By the time you read this I will no longer have covid. (Or I’d better not.) But at the time of this writing, I do. My husband is in retail and he brought it home as a little gift to me. We caught it with him pretty quick and immediately we did all the things you do. I banished him to the master bedroom, not to come out under any circumstances. I wore masks and gloves when I had to be near him and most meals, I just put outside the bedroom door, knocked, and ran.
Please keep in mind that last bit was his idea. He was desperate that I not get this from him. I took 4 tests over 3 days all coming back negative. But eventually the positive tests came.
Covid for Lee was intense. He was pretty sick, especially at the beginning. High fevers, night sweats, searing headaches, loss of taste. All of it really. But as you may have heard stories from other couples, covid for me was barely a cold. (At least at first.) For days I just had a raspy voice (hello Energetic Weather Reports!) and a little bit of tiredness. Eventually, I did have a single bumpy day, but it didn’t last. Lee’s version of covid continued to haunt him well past me feeling like nothing was happening beyond me doing a fairly good impersonation of Bill Clinton.
Believe it or not, the point of this blog isn’t covid.
While Lee was so sick, and I just simply wasn’t (even though we had the same thing) I started to ponder the nature of pain. Like so many men, Lee can be a really big baby when he’s sick. (Sound familiar ladies?) And so when he first got sick, I wondered to myself “okay, but how bad is it really?” Then I tested positive and initially it seemed like no big thing. And yet, I know my husband. I can see in those beautiful green eyes of his when he’s suffering. And he was suffering. But I wasn’t. And we both had covid. One must presume the same strain.
That’s when I started thinking about one person’s pain vs another person’s – or even my own. My mother used to say “don’t judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in their moccasins.” (And don’t fuss at me for that saying. We’re part Cherokee and she could say that if she wanted to.) It’s a good analogy in that we can never know what any kind of pain feels like to someone vs how it would feel to us. Even if Lee’s and my experiences of covid were exactly the same, his life experiences, his emotional makeup, and his ability to handle pain are bound to be different from mine because of my life experiences, my emotional makeup, etc.
And the same is true of emotional wounds. I could have the same exact emotionally damaging experiences as any one of you reading this, but how deeply the wound cuts me could be completely different from how deeply it might have hurt you. I can’t see through your eyes. I sincerely wish I could sometimes. It would explain an awful lot. If we could see through each other’s eyes think how much the world might be healed.
Think of the compassion for one another that would be created. How much anguish and anger and hatred would be alleviated.
But we can’t. At least most of us can’t. So where does that leave us?
It leaves us with the responsibility to try. It means our only hope for true compassion for one another is to force ourselves to remember that how we see things is not how others see things. If we must struggle to remember that how other people feel about any given issue isn’t the same as how we feel about them, then struggle we must.
The world is a mess, friends. And that’s due in large part because we keep forgetting that what is black and white to us can be crystal clear to someone else and be the exact opposite of how we see things.
This has got to stop. We have got to find a way to awaken our compassion. Not just those who think like us, but for those who don’t.
There is no other way to peace except love. Love for everyone.
With you on the journey,
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