The gift of fatigue

After a few weeks of increased energy, my old companion fatigue reappeared yesterday afternoon. With it came the telltale backache—characteristic, for me, of this type of fatigue—that urges me to lie down on the floor on my back and just … rest.

Sometimes these bodily instructions include a little flat-on-my-back yoga. The gentle stretches and twists soften the pain, but they don’t make it go away. For that, I need rest.

Photo: Joseph Renger/Wikimedia Commons

And for rest, I need patience. I can’t force myself to feel better, and then move on to whatever I want to do next. I have to allow my body to feel better on its own schedule.

It’s not a nap; it’s not vegging out. It’s conscious, deliberate rest, in which I must allow both my body and my mind to become still—and to stay still for as long as necessary.

That’s the gift of this kind of fatigue: it helps me surrender.

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