action but was delighted to hear all about their adventures.
Before leaving again for Canada, our new cousin came to visit me. She said something that woke me up and probably impacted my life more than she will ever know. She said – “People dream up the most wonder and creative things when they are healing”. She talked about how being in bed gave you time to lay back and think. She told me that most people come up with their best ideas when they are stuck in bed.
Her words and positivity changed something in me. I started to see this time as a gift. I began to allow myself to dream about everything and anything. I pushed the idea of being “productive” out of my mind and just dreamed. I started to come with fantastic ideas, fun thoughts, and downright silly but fun dreams. I had time to reflex, time to plan, time to just be.
Ever since then, I allow myself to just daydream and think up big ideas. I put down my phone, gaze out the window and allow my mind to explore. Now when I get sick, I allow myself to heal, I take my time, and I appreciate the gift of just being.
Whether you are healing or not, don’t be afraid to just allow yourself to dream. Allow your mind to explore. Allow yourself to just be.