This post was written August 22, 2015, it is another one that I put away until later.
This is later.
I’ve been in a land far far away as of late. I’ve been reading a really good book. I’ve been reorganizing my studio, and I went on a four day camping bike adventure with my all my boys- including husband, sons and nephews. All of which opened up a thought of what I have to give.
I have just a bit of clarity on what words I can send out with the energy of healing. First off 2015 has been an opportunity to really look into what it means to do the work of emotional healing. During all the intensity of last year’s physical treatments the spiritual/emotional side of me put a few things away to deal with later. Well, this is later. The work of cleaning my own house, both figuratively and literally is fairly consuming, and not yet done. I’ve been thinking a lot about all the things I have learned and all the many things that are mysterious. I haven’t posted anything on the blog since May, and it finally feels time to take up the written word again.
What does it take to Heal?
Let me be clear- I am not talking about cure. Frankly I have no idea why cures happen. In my own little microcosm I feel blessed beyond measure to be living outside of the inner circle of cancer-ing treatments at the moment. What I have learned a lot about is Healing, and I have come to recognize a few guides to healing- which anyone can do- even someone on their death bed. Healing has nothing to do with microscopes or pathology reports. Illness and diagnosis are a call to healing. Disease is a a teacher offering a class in healing. Healing is connection to life. Healing is finding your way towards service. Healing is the cultivated discipline of love. There are infinite roads that all lead to healing. That being said these are some of the things that have contributed to my wellbeing. Please read without inserting SHOULD anywhere. Should is a soul killer. There is no should here. This is just a list of some of the perspectives and practices that I believe to be contributing factors on my healing journey so far.
- We all die, and death is not the end of us. The universe and god and all that is, is beyond our comprehension. It is a great mystery that we have spent millennia making up stories about. Trust that voice in your belly that says “I can’t die.” it is not the voice of delusion- it is the voice of experience that remembers that we continue after we leave these beautiful bodies of ours.
- Gratitude is the cup that makes life sweet. This is something that I have found over and over and over. Regardless of what is happening focusing your mind on gratitude changes everything.
- Get outside.
- There is nothing to Fear but Fear itself. Fear is like a magnet that draws pain and suffering towards you. Fear is a train that takes you to a terrible destination every time. Fear encourages you to give over all your power, in the hopes of bartering for a better outcome. Offer compassion to your fears. A shift of your focus towards other perspectives or non-judgmental observations can free you. For me looking at my diagnosis as a verb rather than a noun was the difference between living in fear and living free and happy.
- Everything changes. Accept this. Healing is a dynamic equilibrium that you maintain by accepting countless changes large and small. It is a moving target- no matter what you learn there is always more to learn ahead. I believe that this is the non-attachment that the Buddha speaks of. Everything changes. Everything changes. Everything.
- Accept responsibility for everything. Play this game. “If I chose this life and everything in it, what is the payoff?” Answering this question and others like it can be helpful. When you feel like a victim everything sucks more. When you accept responsibility for your life you feel different- sometimes even immensely free.
- Laugh hard, even if it makes you cough until you retch.
- Choose Love. Stand for Love. No matter what may happen, Love anyway. Even those who may despise you or harm you are part of all that is. They are suffering. Love them anyway. Doing the work of compassion is not the easy road. Doing the work of love requires courage. Love those you meet, for you know not what great battle they might be fighting.
- We need tribe. Know who your tribe is. Seek those who spark joy within you. These are the people that you can support and who can support you. These are the inner circle who are easy to love. Let your love for each other be the gestalt that lifts all of you towards fulfillment of your life’s mission.
- Care for yourself so that you can care for others. Love yourself. Seek help when you need it without shame. Seek help when you need it knowing that you offer others an opportunity to be of service. When you can, look for ways to be of service. This give and take is a path of joy.
*Post Script February 2016: Since writing this post I attended the funeral of a neighbor which was so filled with a message of healing. I felt like a community healing was taking place all around me, which inspires me to add two more contributing factors:
12. Own your shadows- bring them into the light – deal with them in whichever ways you can. We are all here to illuminate our blind spots for each other. Fiercely pursue truth.
13. Forgiveness. No matter what has happened to you – choosing to hold onto the pain is like “drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die”. Forgiveness is central. Forgive others, forgive yourself. In forgiveness there is peace.