An Unexpected Burn: A Candlelit Journey of Rest and Reflection

An Unexpected Burn: A Candlelit Journey of Rest and Reflection

 There’s something inherently soothing about the warm glow of a candle in the winter. 

It was New Year’s Eve. My friends made us a lovely dinner and lit tea lights around the living room for atmosphere. There was no way to know that soft light and idyllic moment would take an unexpected turn. 

Something was very wrong with these candles. Just before we came in, one had flared and nearly set fire to the coffee table. Later, one began to flare near the window, and I jumped up to blow it out. I put my hand out, and before I knew it, hot wax had spilled all over my right hand. My working hand! (pro tip: Avoid buying tea lights from a grocery store that rhymes with Schmegman’s)

I plunged my hand into a bowl of ice, which turned out to be a mistake, and tried to tough it out, hoping to make it till midnight. But I had to go home. The pain of the burn was unlike anything I’ve experienced in my life. 

I immediately applied Ching Wan Hung- a miraculous Chinese burn cream- at home. Magically, virtually all the pain abated, and I could sleep. 

New Year’s Day blistered, and they finally broke. My hand was swollen. It was clear I couldn’t work. I hate canceling patients. I also hate being the patient. Now- I needed patience.  

Every single experience we have- even bad ones- can be a springboard for growth. Despite, or perhaps because of, the burn, I made the decision to turn this mishap into an opportunity for self-care. The holidays were joyfully busy. But I could feel that I had been neglecting my need for rest and reflection. The burn created a path to slow down, regroup, and pay attention to my well-being. 

And as if that wasn’t a strong enough message- after 3 years, I finally got COVID. My husband had it first, so I knew the clock was ticking, and it was only a matter of time. Once again, I canceled my patients. As of this writing, I cannot remember when I last left my house. The last time I didn’t see patients for 3 weeks was likely when I gave birth to my children. I’ve walked my talk and taken all the herbs during all this. I’ve napped. I watched TV in the daytime. I resisted the frustration of time off but was fuzzy-headed, so I could not accomplish much. 

This forced pause allowed me to reflect on my priorities and the pace at which I live. The burn serves as a poignant reminder to prioritize self-care and find a balance between work and personal life. And not burn out. It prompted me to reconsider the importance of taking breaks, listening to my body, and being mindful of the present moment.

Read: This Winter, Let Yourself Rest

The unexpected burn, though painful, became a catalyst for positive change in my life. 

Sometimes, an unforeseen incident forces us to pause, reflect, and realign our priorities. In the end, my hand is healing well. The scarring will be minimal. And I’ve received the gift of a renewed sense of purpose and a commitment to creating moments of rest and reflection in the midst of my hectic pace.

With great love,