Apr 24 2010
I’ve heard that some people sail through chemotherapy. I was hoping I would be one of those fortunate sailors. Alas, I am a seasick sailor. I started chemo last Monday and it has shivered me timbers and left me a bit woozy and bluesy.
I have felt myself shlumping like an old gray mare this week, suffering with a queasy stomach and no appetite. I’m trying to remember my chemo sabe attitude of last week, but instead I’m feeling chemo sobby — as in boo hoo, this sucks. I don’t want to get stuck in the energy of that old gray (night)mare. But I also don’t want to be “false positive”.
I went to a doctor appointment yesterday, and while in the waiting room I eavesdropped on a concerned father who was talking on his cell phone to his obviously distraught daughter:
“I want you to know I love you very much,” he said to her. “I love all of you, just the way you are, the good and the not so good, every single thing about you I love. It’s okay to cry. Tears are good. Things grow in a wet environment. Let yourself cry all that you want. It’s helping you grow. I am so proud of you. I know this is hard for you, and you’re doing wonderful. Just put one foot in front of the other, one step at time, that’s all you have to do. I love you so very much.”
Tears came to my eyes. He was like an angel father from heaven, talking to her so tenderly, showing how supremely precious she was to him, saying all the things a suffering daughter craves to hear, allowing her to be right where she was. I imagined that he was my angel father speaking to me so lovingly and tenderly. Angels are all around us.
Several years ago, during a ‘dark night of my soul’, feeling down about myself, I prayed for help. At that moment a card, that was displayed on the shelf beside me, floated to the floor. I picked it up and on it was a big rainbow heart, and the words “You are so loved.” That was such a powerful reminder to me that I am not alone, I am being watched over, I am loved. A few weeks ago I taped that card to my mirror so I can see it everyday and be reminded of that.
I am now being an angel to myself, talking to myself in a loving way, like that father talked to his precious daughter. “I love you very much. You are being so brave. You are facing your worst fears. Just take one step at a time, one foot in front of the other. It’s okay to cry. Let it out. You are doing great. I am so proud of you. Know how very loved you are.”
I opened the Pema Chodron book I’ve been reading, “The Places that Scare You”, to this angel-sent quote: “The ‘secret’ of life that we are all looking for is just this: to develop the power and the courage to return to that which we have spent a lifetime hiding from, to rest in the bodily experience of the present moment – even if it is a feeling of being humiliated, of failing, of abandonment, of unfairness.” (Charlotte Joko Beck)
And then laughing angels flipped the book open to this quote, “In the garden of gentle sanity, may you be bombarded by coconuts of wakefulness.” (Chogyan Trungpa Rinpoche). I love that! I am being bombarded by coconuts of wakefulness! “Wake up and love yourself right where you are. Breathe into this moment, allowing, accepting, embracing all that is happening, crying when you need to, and laughing too.”
The funny thing is, as I do this, I begin to breathe and relax, and the queasy feeling becomes a more easy feeling. My resistance to what is happening has created more discomfort and queasiness than the chemo itself. Resistance is a powerful force – and so is acceptance.
Is there something in your life that you’ve been resisting? Is there something that’s been rocking your boat? Be an angel, and love love love yourself just as you are, right where you are.
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