Mar 24 2009
Seven months ago my appendix burst and was removed. Now my cancerous uterus is about to be removed. What’s up down there? My internal organs are jumping ship! I can’t help but wonder, have I done something wrong? I’d always thought that this couldn’t happen to me. I take good care of myself: eat healthy, don’t drink or smoke, I exercise, ingest a fistful of vitamins every day, express my thoughts and feelings, connect with my spirit, and have loving relationships. I thought I was safe. Now a part of me feels like I have failed in some way.
Cancer is such a violent thing to have inside me. It is something shadowy, dark and dangerous that will kill me unless I kill it first. This has stirred up my painful old core belief which says I didn’t just do something wrong, I am something wrong; I am fundamentally damaged; and bad things happen to me because I’m bad. The pain of that core belief has set me on a spiritual path for the last 30 years. I have read a great multitude of spiritual and personal growth books and attended more workshops that you can shake a talking stick at. I have grown and healed tremendously. Yet still…cancer.
Feeling sad and disappointed, I lay in my husband Tom’s arms, crying, “I am flawed. After all these years and all the work I’ve done on myself, I am still deeply flawed.” Tom smiled and said, “Me too.” We both laugh. I have done something right to have this blessing of a man in my life! He has helped me put the fun into fundamentally flawed. Just looking at him reminds me that there is much light in my life now. And, there are still shadows. Tom says, “The brighter the light is the more clearly defined the shadows are.” Yes. The light is brightly shining in my life and I’m seeing my shadows very clearly. That is a good thing.
One way the Universe very clearly reveals my shadows to me is through the people in my life. They are wonderful mirrors – I can clearly see in them how they are defensive, judgmental, victimy, and oblivious about it (as much as I try to point it out to them!) These people can be irritating to be around. When I try to remove them from my life, they just keep showing up in different bodies with new names!
My shadows are clearly defined and they are clearly following me! Wherever I go, there I am. I’m learning that if it’s in my life, it’s in me. More importantly, I’m seeing that it’s all about Love. These shadows keep showing up to be faced, accepted and loved in me, and in those who are mirroring me.
I am facing and accepting that I will never be perfect. I lose my temper, I stress myself out, and I like to indulge in a fine whine now and then. I’m learning to shine the light on all that I am, to love myself As Is, warts and all, and now cancer and all. I’ve even written a song, with my friend Nicola Gordon, about loving all the many me’s – “the meany, moody, messy me’s – all the me’s I see’s.” It’s called I Loves Them All. (To see video, click the link below).
Life is not about being perfect – it’s about being whole. As Carl Jung said, I’d rather be whole than good. Loving All of me is loving myself whole (minus a few body parts). This is more important than being perfect.
I feel compassion for that part of us that gets lost in the shadows. I feel such love and appreciation for how we keep striving for the light, sometimes floundering towards the light. How brave we all are to be here on this journey on planet earth, fallible, flawed and perfectly imperfect.
We are right where we need to be. This moment is perfect just as it is. This cancer is perfect just as it is. Healing and learning are happening. My dearly departing body parts are leaving me with this wonderful parting gift – the reminder to welcome every part and parcel of me to the party. I welcome cancer as my teacher
What people and circumstances keep showing up in your life, shadowing you? You haven’t done anything wrong. Life is simply reflecting back to you what wants to be faced and embraced. It’s All about Love.
Be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. (The Desiderata)
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