"THE immune system" has had a lot of public attention lately, because of you-know-what. But what IS it, really? I am no medical doctor, biochemist or qualified in any way to speak about this, other than by the simple fact of being human and allegedly having one. Having said that, I selfishly won't spare you a few thoughts on it:
Now, a system, by definition, is made up out of components. I heard someone speak of the psychological immune system recently. (Now, this person was ACTUALLY qualified. Also- if you'd like to read a little more on this: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/dating-and-mating/202004/don-t-underestimate-your-psychological-immune-system )
This person asked me what I do for my psychological immune system. In true reactionist fashion I started listing things. "Going outside", "Talking to my loved ones", "Trying (unsuccesfully) to get a good nights rest", etc.
The person (yes, it's OBVIOUSLY my therapist) did not respond.
I knew I messed up the answer.
Was I doing it wrong?
Oh god. I AM doing it wrong.
What SHOULD I be doing?
Panic. The voices (read=answers) in my head instantly started a virtual fistfight to scramble for a reflected, healthy, intelligent answer. My thera...er....person, watched in amusement. Eventually saying "god, it's stressful listening to you".
"Well, I do pay you for it....so....you know....suck it up?"
That shut him up. I thought. But no.
"I can only do my job well if I am empathetic. Imagine if you were me and you listened to yourself. Would you not be stressed out by the sheer amount of tasks, both mental and physical, you give yourself? You only react in DOING. Try BEING. Your life is so dense, of course you don't sleep. You never actually breathe out. You never actually ARE with WHAT IS."
I didn't answer. I knew he was right. But I also thought what a load of new-age hippie sh**. I was bored at this. Yes, yes, I heard it all before. Go slower, take some self care time, etc. It's not my fault my brain is running away from me. Suddenly I felt dead exhausted, empty and infinitely sad. Lost. Frankly, I feel lost most days.
I went home and tried it. Again. 10 minutes of nothing. Just being. Call it meditation, centering, clearing the mind, settling into yourself, whatever. It is hell. 1 minute feels like 50 hours. I get antsy and weirdly aggressive. It's impossible to do it with my eyes closed.
This story doesn't end in a happy revelation of how eventually it became easier and better and how now I meditate daily on the top of a rock crafted by spirit chakra angels glowing from my third eye, floating through my life centered and enlightened into infinity.
But I do know, if you hear a personalized piece of advice ("stop thinking and doing") over and over again, and you can't sleep (the voices in my head) , maybe you do need to do something about it. NO! Damn it! not DO....maybe you need to BE about it.
I know my psychological immune system needs it. And it does feel kinda nice to try and give myself permission to just exist. (I'm this close to buying a buddha statue.) So, what does your psychological immune system need?
Courage? Reflectiveness? Positivity? Learning how to BE? Thinking more/less? Speeding up? Slowing down?
Whatever it is, It will be grateful if you take care of it as well as it tries to take care of you.
So, what are YOUR longest 10 minutes?