At times in life I notice I’m not putting my priorities in the right order. The tyranny of the urgent, whether it’s someone else’s request or something I expect of myself, has me neglecting what I know in my heart is most important… my physical/mental/spiritual health, the people I love, life balance. Two weeks ago my priorities were put to the test. I had a business trip lined up, meetings, airfare, hotel, rental car and my dad was being hospitalized for a blood transfusion with a mystery illness that had been wearing him down for six weeks with fever, fatigue, then stomach pain and lots of weight loss. I live in Colorado, he lives in Oregon. I intuitively knew his life was in danger when I had seen him last but he was too feverish to realize it, besides no one in Urgent Care had expressed much worry about his progressive deterioration.
That Monday morning I was struggling with what to do, Dad was playing down how serious it was when I spoke with him on the phone. Should I keep my work commitments or go be with my Dad who I knew was fighting for his life, without a diagnosis? In the state of emotional stress I realized I needed support to follow through with my desire to drop everything and drive to Oregon. I texted a friend and asked if he would drive with me. When he said yes, I felt a huge relief and started taking action to cancel my business trip that was meant for the next day. As soon as it was decided a big wave of peace washed over me. I didn’t know what tomorrow would bring but I knew that my priorities were right and I would have no regrets.
In moments of crisis, decisions can feel overwhelming and doing what we need to do feel impossible. It seemed all the tools I had for centering, self-reflection and getting clear weren’t within reach. I called on those who know me best to be my anchor and remind me not to doubt my intuition. To ignore my dad’s “don’t worry,” to set aside my clients “I need the demonstration this week,” and choose what would bring peace for my soul. I had to press beyond my fear of letting others down, be it family or business associates, and lean on the strength of friends.
At my technology job it was one of the worst possible times for me to need to redirect my energy to family. I reflected on the sage advice from my manager Bill at my first job after college, “Is it going to matter in 50 years? If not, don’t stress about it.” In 50 years it would matter if I was there for my dad and it wouldn’t matter if I postponed my business trip.
When the time came to let work know my circumstances, I received 100% support from colleagues, clients and management. I felt the grace of their understanding and acknowledgement that we are all human with needs that come before work.
After being quarantined and run through many tests, they discovered my dad had a parasite, one that kills 100,000 people a year and almost killed him, but is curable! What a relief that it was discovered in time. And while he’s recovering, I’ve been able to be here at the family Ranch for more time than I thought would be possible for me this year; a blessing in disguise. This is in a profoundly nurturing place for my soul. I’ve also had time to spend with my mom and brother who are both facing different mystery health challenges, and witnessed many surprising layers of family healing.
I was reminded from this experience that when I feel confused and am struggling to get clear on my intuitive truth, it’s still there. I just have too much emotion between me and it, to see it clearly. At those times I can call on the people who know me best to help me clear away the emotional-charge and get grounded enough to see.