Perhaps as you read the heading above, you wondered if I didn’t know that the geographic place in the Great Himalayas is spelled Kashmir, and not cashmere. But the truth of the matter is I’ve never been to India, or the Himalayas. Yet I have been sleeping in cashmere without leaving home–and before you judge this as a prosperity issue, let me explain.
I’m in the first month of treatment for an illness that has overtaken my immune system over the past 9 months. My whole body–just like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz–knows: “this ain’t Kansas anymore.” On any day, I don’t know what system, organ, or part of my body will have a tantrum. It’s like my body has turned into a fun house (not so fun) and there are surprises behind every door.
The other night, in the middle of the night, I was first sweating and then freezing. No temperature adjustment in the house would have made a difference; this is just a symptom of what’s happening within me. Not wanting to wake up husband and dogs by turning on lights… I went into my closet in the dark and felt around up on the shelf on the back left corner where my sweaters live. I put my hand on one that had no buttons or embellishment and pulled it over my head. Ahh. Warm. Not too heavy. Not too light. I was just right! A Goldilocks moment. Imagine my surprise in the morning when I woke up in a cashmere sweater that was a Christmas gift a few years ago. “Nice sweater!”
Indeed it was. Or it is. And as I thought about it… it was also just what I needed. It was comforting in its softness. It was/is just the right weight and breathe-ability. And I get some kind of vicarious pleasure having slept in something I once considered almost too special. In fact, I have ‘saved it’ more than ‘worn it’ as not to ruin it. At that rate it would die a death of moth holes rather than wear out. But not now.
Every night since then I slip on my sweater over my night clothes as I get ready for bed. I keep it on in the morning as I make my kale rich smoothie. When dressing for the day, I fold it over the back of the chair nearest my bed, so that it will be there to warm and comfort me not only in body, but in mind and in spirit.
I have most always known that the Creator of the universe, is not stingy or frugal but lavish with all. Well, I’ve known it in my head. But over the past week or so, I’ve begun to learn it better in my heart. I’ve realized that this little gesture of self-care helps in my healing process in more ways than I can count. I am reminded that I am a child of a generous God…that I am worthy…that I am cared for each time the softness of my sweater makes its presence known. It’s like sleeping in a divine hug.
A few years ago when serving on a committee which welcomed new pastor’s into the area, I always was the person in the room who asked the question about self-care. Pastor’s notoriously don’t take care of themselves until its critical. I’d ask them to tell me about their habits, interests or hobbies outside of the profession that tended to their emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. Some had a hard time answering the question. Others had a hard time even understanding it!
Should I be asked the question at this changing time in my life: What are my habits, interest or hobbies that tend to my emotional, mental and spiritual well-being one of the first things I’d have to say “sleeping in cashmere.” Seems like such a little thing.
And yet I offer it to you. Maybe this little blog can get you thinking about how you care for you in the midst of your life right now. What are you doing to tend to your emotional, mental and spiritual well-being? Whether able bodied or otherwise, self-care can be as simple as pulling a sweater down off the shelf in the dark and can make a profound impact on your well-being. It did mine.
Know today, that the generous Creator of the Universe loves you, and so do I.
Kathleen Bronagh Weller THECELTICMONK APRIL 12, 2019