Last week, I came home with a stomach bug. All morning, I felt a tad queasy, but I did not pay attention to the changing sensations until midday. Instead, I kept busy and engaged, distracted.

Suddenly, my symptoms strengthened. Abdominal pains stirred a flashback to an urgent 2 a.m. visit to the emergency room a few years ago. It was the first time I experienced pain that caused me to think I could not handle the pain if it worsened. Coming out of the reflection, I thought “uh-oh.” I took a deep breath and told myself to attend to other things. For it would pass ... surely.

Over the next hour, pain and nausea increased, as did the appearance of a few more symptoms. My body insisted that I attend to myself. Why is it that I must regularly relearn that same lesson?

Do you have to relearn lessons?

Have you, like I, found that the soul tends to cycle back to what you haven't managed to incorporate? Quite literally, “incorporated” means to be taken into the body. In Latin, in translates “in, into” while corporate derives from corpus or “body.” In a real sense, this kind of body means “in the flesh,” but it also means “in the whole,” or the whole body. To be taken into the whole body, the whole self.

Indeed, the whole self — body, mind, spirit, soul — must learn such deep truths. Otherwise, they come back to us in different guises, shapes, people, problems and times.

Still learning lessons of self-care, I came home early. As symptoms calmed a bit, I stretched out on the bed. Our little cat came and found me. Her preferred spot is on my center. Knowingly, she came alongside me. She curled in between my side and left arm, positioning herself for prime petting.

My little feline friend’s purring came to a crescendo, almost like my fevered symptoms had done earlier. She shifted in bed, turning with a meow. Her body language and voice communicated that she only wanted to be beside me, no more petting. She continued to purr, this time gently, steadily. My little cat taught me a lesson. Simply be here beside me … let me purr … no need to keep on … just be.

It was as if the Spirit spoke. God’s voice through my body, through our little bobtail cat, to my whole self.

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Longing to breathe deeply and to walk with others as they seek to meet their longings, C.A. Rollins writes and invites you to reflect with her at carollinswrites@gmail.com.

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