Feb 27 2010
I just came face to face with a massive issue I’ve been avoiding, and I have my butt to thank for it.
Lately I’ve been spending a lot of time messing around on the computer, watching TV, and eating. I recently did something I haven’t done since my diagnosis and removal of cancer a year ago. I have been faithfully avoiding sugar (it feeds cancer) and dairy, but the other day I walked to the Fresco bakery (voted best desserts in Santa Barbara) and I got a big slice of berry pie with homemade whipped cream. I was proud of myself for bringing it home and sharing half of it with my husband Tom. Two days later I went back and got another yummy dessert (a caramelized banana marzipan flakey pastry), but this time I didn’t share it with Tom. I didn’t even tell him about it. It was a sweet, secret treat that I hoarded and hid and ate all by myself.
Big fat red flag! There have been other red flags that something was up, or held down, something I didn’t want to face. A few weeks ago I had a severe ear infection and blockage in my left ear with pain radiating into my neck and face. I couldn’t hear out of that ear and I felt unbalanced. In addition, for several weeks my butt has been unrelentingly aching with painful hemorrhoids (the grapes of wrath!) So I asked myself, “Your ear aches and your rear aches, what’s up with that?”
I’m taking antibiotics for my ear and it’s better. But the pain in my butt is not going away. My rear aches everyday, like a tiger’s got ME by the tail. The persistent pain scares me, with the thought that cancer is always a possibility. I tried to reassure myself that everyone gets hemorrhoids (it’s said that’s why Napoleon rode side saddle!) But then a lady from the community garden told me she had hemorrhoids and it turned out to be anal cancer. Oh My God, my worst fear! I googled anal cancer and hemorrhoids and my fear mushroomed.
Fear has taken over. I am out of balance — I’ve lost touch with my spirit. In trying to avoid this fear by distracting myself with TV, food, and the computer, I have also separated myself from my spirit. I have been spirited away by the addictive distractions that fill my day.
My ear aches and rear aches are fear aches. I’ve been tightly clenched, trying to push fear away, avoid it, sit on it. But once again I am reminded that when I try to sit on my feelings, they bite me in the butt! And it’s very painful! I am now willing to come face to face with my ear, rear, and fear aches.
Laying in the spaciousness of Tom’s arms, I let go and I let myself go into the depths of my fear and sadness about cancer. Even though it was removed, I have a creeping fear that it will return. I face into the surprising awareness that a part of me would rather die than to go through more cancer, pain, hospitals, expense, needles, knives, blood, and fear!
I cried and released and unwound my pain, and then…I became aware of Tom holding me, and I felt the sweet space he was providing me, and I suddenly remembered how I used to cry and feel this deep despair years ago when I felt so alone in the world. Now here I was with Tom. My eyes opened wide, taking in this present moment where I was held and loved. I awakened to this wonderful moment and I smiled, happy to be alive, feeling my feelings fully, in the spaciousness of the here and now with this beautiful man.
I can see that my butt has been aching to communicate with me, trying to tell me, “Get off your butt. Take walks in nature. Reconnect with your spirit.” My hemorrhoids feel better when I’m moving, walking and breathing fully, and they hurt when I’m sitting around distracting myself with mindless, breathless activities.
I am hereby committing to reconnect with my spirit, to meditate, to walk in nature, to call my doctor, to face my fear, to breathe fully and recommit to life.
Later today Tom and I are going for a walk in nature. We’re going back to the Botanic Garden where I haven’t been since the Jesusita Fire ravaged it several months ago. I haven’t wanted to see it’s marred beauty — I didn’t want to face it. Today I am willing to face everything.
How about you — is there something you haven’t wanted to face? Have you been distracting yourself? Is the universe probing you with aches and pains and discomforts to wake you up? Nestle into the spacious embrace of the present moment and let it all hang out. You will feel so much better afterward.