A few nights ago I woke up in the middle of the night with an aching headache. I tried to sleep, but the pulsing ache wouldn’t let me and I realized both my hands were tingling suspiciously. I began to worry about what could possibly be wrong with me. I knew there were things to watch out for when recovering from childbirth, but couldn’t remember if a headache was one of them. I was kind of freaking out.
I woke Israel up, “I have a really bad headache”. He asked some standard questions about location of the pain, possible hydration levels and if both hands were tingling or just one. He decided that I was really worried, but I was probably just really dehydrated and tired. So I drank some water and went back to bed. Still worrying excessively, but choosing to trust Israel’s non-headache plagued head.
As I was trying to sleep I realized I was hyperventilating and that’s why my hands were tingling. I focused my breath to calm and slow. I prayed that God would fill my head with His calm and make my headache go away.
Slow and deep.
I pictured breathing healing and God’s calm into my head and heart while massaging the base of my neck. Eventually I fell asleep and woke up two hours later feeling more relaxed. My headache was gone and I felt calm.
I went back to sleep and slept so well.
And felt so refreshed and rested in the morning.
Thinking about this again in the context of our word this week I realized a few things:
Sometimes, in the midst of pain, breathing can be hard.
We have to consciously focus on breathing slow and deep and exhaling fully.
Breathing doesn’t do us much good unless we exhale.
– breath – exhale – breath – exhale – breath – exhale –
Often I tell my kids to take a deep breath when they need to calm down and listen. And isn’t that what we hear about all sorts of things?
>>Just take a deep breath. Calm down. Wait a minute. Chill. Don’t overreact. Let it go.
These words encourage us to take a breath, but they don’t allow for an exhale. They fail to give us space to say the words that are breaking us from the inside or to release the things that if held in will hurt us in the long run.
I think our culture fails to see the value in the exhale sometimes.
We need words that lead us to healing and wholeness instead of stuffing feelings or ignoring needs.
The exhale is just as important as the breath.
What do you need to exhale today?
Would you join in on our #wholemama linkup? We are a group of mamas looking to live more fully as our whole selves instead of constantly fragmenting our identities into various parts. We can be mamas, and spiritual, and creatives, and writers, and anything else. There is no reason why these identities cannot overlap, giving and taking freely to add to the wholeness of the other. The link goes live Tuesdays at 8AM, MDT. Write and linkup, or simply read around, by clicking the frog below.
We also have our #wholemama facebook group where I post our prompt early (friday, usually) and would love to have you there!
I am blogging everyday this October on the theme of Soul Calm. I want to take the dust of the day and sift it through my fingers. Let the dust drift away, seen and unseen, beautiful, maybe, but not mine to keep. You can find the collection of Soul Calm posts here: