It’s in my arm! My second shot! You will forgive me if I write nothing today, and I will forgive you for thinking that maybe I should have written nothing today.

I wonder if I’m feeling vaccine-hazy, or just plain lazy. I wonder if my body aches because it is building immunity or because I’ve been lying in bed without moving for so long. I wonder if that slight wooziness that made me bend my head to my knees to keep from fainting earlier this morning were the antibodies at work or because we were talking about needles.

Needles! My childhood nemesis. After years of the pediatrician having to chase me around the exam room to vaccinate me, my mom made an appointment with a hypnotherapist to help me get over my fear. When I described to him that it was the idea of a sharp, metal, foreign object penetrating beneath my skin that gave me the willies, he gave that feeling a name: “Body integrity.” He said that I had an underlying sense that everything was where it was supposed to be and should not be messed with. My skin had a job to do — keep the inside stuff on the inside, and the outside stuff on the outside. Luckily, he succeeded in making me more comfortable with those intrusive jabs that would preserve the integrity of the rest of me.

Just getting some reassurance that it will be over quickly!

What of the other kinds of integrity? Maria Shriver, in her “Sunday Paper” newsletter yesterday, speaks of living from a place of integrity.

“Integrity is a deeply powerful concept….[B]eing intact: to be one thing whole and undivided. Who doesn’t want to live from that whole place? If you make choices and decisions from that place, you might find yourself on a path you never imagined. You might find yourself in a place you never dreamed of. If you keep making small choices from that place, it will lead you to dreams you never envisioned and places you never anticipated.”

Living with that kind of intention can bring us to push outside of the labels we choose to define ourselves. She writes, “I’ve come to learn that labels limit us. They keep our lives narrow and contained. It’s hard to be a multitude of things when the world seems to be demanding that you describe yourself as only one thing and then do just that one thing. I urge you to not allow that box to contain you, because if you lose that job, that role, or that label, you will find yourself not just wondering who you are, but what you are capable of being.”

I recognize myself in those words, and maybe you do, too? As hard as the journey to redefine yourself can be, the first job is realizing that you have endless possibilities.

As for me, my authentic choice right now is to fluff my pillows and watch something binge-worthy.

To your health, happiness, and wholeness.

The post-birthday, post-vaccination kit gift — Tylenol, extra band-aid, plain crackers, lozenges, and the extra mask and hand sanitizer, because you can’t be too careful!

One thought on “Integrity

  1. Great interpretation of the “2nd” shot …. and great full of fear interpretation of vaccines from
    many years past….I reacted the same way you did !
    Heart still pounded until it was over…….

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