Thursday, November 29, 2012

Can You Have Cancer and Be in Perfect Health?

One of the realizations, which has been nothing short of miraculous for me, since I began my healing journey from can’t-sir has been the growing awareness that I am always in perfect health. 

Now, given that these words were just written by someone diagnosed with Stage II Triple Negative Breast Cancer, you might be thinking I’m either one of those dreaded “glass is half full” kind of people, trying to B.S. my way through this situation, or simply crazy.

How amazing is this? Thank this awesome person
But I’m not any of these things. In fact, I suspect I'm something entirely different. Let me explain

Over the last month, I’ve looked back through the pages of my life, and I’ve realized that with each challenge in my life, long before this latest one, my body was always there for me. Sometimes I was thinner. Sometimes I had more hair. Sometimes I was coughing up something nasty and green. Sometimes I couldn’t fit in my jeans anymore. Sometimes I was passed out exhausted on the couch. Sometimes I was kickboxing 6 days a week and sleeping hardly at all. Nevertheless, always, always, my body was there. We made it through whatever was going on, together.

I love quirky affirmations.
Since being diagnosed, my body has been my constant, intimate companion. She feeds me breakfast and gets me dressed. She show up on time and takes me to all my appointments. She submits to the needles, scalpels, drugs, x-rays, MRIs, and chemo drips without protest. Sure, my body gets sore. She gets cranky. She loses bits and pieces, especially hair. She gets tired. In fact, she gets downright exhausted sometimes and I have to clean her up red-faced after finding her snoring on the couch in a pond of her own drool and some leftover Saltine crumbs. So what? Nevertheless, always, always, my body is there. We are making it through can’t-sir, together. We are surviving. In fact, we are thriving.

My body, my self, my companion, my home, my temple. I have never once actively spent time on thinking about “being sick,” since being diagnosed with the sidecar. Instead, I have always considered it that I am on a healing journey, and my body is the vessel in which I am traveling. Together, we are navigating a new path, an unknown way, through a land called, “Can’t-sir”. Today, a month and a half into this new land, I see with greater clarity than ever how fortunate I am to have this amazing travel companion, whom I never, not once in my life, truly, deeply, loved and appreciated.

My version, based on
the classic Louise Hay self-love affirmation.

But life is different now.

In the wasteland of can’t-sir, we are growing a flower garden, my body and I. Each day, instead of ignoring my body or hating the various bits and pieces of her and the way she shows up in skirts, I just love on her. I love on myself. I spend a few moment thanking my breasts, and commending them for their loveliness -- fresh, pink healing scars and all. I talk to all the parts of my body that are sore, and I thank them for all they are teaching me about learning to embrace change in my life. I talk to myself in the mirror, looking deep into my eyes, and I tell myself how much of a warrior I am, and how proud I am of myself for creating the way this can’t-sir journey will uniquely look for me, as an individual, not as some nameless, faceless statistic. I love on myself all day long. And, when I notice I’m not doing it, I do it.

It is my belief that my body is in perfect health at this very moment. I am exactly in the state of physical and mental acuity that is required to take the steps required of me today. My body, no matter how weakened or weird she might show up on a given day, is still my own, a powerful co-creation, shaping the world I live in. My body supports me in every step I take, and is always there for me, giving me exactly what I need in that moment. I may not realize it. I may feel she has failed me or let me down in some way. But in fact, what I need in any given moment from my body is always precisely available to me. I just have to open my eyes and recognize the wonders that she has been trying my whole life to support me to become aware of.

A daily affirmation I have recently started using.
In what ways might you be undermining your health or well-being through harsh or critical self-talk?

How might it be useful to shift the way you speak to yourself to experience your relationship with your body in a new way? 

What’s one new affirmation you could replace an old pattern of self-talk with to create a different outcome than the one you’re receiving today?

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