Michele Minehart

words & yoga

Category: sick (page 1 of 2)


Yes, dear children. That man was sick. That stinky pile over there, where the bugs swarm and the dogs sniff, remains evidence of his sickness.

No, young twenty-something. There’s no need to lie or cover up. He didn’t have the flu.

The simple truth is this: too much of anything in this world will poison you. 

Last night, for this man, it was drink. It probably happened to many people, with the holiday and all. But it’s easy to point out someone else’s poison and label it bad, wrong, evil. But abstaining from alcohol won’t help you if your poison tends to be carbs, shoes or a growing Swiss bank account. You can give yourself a little pat on the back for shying away from the brown bottle, but it won’t heal your soul of its own tendencies to self-medicate.

Honestly, our numbing agents are relatively powerless until they’re mixed in to our souls. In and of themselves, the contents of a bottle, a shopping bag or a wallet have a neutral effect. They simply are. Until your soul attaches meaning to them, gropes for them in the midst of heartache or jealousy or hatred. Then those potions become poisons.

First it affects your body. Your body is the first line of defense. It’s where we feel, where we experience, where we synthesize what is happening in the world. And when you let in too much of anything, your body is the first part of you to tell you it’s too much. Listen to your body.

The poison will also begin to effect your mind. Your thoughts go toward it in the light of day and in the deep of night. Beware, sweet child. When you find your mind saying, “if I could just have one more…” then you’re probably being poisoned by your own hand.

Sadly, it will settle in your soul. It doesn’t make you an evil person. Our society tends to believe that a poisoned soul is the result of poor decisions and a lack of fortitude. No self-control, self-sufficiency, self-respect. I have trouble believing the exaggerated versions of our own struggles can be so other.

Fear not, my children. For every poison there is a remedy. Our sicknesses of self can be healed. The most common antidote is freely available and widely popular: love. Love for self, love for others, love for God, love for the created order.

Many old farm houses came equipped with 2 water sources: a cistern and a well. I imagine we all have within our souls two deep reservoirs. One is more like a cistern, catching whatever comes in. When it goes sour, it takes some work to return it to health. We use this kind of water for flushing and rinsing, maybe watering the garden. Another place in your soul is rather like a deep well. The water there is pure, good for drinking. Incredibly, it can meet the thirsts of others. The key to a good well is to dig deep.

You can spend your days trying to fill the cistern. Or you can put your energy into digging the well deeper. With every loving action and every generous intention, we drill another meter closer to the source. God put a well of love in you, an unlimited supply from which you may draw forever. If you find it running dry, perhaps it’s because you’ve been going to the cistern instead of the well.

When you start seeing evidence of poison, it’s not because the well went bad.  You’re simply living off of what you put into the cistern. Get to the well, my children and keep digging until you drink clean water.

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When you give the sick a hand gun

One of my family members suffers from a significant mental illness. It debilitates him to the point that he cannot work, even at a fast food joint, and the state agreed. He receives a small amount of money for living expenses, namely to pay rent because the state did allow him to live outside of direct monitoring. His parents kept a good eye on him, checked in regularly and felt they had a grasp on his condition and whereabouts.

About a year ago he was taken to jail. He somehow laid hold of a handgun. It made sense to him to practice, so he went into his back yard and shot off several rounds. His neighbors, just a few hundred feet away, freaked out (rightly so) and called the cops (100% justified. We’re thankful!).

Our family was shocked and scared. Everyone was thinking the same thing: How the HELL did he get a gun?

We. Don’t. Know. (He has since been put back into the care of his parents).

He lives in Hardin County, where guns are as common as dogs. Perhaps he picked it up at the lemonade stand on the corner. Or he traded an X-box for it. We really don’t know. If he did go to a legal source for firearms, we’ve got a bigger problem because this individual is legally deemed unable to function as a normal citizen of society.

So, we’re left with: where did the gun come from?

One day I was perusing the Miami County Online Rummage Sale. This is what pops into the feed:



Yes, an online garage sale. And let’s note why the interested party didn’t follow through.

Gun control is a complicated issue, not easily resolved in a single blog post, though several of us have tried. I realize that we have a population of responsible gun-owning citizens (full disclosure: we have guns in our house, in a locked safe). The majority reports to the correct authorities when they buy or sell a weapon and follow proper procedure (or what there is).

Yet the mentally ill can easily navigate their social context – or even Facebook – and find what they’re looking for. Sometimes, it even gets delivered to the newsfeed.

I know little about the last shooting. I don’t have statistics or figures about gun violence or deterrence. I don’t even have solutions. I have a mentally ill family member able to get his hands on a pistol scaring the BeJebus out of the neighborhood.

Some advocate for our right to carry, but no number of gun-carrying citizens stopped him from shooting in his back yard. Praise Jesus, because I can only imagine his response. More guns is not the answer. No guns is not an answer.

Caring for the mentally ill might be an answer. Monitoring the loose methods of buying and selling firearms might be an answer. Really, I think we have an open space of possible answers if we simply decide that the current mode of operation simply isn’t working.

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my larynx was subject to a sneak attack

For over 3 weeks now we’ve had sick kids in the house; be it a cold or a cold or a really bad cold, I’ve seen more drippy noses and heard hacky coughs than I care to. On the whole, everyone is on the upswing. We’ve been drinking our ecchinecha tincture, eating healthy and having lots of long naps. 

On Sunday I thought I felt the tickle and began immediately pumping the tea. The next day I was mostly fine. By yesterday I felt I’d beat it to the punch. 
Then yesterday afternoon I felt that heated tickle in the back of my throat that tells me something’s about to hit. Usually I have a cold and then it sinks down in to my throat and upper lungs and a week later I loose my voice. However, suddenly last night a hot fireball of spikes would roll down my throat every time I swallowed. By bed, getting rid of the naturally occurring saliva seemed to be an overwhelming endeavor. 
Now I’m without voice and intermittently hacking up a lung about once an hour. By “lung”, I mean a large glob of green mucus. I know. Beautiful. 
The crazy thing is that otherwise, I feel pretty good. I sound like an 85-year-old longtime smoker, but the energy level is overall ok (despite not sleeping well, thanks to aformentioned throat cavity of fire). There’s definitely an infection in there somewhere by the bionic color of the results of a good cough, so I’d like to fight it off with a bit of rest and chicken noodle soup. We’ve got a birthday to celebrate this weekend and I want him to hear my pretty little voice.
But that could be wishful thinking on the singing, on so many levels. 
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