The news concerning my health was not what I wanted to hear. The lab report that brought the news was part of a screening for a clinical study I was applying for to test a new drug protocol for Hepatitis C, a condition I was diagnosed with in 2001. The news was disappointing for two reasons, one, because I did not qualify to participate in the study, and two, because the reason I didn't qualify was that my condition was worse than I had guessed … and did not match my own assessment of where I thought I was physically.
I thought about how many times the me I see in the mirror varies … sometimes what I see looking back at me appears to be a gracefully aging, even still fairly attractive woman, while at other times, based on my emotional whim of the moment, I see someone dramatically different standing in the place of “me.” As if I had suddenly fallen under a sorcerer's spell, I might, all of a sudden, appear to my own eyes, as a frumpy old woman, much the worse for wear.
Was this a similar thing, I wondered? Where my own assessment of me shifts and changes in spite of the evidence that says something totally different? How easy it is to be blown about by my mind's predominating opinion of the moment! Nonetheless and regardless of whatever self image might appear before me in the looking glass, I have always relied on my physical body to be vital, strong, willing, and overall dependable. It has been, and still is, a wonderful vehicle – one that has served me well. Now I was being told it was flagging, struggling to keep up with the demands and expectations made on it. As I said, it was difficult information to hear.
So I was surprised … and then not surprised at all, by the news – the way we are when something unexpected happens that we quickly realize we expected all along. I felt a moment of fear … and then I defaulted to the guiding principles of Reality which reminded me that there IS a plan after all – that indeed, there ARE no coincidences. And still, I could feel the sharp disappointment, and sadness that was triggered by the “hard” news.
My day was busy, and I rode the feelings that were brewing below the surface. Like a surfer rides a wave until it swells and breaks, I was conscious of it's presence, feeling its effect, but purposely chose to ride the surface of the dark waters until I could give it my full attention. It wasn't until the next morning, during my daily alone time that I allowed myself to dive deeper into the emotional waters triggered by the previous day's news. The story that lay behind my disappointment and grief started to unwind almost as soon as I rolled out my yoga mat.
I stood in mountain pose, and started a slow stretch, moving in all directions, while grounding, and working out the kinks and stresses of my previous day, seeking alignment as a way to open and relieve the contractions and knots in my energy system. In my mind, I was skimming over the bits and pieces of the previous 24 hours that were still moving around, unresolved – not yet placed in their appropriate mental “file,” Tears began, trailing down my face, unsolicited.
I made my way to the floor, and moved into child's pose, where I could clearly hear the internal attack, full of accusations and blame leveled against myself; “It's your fault! You mishandled your body. You destroyed it and now you're going to have to leave Planet Earth because you didn't take care of your self!”
I felt like a little kid who finally had gotten the chance to go to the longed for beach with his parents, and WOW, what a great time she was having … when suddenly, she is told, that because she didn't take her nap, or didn't eat her salad, she has to go. She is forced to go because she didn't do what she was told, she didn't honor the rules necessary for her to be able to stay. I felt like that child … being kicked out of life because I hadn't taken care of the body the way I should have. 🙁
I recognized that the grief I felt was greatly amplified by my old, familiar, seemingly ever-present, core belief story – “I did it wrong. It's my fault. I must be punished.”
Simultaneously I realized that the feelings I was having were the body's fears for survival. They were the disappointment and sadness, and angst created by a little ego who thinks the body is all it is, and feels as though it stands on the brink of devastation. I let the feelings come, no holding back. The tears overflowed, and I realized, once again, the polarities that exist within me … the established, irreconcilable contrast between the one who knows that life goes on forever, and the part of me that thinks it all ends when the body goes, that thinks of life as fleeting and temporary. I wept the deep sadness of someone who believes she must give up something precious to her, something she is deeply attached to … I grieved in anticipation of giving up life on Planet Earth and all of the grand relationships I experience here. When the tears finally ceased, inner peace remained.
And I heard the inner Voice, the One I have come to know and love, speak to me in simple, frank, but gentle words – it's message was short, “My sweet child, has it occurred to you yet that instead of being a failure, your life has been a wonderful success? Perhaps instead of failing the course, you simply finished it, and are ready to move on to “next!”
The tension in my body released like a coiled spring from it's tightly wound state of contraction upon hearing these inner thoughts; I hadn't even realized how tightly wound I was until the release – and then the flood gates opened, and I cried again, this time, from relief and gratitude, like a loved child, safe again in the arms of a loving parent.
I began to see things more clearly … I saw how I had held onto deep-seated resentments towards this reckless part of me, the part of me who had lived dangerously on the edge … and subjected myself to things a more prudent person would never have considered … and how I projected those feelings of anger towards myself onto my husband, and as a result, mistreated him out of my anger at myself, as if he were that part of me that had abused me and who could not be forgiven. I had punished him the same way I punished myself for “failing” me.
I could see how, through that projection, I was being shown a reflection of the war I was having against my Self on the inside. In other words, my relationship with Daniel accurately mirrored to me the conflict and internal battle that I was waging within my own mind against myself. And I could see why I had to project it out onto him to be able to finally see it in myself.
I realized just how expensive the price IS for not forgiving myself. It cost me emotionally (feeling resentful, ashamed, unforgivable), mentally (from dwelling on toxic thoughts about myself), physically (becoming self-destructive), and in my relationships with others.
I was able to see that for me to choose to believe that my state of failing health was because I had “blown it,” and that I was being “kicked out of the park early,” was an unkind way to treat myself … and besides, it might not be true. It could just as easily be true that I have come to do a certain set of tasks, that I am doing what I came to do, and am scheduled to finish up my Earth “course” right on time …
And since I've been given freedom of choice I get to believe whatever I choose, and so, in that moment, I chose to go with that, much happier, version of possibility instead of the one that had me viciously turning on myself!
It was then that it occurred to me that perhaps I have just enough “virus” in me to exit planet Earth right on time. But only if, as the Reality principles say, all things happen perfectly according to plan 🙂 – at that thought the disease suddenly turned into being a necessary part of my exit plan for the appointed time. Because, as the first guiding principle (the Law of Cause and Effect) reminds us, there are no accidents, no coincidence. For me the inference is that things happen according to a bigger plan, one beyond what the ego mind can orchestrate.
So the lab results suggest that my condition worsens … nonetheless my mirror shows me a woman growing stronger every day. I think I will go with that! If I am dying, and we all are, then I plan to die well. The only requirement for dying well is to live and love every day with one's whole being, experiencing life with every fiber and in every second of NOW right up to the moment when the body gives out. Nothing else really matters. Certainly trying to determine which version of me is real is a waste of time – especially in light of the real tendency we as humans have of living out whatever story of ourselves we choose to believe anyway!
Of course, these are not new ideas to me. It's just that every time I am brought face to face with hard moments in life I am amazed by the potency of the guiding principles of Reality; every time I reach to them for support, they give it. And never in a pushing or demanding sort of way, with dictums about how things should be, but simply by asking me to accept myself and others where I find us in life, and by offering me a more sane way to see life's curve balls – so I can hit them out of the ballpark of mediocrity and into the heavens of new possibilities.
I celebrate being here NOW, and I relish the promise of big adventures in the NOW moments still to come. Thank you for listening.
PS. Just a brief update since this post was blogged in June of 2014. It is now July 2016 and I am Hepatitis C clear. It appears my body rose to the call for health and well-being that the Mind issued, and I've been declared physically healed. What the mind decides, the body obeys. Source is good.