The Gifts of No Escape

I believe that there comes a point in each of our lives when we can no longer run from what scares us most.  For me that point came again when I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  There was no where to run or hide and I was forced to stand with myself in the light.  At the time I could not see the value of the gift life was presenting to me.  Now, 3 years later, thankfully and joyfully, I’m just starting to get it.   

For much of our lives we are told to effortlessly work at changing who we are.  To be smarter, thinner, faster, slower, calmer, healthier, quieter, louder, smaller, larger, aggressive, passive, the list goes on and on.  I believe that we all share this innocent naïve, misunderstanding about life in some way and that this innocent mistake keeps us caught up in our own particular style of ignorance, shut-downess and unhappiness.   When one experiences a life changing event, it does just that, it changes our lives and in turn if we are to be happy we have to change with it.    What life has been asking of me, encouraging me, since I was pushed out into the light 3 years ago, is to see myself clearly, with great gentleness and without judgment or the need to “change” any part of who I am!  WOW!   Recently I have been shown that the desire to change any part of who I am fundamentally is a form of aggression towards myself.  But rather, I need to stand with my arms open and lovingly embrace the parts of me that scare me.   For you see the problem with throwing out the not so pleasant parts of who I am is that my neurosis and my wisdom are made out of the same material…me.  And if I throw out my neurosis, I also throw out my wisdom.  WOW!  

I will share an example of this practice that might shed some more light on the subject.  I am a recovering addict and alcoholic.  For many years I hid my drinking and my addiction.  I wanted so badly to change the fact that I cannot consume booze or drugs like a normal person.  I tried everything to change, I changed what I drank, when I drank it and who I drank it with and nothing, absolutely nothing worked.  Finally out of complete desperation, I admitted I was an addict and a drunk.    I stopped trying to push the disease of alcoholism out of my life, stopped trying to make it something other then what it was and when I stopped living in that denial and accepted that a part of me was/is and always will be a hopeless drunk, only then did I have choice in how my drinking and using effected my life.  That was 11 years ago, I am still clean and sober and still lovingly wrapping my arms around my disease of alcoholism. 

Now all these later, life is again asking and encouraging me to apply the same principle to my journey with breast cancer, with my chest that is boobless and with my life that has been forever changed.  My response to Life’s loving gentle invitation…I love me, all of me!   

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