Does cancer make me a better person than you? Does it endow me with Special Qualities? How about Special Wisdom? Have I Conquered it? Am I now one of the Chosen Ones? Is the “Suffering” I “Endured” during treatments more terrible than anything you might have possibly experienced outside of cancer land? Am I a fighter, and you’re not? Do I win?
No. To all of the above.
Is it possible that cancering can transform a person? Is it possible that Cancer can bring to light unnoticed possibilities for happiness? Is it possible that cancering can open a person up to more empathy for others and greater self love and acceptance?
Do these things happen automatically? No.
Is cancering the only pathway to these things? No
Cancer makes you neither Saint nor Martyr. So “Am I a better person yet?” is a trick question. It implies that I am not good enough. It implies that the goal is to be better so that one will be worthy of being alive. Worthiness may well be at the core of most illness. My recent bout with the “sludge” has got me questioning both my own worthiness, and the issue of worthiness in general. (See my post on the sludge here.) Brenè Brown, Queen of all things worthy, has some useful tidbits about the subject. When I look around at the people surrounding me, it is amazing how much we apologize just for being human. Believing ourselves not to be worthy supports a world of woe.
Another Blogger, Aria-Bella, recently posted this great thing:
The day I read it, it seemed like pretty much the perfect sum up of what I am grappling with these days. What perhaps we are all grappling with. Because the definition of enough is not being a saint, or being some super hero of awesomeness. You are the Definition of being Worthy. Just by being here now, in a marvelous, miraculous human body you are worthy of being here. You have been picked for the Team for this moment in history. There are no wallflowers, no odd men out. We all have arrived with gifts to share. We are, each one of us, enough.
When we embrace this as truth- we can create a world in resonance with the beautiful miracle that we are.
So I ask again, Is it possible that cancering can transform a person? Is it possible that Cancer can bring to light unnoticed possibilities for happiness? Is it possible that cancering can open a person up to more empathy for others and greater self love and acceptance? Yes. When we open our hearts and connect to the beauty all around, than cancer can be a gateway into greater happiness, and service to others. It isn’t the only gateway- the wonder of it is that there are gateways before us in every single moment of our lives, cancer just happens to be a bit less subtle than some other opportunities.
As I reflect on day to day life, it is as though I live my life in a perpetual fog at times. I get caught up in the distractions of small troubles, and the troubles that play out on the world stage. I cultivate fear. And then there are the moments in which I feel completely supported by the universe. The moments where everywhere I look there are heart shaped rocks. The moments in which I remember that I am an infinite being surrounded by infinite beings. That we are all engaged in this amazing experiment to co-create a wonderful life. The amnesia of everyday life can either support that wonder filled world, or be like wondering off the path in thick clouds.
The pursuit of healing has the potential to be coming from many directions, a continuum from self reverence and celebration- to self recrimination and shame. When moments arise in which the fog has lifted we can more clearly see, not only the path but the sky of possibilities. In that moment there is room for all of us to awaken to our magnificence. Cultivating love, acceptance and forgiveness of ourselves can be such an opening.
Just imagine all the good we can do when we remember we are worthy.